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VINE VOICEon June 10, 2008
In this anthology, six phenomenal authors answer the question "What would keep you up all night?" The authors are Peter Abrahams, Libba Bray, David Levithan, Patricia McCormick, Sarah Weeks, and Gene Luen Yang.

At first, I thought this book would contain personal stories from these authors, but I soon realized they were fictional short stories. My favorite of the six had to be Libba Bray's short story about a group of four friends who go to a rock concert. Libba Bray, the author of the Great and Terrible Beauty series, is an amazing author. Out of the six stories, hers was the longest and most enjoyable one for me to read.

I also enjoyed the stories by David Levithan and Patricia McCormick. David's story was a little confusing and pointless at first, but I liked the ending. Patricia's story was just plain creepy until the ending, which was hilarious. Sarah Week's story was the saddest. And the other two were okay, but nothing something I would remember for a long time.

I have to say I had my doubts about reading this book because I'm not usually a fan of anthologies. I would say that this book is only okay; it's not something I would rush out to buy.

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on July 24, 2008
In her introduction to this fine short story collection, editor Laura Geringer says, "I hope you enjoy these unusual tales, as I have, and that whatever you select to take from them stays with you for many days and night to come, waking and dreaming."

Six great writers equal six fantastic short stories in this flawless collection of tales dealing with encounters of the world of sleepless nights. From Peter Abrahams's poignant and ghostly "Phase 2" to the zany appearance in "The Motherless One" of the monkey from Gene Luen Yang's AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, each story has a different twist for situations that people encounter as they skip sleep and struggle through the night.

Libba Bray, author of A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, offers "Not Just for Breakfast Anymore." Teenager Maggie is trying to adjust to her parents' divorce. But it's not just the divorce --- it's her mother's endless empty chatter and her father's new lifestyle. She can never share with her friends that her father is gay and actually living with his partner. Her shame and confusion are drowned out for a short while one night when she and friends Diane, Justine and Holly go out to see a band. The band never shows and they all get a little drunk, find themselves in some potentially dangerous situations and, ultimately, end up at her father's condo. Seeing her father in a different light and knowing that, despite all the pain, she has a safe haven where she and her friends can be themselves, turns out to be a revelation. It is a night of growing up for Maggie.

Patricia McCormick, noted author of CUT and SOLD, presents "Orange Alert," the story of a young girl trying to deal with a stepfather who is getting too familiar with her. She spends her nights giving herself driving lessons. Feeling herself developing an independent power, she eventually puts Ed/stepfather in his place. With her new sense of self-confidence, you know this is one girl who will make positive changes.

In "Superman Is Dead," Sarah Weeks explores the tender relationship between Nick and his little brother Joe. During the night Nick works on a short story for class, calling back and forth, sharing insights with his friend. The real drama, however, centers on the fading life of Joe's beloved hamster, Superman. Nick worries about how to deal with Superman when a call from his dad announcing that his new wife has had a baby (there are definitely issues to deal with here) also includes a helpful suggestion on what to do with the hamster. The night is long and painful for Nick, for Superman and for the emotional strings that twist around Nick's heart. This is a sad, enlightening and tender story whose rich characters could easily move into a book.

David Levithan's wonderful "The Vulnerable Hours" explores issues of loneliness and the superficiality of so many conversations. Phil wanders around during the night asking strangers "What's up?" until he finds Sara, who begins an awakening within herself from their conversation and offers:

"If you can conquer the vulnerable hours, you can allow yourself to be yourself, to go forward. You breathe in the night air, and it sustains you."

UP ALL NIGHT is an excellent addition to both public and high school libraries. Asking the question of "what have you ever done while staying up all night?" these entertaining stories will be a stimulating offering in the worlds of waking and dreaming.

--- Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts
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on June 17, 2008
This is a very difficult book to classify. There are some supernatural elements, but it is not a supernatural book. There are a few love stories, horror stories, stories of family, stories of life, but it doesn't fall into just one category.

The book also doesn't easily fall into a book I liked or a book I disliked because of the wide variety or authors and styles. I defiantly enjoyed Libba Bray's story "It's Not Just for Breakfast Anymore" the most, as I felt it had a powerful message and was beautifully written. Sarah Weeks short story "Superman Is Dead" was also a stand-out in the anthology.

I did not, however, think Peter Abrahams' story was all that great. Nor did I really get David Levithan's story, which was surprising because I usually love his work. Though I was entertained by Gene Luen Yang short comic, my first exposure to any of his work, I don't think it (or Patricia McCormick's short story) was very memorable.

Overall, it was worth the read but nothing terribly special. An interesting combination of styles, themes and stories that won't really keep you up all night reading.
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on April 23, 2008
Six stories relate to the darkness and the wonder of staying up all night.

Libba Bray writes about four best friends going to a concert and looking for the band's after party. When they need a place to crash, they spend the night at one girl's father's new apartment, almost exposing a huge family secret.

The family in Peter Abraham's story attempt to move on after the death of a loved one, but can they reach him from beyond the grave before they let go?

David Levithan explores one girl's search to let go of social politeness and to find herself in the darkness of the night.

These six stories (the remaining written by Patricia McCormick, Sarah Weeks, and Gene Luen Yang) will make readers think of the nighttime and all of the secrets and power it possesses.

Read these tales after dark.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel
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on June 26, 2008
This is one of the best ideas for a collection that I have ever come across. The stories are as different from one another as can be, with the common thread being that each has a character who stays up all night for some reason. Strong writers, strong material, what's not to love about this book????
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on September 19, 2013
I liked the Peter Abrahams short story, but the other writers don't come close to his talent. I am looking forward to another novel by Mr. Abrahams.
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