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[Blog Tour] Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA, edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma

Welcome to the Foreshadow Blog Tour! I’m very excited to share this book with you today. I’d like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for allowing me to participate. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!


Synopsis

Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.

Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.

This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.


Details

  • Title: Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
  • Editors: Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma
  • Cover Artist: Sarah J. Coleman, design
  • Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
  • ISBN: 1643750798
  • Publication Date: October 20, 2020
  • For Ages: 14-18
  • Category: Young Adult
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.

I’d like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for providing an advance copy in exchange for review consideration.


Review

Whether you’re in a reading slump and need something quick to revitalize your love for books or you want to discover some incredible new authors, short stories are the perfect reading choice. They’re also deceptively difficult to write, and the new YA anthology Foreshadow brilliantly considers every possible target reader — YA fans looking for new authors to add to their reading lists, writers looking for ways to hone their skills, reluctant or burnt-out readers who want something to whet their appetites, and critics who want new ways of looking at the craft of writing  — and provides a diverse and exciting collection of 13 stories to examine and savor.

Editors Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, along with the 13 talented writers included in the collection and the famous authors who introduce each story, display their passion for YA literature on every page. The collection includes writing prompts and small essays analyzing the ways the stories approach topics as varied as voice, mood, and worldbuilding. It’s an inspirational, galvanizing look at the future of YA books: the reader is thrilled to discover new voices, possibly even their own. It’s difficult to read this book without wanting to tell your own stories, and the editors’ emphasis on the inclusion of marginalized voices is a delightful breath of fresh air.

Each story is strong and has its own unique voice. The genres range from futuristic sci-fi to fizzy rom-com to eerie horror stories, bringing topics as diverse as Indian mythology and Venezuelan politics and the history of the American South into stories that will delight, terrify, and instill hope in readers. Even with the inspiring diversity among the authors and their stories, though, there are a few common threads among each tale that prove the universal appeal and strength of YA fiction.

These stories are about young women who undergo transformations, who remake themselves in the face of a world that feels impossible to survive at times. Though these girls are often failed by their parents or their governments or a society that is blighted by racism and sexism, they do not fail themselves; they rise to challenges, claim their identities, and move forward with hope, strength, and love. They discover new truths and find inner reserves of power that they didn’t know they had. They also discover new loves and unexpected, but still promising, futures.

I won’t go into great detail on each individual story. This is a collection that you should explore on your own, discovering passages that speak to you and protagonists who help you see hidden or forgotten parts of yourself. I would, however, like to highlight my favorite parts of each tale to pique your interest so that you pick up this remarkable book:

  • Tanya S. Aydelott’s “Flight” is an insightful and devastating examination of identity and freedom, exploring the cost of living in the wrong skin and the transcendence that art and true beauty can provide.
  • Rachel Hylton’s “Risk” is a singularly strange and dreamlike look at the different ways of being strong, subverting the story of metamorphosis in an ineffably welcoming way.
  • Linda Cheng’s “Sweetmeats” is an eerie and mournful portrait of Becoming. It shows that monsters can be beautiful and free in their monstrousness.
  • Joanna Truman’s “Glow” is an electric, heart-bursting queer love story that asks whether some moments represent the end of the world or the very beginning of it.
  • Tanvi Berwah’s “Escape” is an intricate and intriguing examination of tradition, family, and the choices we have to make to save ourselves and our loved ones.
  • Flor Salcedo’s “Pan Dulce” is a study in duality that explores borders of geography, politics, and friendships. It questions how we define safety and whose safety matters most in the world.
  • Nora Elghazzawi’s “Solace” (content warnings: eating disorder, death of a family member) is a an elegiac look at the ways that our own lives stop when a loved one dies. It is also a tender examination of how we can move forward from loss and carve out new paths in the wreckage.
  • Maya Prasad’s “Princess” is an inventive and thought-provoking sci-fi story about the fear of becoming obsolete, the lure of immortality, and the possibilities available to us if we keep our hearts and minds open.
  • Gina Chen’s “Fools” is a wildly imaginative and eerie story about stories, emphasizing the importance of taking that first step in writing your own life’s narrative.
  • Adriana Marachlian’s “Monsters” is a mournful tale of the loneliness and grief that accompanies being uprooted from your homeland…and the surprising friends you can find if you hold onto your own culture.
  • Sophie Meridien’s “Break” is an impeccably structured romantic comedy that simultaneously explores the pain of dealing with racist microaggressions, the pressure of being a first-generation American, and the joy of first love. This story is sweet, smart, and funny, featuring a protagonist that readers will fall in love with immediately.
  • Mayra Cuevas’s “Resilient” is an empathetic and hopeful look at the ways that natural disasters can turn lives upside down. It explores the grief of dreams that are deferred but not lost forever.
  • Desiree S. Evans’s “Belly” (content warning: sexual assault) explores the power in belonging: belonging to a family, belonging to a place, and belonging to yourself. It explores identity and love in the face of forces that feel far stronger than you are…and discovering that you are far stronger than you realized.

Foreshadow is a wonderful collection of stories that will help readers and writers find inner strength and inspiration that they perhaps didn’t even know they were searching for. This diverse group of skilled writers and their artful short stories represent an exciting future for YA that I can’t wait to see.


Rating

I give this book 5 out of 5 coffins.

5 Coffins