The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories

The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories

3.9 10
by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff

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From acclaimed and New York Times bestselling YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.
• A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck. 
• Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing. 
• A

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From acclaimed and New York Times bestselling YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.
• A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck. 
• Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing. 
• A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author's comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Described in an introduction by editor Andrew Karre as “the public performance of the private act of story craft,” this assemblage of more than 30 short stories, many of which first appeared on the authors’ joint blog, is akin to an artist’s sketchpad. Technique, not story, is often foregrounded. “The Power of Intent,” a Yovanoff offering, is a “be careful what you wish for” story with little narrative tension, but along the way it perfectly depicts the emotional undercurrents of a high school dance. And the mysteries of Gratton’s brief but potent “Puddles” remain mysteries, though she quickly establishes a chilly atmosphere and fiery antagonism between her protagonists. Garlanding the snippets are handwritten doodles and notes that offer only occasional enlightenment about the authors’ writing processes, but abundantly display their mutual admiration. There are lovely stretches of prose and many funny, personable marginal exchanges—as an entertainment, an object, the book has its pleasures. Overall, though, the content is better suited to its native milieu, the Web. Ages 12�up. Agent: (for Stief-vater and Gratton) Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency; (for Yovanoff) Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Patrice Russo Belotte
The reader is never alone in this collection of fantastical short stories. It is not just the vampires , zombies, psychopaths, and angst-filled wizard-like-teenagers that keep the reader company. It is the words and voices from the writers annotations that provide the reader with a constant companion as they progress through each story in this collection. Gathered from their collaborative website,, each piece of fiction in this collection comes with commentary from the writer herself and that of her colleagues. Critical, and often funny, each selection is prefaced with a short explanation from the writer about her inspiration or attraction to the story, and then critical praise or encouragement from one of the other writers. Throughout each story, the margins are filled with notations, pictures, explanations, and praise that help the reader understand the story and the process of writing. When examined closely, each notation provides a creative idea for the reader to pursue. Perhaps the most important of these ideas is that writing should not be done in isolation, as each writer repeatedly praises her colleague's for her success and creativity. The essence of collaboration is constant, even as the reader is drawn into the individual universe of each character within each story. Reviewer: Patrice Russo Belotte
VOYA - Heidi Uphoff
These self-proclaimed “merry sisters of fate” and best selling young adult paranormal fiction writers began publically collaborating and honing their craft in 2008 with a blog site, Their efforts culminated in The Curiosities: A Collection Of Stories, a selection of the best flash fiction and short stories from their blog. These stories host a wide array of themes, characters, plots, and worlds, allowing the authors to experiment and improvise. The authors occasionally used the same prompt, giving readers three different perspectives on an Arthurian tale or a post-apocalyptic zombie world. The collection also features meta-analysis by Stiefvater, Gratton, and Yovanoff. The margins are filled with handwritten pictures, diagrams, comments, critiques, and praises. Although most of the stories featured in The Curiosities are very short pieces of fiction, the worlds and characters feel real. In the best stories, the whimsical and grotesque fade into the background, revealing a very human tale with universal themes--not that the whimsical and grotesque are not an integral and well-done part of the work. The Curiosities offers the reader enough vampires, fairies, and goblins to sate the palate of any paranormal lover. The comments the writers have included in the margins about their own and each other’s stories offer a unique glimpse into their creative processes. The Curiosities is a weird and wonderful collection of flash fiction that will delight any aspiring writer or fan of paranormal fiction. Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The authors behind the group blog Merry Sisters of Fate have combined their talents to create a collection of 30 fantasy short stories that dazzle. The selections themselves are finely crafted, with fully realized characters and unique settings. Each one has an introduction that reveals the author's thought processes in creating the story arc. Amusing handwritten comments, replies, and drawings allow readers a glimpse into the women's friendship and how their critiques of one another's work helped them grow as writers. A handwriting key at the beginning of the book permits readers to identify who said what, lowering the wall between writer and reader to reveal each author's personality. Yovanoff has a gift for stories that explore evil soul mates. Stiefvater examines power and modern society with a healthy dose of angst and a dash of fire. Gratton creates a world of complex magic and courageous characters whose stories usually end with a choice to be made. The book opens strongly with a trapped vampire and a girl who must choose whether or not to free him. There are tales of trolls, zombies, and psychopaths, and even Arthurian legends. Each story stands totally on its own, but together, the cohesive group is more than the sum of its parts. This anthology is a must for all YA collections. Promote it to traditional fantasy lovers, paranormal fans, and aspiring authors. It might even be the inspiration for starting a library writer's group.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT
Kirkus Reviews
The paranormal trio of Gratton, Stiefvater and Yovanoff here translate their collective writings from their blog, Merry Sisters of Fate, into a collection of stories that feature Nordic mythology, murderers and secrets. In addition to the author's introduction at the start of each story, doodles and handwritten marginalia hint at the interaction among the authors during the brainstorming and writing process. Notable stories include Yovanoff's look at two killers meeting for the first time, Stiefvater's humorous take on zombies, and Gratton's exploration of sacrifice and Samhain. A silent dinner with ghosts gives Gratton an opportunity to create a narrative with no dialogue, while Stiefvater looks at the cost of immortality and the ways people gain it, and Yovanoff takes a peek inside the head of someone who's been pushed to the brink. While most of the stories are strong, the Arthurian suite doesn't have the same sense of magic, simmering madness and insight of the other stories. The marginal notes sometimes seem to be a bit of a lovefest among the authors, but there are flashes of genius as well as humor in them, and the illustrations add back some edge. For those with dark hearts looking for the edgier side of paranormal fiction, this will be something to stay up with at night. (Anthology/paranormal. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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