Wonderstruck Paperback – May 30, 2014
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I don't think that I can start this without first noting that it is a HUUUUGE book! Over 400 pages of excellent stories! You may not like all of them, but there is definitely something in this book for everyone.
"Wonderstruck" is a compilation of over 30 authors writing drabbles, short stories, novelettes, and novellas based upon five images provided for inspiration. Some of the stories that were submitted were absolutely stellar - "The Pastiche" and "The Silent Man" were two of my favorites - but there were some problems with a few of them, such as plot holes or a rougher writing style that simply did not sit well with me and at times made for a rather jarring read. I must also admit that I am not a romance reader at all, and a good deal of the stories held a strong romance element. This would probably sit just fine with many readers, but it does point out a bit of a shortcoming with this anthology: most of the time when one reads a collection of stories, the stories are similar in their basic genre and the reader has a good idea that what they are getting will in general be to their liking. "Wonderstruck" definitely does have something for EVERYONE - romance, suspense, drama, comedy, fantasy, paranormal, you name it - but not everything will be for every reader and you might find yourself skipping stories that aren't your style. I don't like skipping stories for reading taste so I had to mark that off as a detraction.
The book is rated for Young Adults, and while all of the works are definitely appropriate for teenaged readers, those at the youngest end of the scale may find some of the stories dark and disturbing or a bit high on the romantic involvement of the characters (note: romantic, not adult, but parents should use their judgement for little ones). There are plenty of stories in here though that are appropriate for all ages, and families will find that not only will they get a book that older teens will enjoy, but that some of the works are even fun bedtime reading for small children. And THAT is something rare for an anthology.
I definitely recommend this book as a very worthwhile read and purchase, well worth the value for the price.
**Received this ebook in exchange for an honest review as part of the Clean Teen Street Team
First, I think it is amazing that all of these stories came about based on five pictures. They are all very creative and very different. It amazes how different each of them is yet some originated from the very same picture.
Drabbles are new to me being 100 words exactly, but I don't connect to them as much as I do novellettes and novellas. They were still cute though.
There was one story I didn't connect with because it didn't do anything for me, but with as many stories that are in this who cares if there is one that isn't your cup of tea. And I'm not going into any more detail, so onto the ones I think were pure awesomeness (there are 3).
First up! Wind Warrior by Jon Messenger because I read the full version novel and now I understand how the story relates to the picture which is cool. The story was wonderful written and sucked you straight into the fabulous world Jon created. The drama of college and family mixed with people with elemental powers. And you absolutely should read the full novel because it rocks, and you can learn so much more about Xander and his world.
Next was Heartkeeper by B.T. Lyons which I thought was a fascinating world and think it should be some type of series because I would like to read more. It is basically about humans being destructive and the world getting back at humanity until a Covenant is formed and everyone must go through a yearlong evaluation of many trials to see if they are worthy enough to live past 13 years old. It was a cool story about Adain and his friends coming of age :)
My last favorite was A World Unlike Mine by Jocelyn Sanchez because it was a unique world mixing immortals with a more realistic modern world. The story of Tasha will have you rooting for her and loving her as she discovers who she is. This is another one of those stories that I like to be a series. I really connected with the characters.
This really is a great collection of stories, and I only mentioned a few of them. I recommend it to anyone who likes a little magic in their life :)