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Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday Paperback – May 25, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; First edition (May 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140005270X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400052707
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Though marketed as an adult title, this collection includes stories by authors generally considered to be writing for YAs, such as Sonya Sones and Jacqueline Woodson, as well as a smattering of adult authors like Steve Almond. The pieces are mostly set squarely in the 16-year-old brain, rather than taking the point of view of an adult looking back fondly on adolescence. Some of the authors, like Sarah Dessen, write somewhat more explicitly here than in their YA titles. Others use the format readers have grown used to–for example, Sones's free verse works as well in the short-story format as in novels. Ned Vizzini's tale is set in an Old West brothel and revisits the theme of parents who just don't understand. Two of the strongest stories are Emma Forrest's "The Grief Diet," in which rich girls have meaningless sexual encounters in Paris, and Carolyn Mackler's "Mona Lisa, Jesus, Chad and Me," about two Central New York vacationers, one of whom has just lost her virginity, while the other has just found religion. Both selections explore friendships growing apart. Finally, McCafferty revisits Jersey girls Jessica and Hope, who were introduced in Sloppy Firsts (2001) and Second Helpings (2003, both Crown) in "Fifteen Going On…." Fans of those novels will appreciate this story, and will discover other delightful and different ones as well.–Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

MEGAN McCAFFERTY is the author of Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. She lives with her husband and young son in New Jersey, and is currently at work on her third Jessica Darling novel. Find out more at www.meganmccafferty.com.

More About the Author

TANUJA DESAI HIDIER is a writer/singer-songwriter, born and raised in the USA and now based in London.

Her first novel, BORN CONFUSED--the first ever South Asian American coming-of-age story, set in the context of New York City's bhangra/underground club scene-- was hailed in a Publishers Weekly starred review as "absorbing and intoxicating . . . sure to leave a lasting impression," and as "a breathtaking experience" by Kirkus Reviews. It was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and became a landmark novel, recently selected by Entertainment Weekly as a contender for one of the best YA novels of all time.

Her latest novel, BOMBAY BLUES, the sequel to BORN CONFUSED, comes out this summer.

Tanuja's new 'booktrack' album of original songs to accompany BOMBAY BLUES will also launch this summer. WHEN WE WERE TWINS, her album of original songs based on BORN CONFUSED, was featured in Wired Magazine for being a first-ever booktrack; Wired deemed it "...reminiscent of Alanis Morissette...[the music] reflects the clash of styles, sounds, and influences inherent to cultural assimilation and urban living."

Please visit www.ThisIsTanuja.com for more info.

Customer Reviews

I am so impressed with the writing, the reality in it.
"genni731"
This book was a huge disappointment... I didn't even want to finish it, actually, but I just kept going with hopes that it might get better.
Pookie
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to any one who is up for some laughs and a pleasant read.
Beautiful One

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "genni731" on June 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
i got this book last weekend thinking im turning 17 in about 40 days and that i should read it while i was still 16.
i had no idea what i was in for. i've turned into one of those people who relates real life to a story. "oo yeah in this story by sarah dessen..""omigod i was reading the funniest story about this kid in the 1890s(Rutford Becomes a Man)" etc.
these stories are amazing. i identify with eachone in a different way, such as Fan's family situation, Emmy's confusion with Mona Lisa's change, and Eli and Clarkes love for Volvos Steak and ee cummings. (how could you not love that combination?!)
the highlight was Cat Got Your Tongue by Sonya Sones, i am a devoted follower of her, can't get enough of What was Mother Doesn't Know.
But that being said--each story was a highlight, each more amazing than the last. I am so impressed with the writing, the reality in it. It's not sugar coated. not silly and romantic and totally out there (i read other boosk for that, e.g. Gossip Girls) I could be these characters, i identify with them. And at 16 the summer of 17 you need to identify and be able to say "HEY! I know exactly hhow Emmy/Fan/Bria/Emily Milty feels."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Story collections always have a few weird ones, a few okay ones, and just a select couple of REALLY great ones, and this one is no different. Megan McCafferty's story, of course, is one of the best, but Carolyn Mackler, Sarah Dessen, Jaqueline Woodson, and Sarah Mlynowski (whose adult novels are not particularly impressive) make incredible contributions to the book. They are funny, and touching, and make you think back to when you were sixteen. The few odd stories that were included aside from those were simply there, not amazing but still an interesting read, at the very least offering a new perspective. If you liked McCafferty's Jessica Darling novels, you should definitely read this collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Short stories are short. Collections of stories are by different authors, who have different styles. To criticize a short story collection because the stories aren't long enough or because all the authors aren't your bag is just plain silly. This isn't a novel like Sloppy Firsts or Second Helpings, so it shouldn't be compared to them! With that having been said, I thought this collection was better than most. I had never heard of most of the authors (I only knew Megan McCafferty and Sarah Dessen) and I liked the stories by the authors who don't usually write YA: Emma Forrest, Joe Weisberg and Julianna Baggott. I think this collection is worth it for those who are looking to discover new writers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "yareader27" on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yes, this book is not for the fain of heart. Those wanting an uplifting, sweet romantic book, I suggest reading something else. Most of the stories in here are truly depressing (and confusing for that matter). I do have soem favorites: "Infinity" by Sarah Dessen was great, anything by Sarah is great; "Relent/Persist" by Zoe Trope left me nostalgic, but for something I never had; "The Grief Diet" by Emma Forrest worried me, but all around was well writeen; "The Alumni Interview" by David Levithan got the message across about discrimination and was overall really sweet, even though the immature would call it "just plain gay"; Sonya Sones's "Cat Got Your Tounge?" was odd in it's style of story, but left me with a "happy feeling"; "Venitian Fan" by Cat Bauer was at times cheesy, but had a certain allure to it.
There were stories that left me wanting to sit in a dark room and write poetry, like "Nebraska 99" (Jacqueline Wooodson) and "The Mud and Fever Dialogues" (M.T. Anderson).
Some stories left me dumbfounded and bored, such as "Rutford Becomes a Man" By Ned Vizzini, "The Day I Turned Chickenhearted" by Steve Almond, "Kissing Lessons" by Joseph Weisberg, and "Cowgirls & Indie Boys" by Tanuja Desai Hidier (which left me dissapointed compared to Hidier's book "Born Confused").
Two stories were pure YA novels and I found myself angry at the cliches in them. Those were "The Perfect Kiss" by Sarah Mlynowski and "Mona Lisa, Jesus, Chad, and Me" by Carolyn Mackler.
Overall the book dissapointed me, although the star of the mook is clearly Megan McCafferty with her mini-prologue to Sloppy Firsts. That woman is a genious. Read this book only if your a fan of hers, otherwise you will be thoroughly bored.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I really was touched by this collection of stories. I liked them all. I was touched by the story by Zoe Trope, it was well written and original. I want to clarify something the story is about two teenage girls, not a boy and a girl as previously stated in a review. Anyways, it's a great story. I also liked the Perfect Kiss, Emily Mitty, and the day I Became Chickenhearted. Those are just some highlights. I really enjoyed all of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Some stories I totally loved like the ones by Megan, Sarah Dessen, Zoe Trope and Carolyn Mackler. Others weren't my style but were worth the effort like the one by Ned Vizzini. Some I won't bother to mention because I just couldn't get into them at all! Overall I think it's worth the money to get a fix of Jessica Darling until Megan's next book comes out. I really liked learning more about her friendship with Hope.
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