Defy the Dark

Defy the Dark

by Saundra Mitchell, Aprilynne Pike, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Hawkins

View All Available Formats & Editions

The seventeen original stories in Defy the Dark, an eerie, mind-bending YA anthology, could only take place in darkness.
Open the pages and discover: A creepy guy who stares too long. The secrets of the core of the earth. Dreams of other people’s lives. A girl who goes mad in the darkness. Monsters in Bavaria. A generational spaceship


The seventeen original stories in Defy the Dark, an eerie, mind-bending YA anthology, could only take place in darkness.
Open the pages and discover: A creepy guy who stares too long. The secrets of the core of the earth. Dreams of other people’s lives. A girl who goes mad in the darkness. Monsters in Bavaria. A generational spaceship where night doesn’t exist. And other mysteries and oddities.
The contributors to the enthralling collection are: Sarah Rees Brennan, Tessa Gratton, Rachel Hawkins, Christine Johnson, Valerie Kemp, Malinda Lo, Myra McEntire, Saundra Mitchell, Sarah Ockler, Jackson Pearce, Aprilynne Pike, Dia Reeves, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan, Jon Skovron, Courtney Summers, and Kate Espy, winner of the Defy the Dark new author contest.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
The menace of darkness in these stories is...more campfire shivers than real danger, but that’s precisely the appeal.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The collection’s range of genres, from science fiction to vampire stories to realism, gives it broad appeal.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Sixteen established YA authors contribute short stories to this collection, which also includes a bonus story by the winner of the Defy the Dark New Author Contest, sponsored by HarperTeen and Figment. Each story takes place either at night or in the dark, which invites a fair share of overtly scary or creepy tales. In Carrie Ryan's "Almost Normal," a group of teens witnesses a zombie invasion from atop a roller coaster, and in Rachel Hawkins's urban-legend-inspired "Eyes in the Dark," a teen couple on a romantic interlude in the woods are hunted by monsters. Some stories are disturbing for other reasons. Sarah Ockler's "The Moth and the Spider" focuses on a girl writing a suicide note. Others are more sweet than scary, such as Aprilynne Pike's "Nature," in which a romance blooms in a future society that has strict career paths. In Malinda Lo's "Ghost Town," a girl gets revenge on a classmate with some ghostly help; Christine Johnson's "Shadowed" closes with a twist; Tessa Gratton's "This Was Ophelia" explores a courtship between a girl masquerading as a man and the boy who loves her as her male persona; and Dia Reeves revisits Portero through the eyes of an outsider in "The Dark Side of the Moon." As with any collection, some selections are stronger than others, but with contributions that range from frightening to romantic, action-driven to lyrical, there should be something here for everyone.—Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library
VOYA - Matthew Weaver
Funny thing about shadows: Sometimes they turn out to be bland, everyday objects and sometimes they turn out to be truly monstrous. So go the sixteen stories in this collection—a seventeenth story, the intriguingly titled "The Sunflower Murders," by high schooler Kate Espey, was not included in the advanced reader copy. Sarah Rees Brennan's "I Gave You My Love By the Light of the Moon" is (hopefully) a parody of the bland Twilight protagonists with equally pointless lovers in a boy-vampire-loves-girl-werewolf tale. Christine Johnson squanders the story of a girl whose shadow is out to get her in "Shadowed." Every tale in here embraces darkness, but the really good ones offer us something to cling to in the night, like Tessa Gratton's Hamlet retelling, "This Was Ophelia," and Myra McEntire's engaging Krampus tale, "Naughty or Nice." Beth Revis could have a new sci-fi hit on her hands if she expands upon "Night Swimming." Best of the lot goes to Carrie Ryan, whose "Almost Normal" traps us atop a roller coaster with zombies down below, and Dia Reeves's "The Dark Side of the Moon," when a young man attempts to prove his worth for the girl he loves by riding the eerie night trolley. Darkness, check. Bonus points go to those writers who remembered to throw in a little defiance for good measure. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
Kirkus Reviews
Sixteen darkly alluring stories relate horrid and extraordinary events that can occur only in the absence of light. Each uniquely eerie, goose bump–raising tale confidently journeys into the unknown, and almost every one has a thread of teen romance. The quietly disturbing opening story, Courtney Summers' "Sleepstalk," tells of a girl so obsessively in love that she stalks her sleepwalking ex-boyfriend. She feels she can't exist without him and will make sure he doesn't exist without her. In Dia Reeves' "The Dark Side of the Moon," a town is perforated by fissures through which monsters enter. The well-adjusted citizens know how to battle everything but the night trolley, which goes to a place from which no one has ever returned alive. One young man, however, intent on impressing his girlfriend, takes the ride of his life. Four friends find themselves stuck on a roller coaster in "Almost Normal," by Carrie Ryan, awaiting the zombie takeover of their town. Before the gory finale, the teens ponder the end of the mundane and the beginning of eternal hungering, craving oblivion. Christine Johnson offers the heartbreaking "Shadowed," in which a cursed girl must never leave the dark lest her shadow murder her. This thick volume should conjure the heebie-jeebies for even the most experienced of supernatural connoisseurs. (Supernatural/short stories. 14 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.24(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

Saundra Mitchell has been a phone psychic, a car salesperson, a denture deliverer, and a layout waxer. She's dodged trains, endured basic training, and hitchhiked from Montana to California. She is also the author of Shadowed Summer and the Elementals series, and she always picks truth; dare is too easy.

Aprilynne Pike has been spinning stories since she was a child with a hyperactive imagination. She completed her BA in creative writing at the age of twenty at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. Aprilynne currently lives with her husband and children in Arizona.

Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland. After earning her master's in creative writing in New York and doing library work in Surrey, England, she has returned to Dublin, Ireland, to write. She is the author of the novels The Demon's Lexicon, The Demon's Covenant, and The Demon's Surrender, and her short story "Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" appears in the collection Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >