You know, I am absolutely loving short story collections at the moment – and this book was no exception to that – but I am honestly having the hardest time thinking of how to review it! I do tend to get a bit of reviewer’s block (haha) sometimes, and in this particular case I’m having trouble getting beyond “it’s wonderful – go read it!” I think perhaps it’s always a little bit harder to review a collection, since my reviews tend to rely on how a story made me feel, but in any case I’m thinking maybe the best thing to do is just ramble a bit about some of the things I loved about this book.
Underdog first came to my attention on Instagram, and I was keen to get my hands on it because – as you may have noticed – I’m always keen to support local (Australian) writers, especially when it comes to young adult books, since our market is so saturated with works by American (in particular) writers. I especially loved that this book is focused on emerging writers.
I love that the stories in the collection are diverse not only in genre/topic, but also that voices in the collection are diverse with most (if not all) of the writers featured in this book being from marginalised groups. It is such a perfect way to get a taste of a bunch of different writer’s work and discovering new favourites.
I’ve heard the editor, Tobias Madden, talk about the process of coming up with the idea of the anthology and putting it together, and it is so evident in the way he speaks about it that it was a total labour of love, and that makes me love it even more. I love the sense of community and the support that we are seeing #loveozya writers give each other, and I feel like this book is more evidence of that.
I can honestly say there wasn’t a single piece in here that I didn’t enjoy, and I’m really keen to see what each of the writers does next. I couldn’t possibly chose a favourite out of the collection (although, if I was absolutely pressed to do so I would have to admit that the first story in there – Meet and Greet by Michael Earp – just might have captured my book loving author fangirling heart.)
In case it isn’t clear, I totally recommend this one!
Underdog #LoveOzYA Short Stories is out now.
Source: I received a free copy from the Underdog team
Category: Young adult short fiction (varied genres)
On Goodreads here.
You can find the Underdog team online here.