Finally. I wrote something that got a good review in VOYA. Kerry’s story, “Mars at Night,” is the one I wrote. So glad I AM working on that novel!
VOYA (Voice of Youth Activates)
“In this collection of six vignettes, readers experience both the male and female perspective of affairs that are challenging, life-changing, or seemingly inexplicable. Bobby Wildcat bemoans his short stature and the bullying he endures in his close-knit tribal community. Then, without warning, he finds himself drawn to Nancy Whitepath, the town’s large and successful basketball talent. Bobby’s insecurities often lead him to misinterpret how Nancy is responding to him. In “Want to Meet,” Max plans to meet his online crush, only to be shocked that Alex is a girl (“Alex, it was a gay chat room, okay?”). Alex’s reasons for starting a relationship online are just as complex as Max’s. “The Mouths of the Ganges” and ”Mars At Night” look at the challenges that Kerry and Rafi experience in their relationship. He is Bengali, from a devout Muslim family, while she has grown up on an Iowan farm and lives with constant disapproval and guilt trips from her grandmother. Their relationship is only one of the many issues they face, including the post-9/11 prejudice Rafi endures and the potential destruction of Kerry’s farming way of life.
These short stories are collected in the same “he said/she said” format made popular by books such as Cohn and Levithan’s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Knopf, 2006/VOYA April 2006) and Barkley and Hepler’s Scrambled Eggs at Midnight (Speak, 2007/VOYA August 2006). For some of the stories, there simply is not enough development for the reader to cultivate firm opinions about characters, their motives, or their situations. Some of the breakout stories, such as Rafi and Kerry’s tale, beg for a home in their own novel. With its proliferation of romance and hormonally-charged electricity, this book should be an easy sell to readers who like escaping in lighter contemporary relationship stories.”- VOYA
“He thought …, but to her it seemed… As long as there have been two sexes, there have been two views of each relationship. This collection of stories by proven YA authors explores this dilemma through the novel device of dual accounts by two writers, one male and one female. In Chris Crutcher’s “Love or Something Like It,” uber-handsome John Smith enlists school “bad girl” Wanda to help him understand women, while Kelly Milner Hall’s “Some Things Never Change” explores Wanda’s preemptive-strike attitude toward men. In other stories, a Native American star at women’s basketball begins to see possibilities in a shrimpy, artistic schoolmate; Alexis helps her lonely, gay, on-line buddy Max find a possible relationship; an African-American girl and a white admirer connect in sex ed class; and a Muslim boy falls for an Iowa hog farmer’s daughter and uncovers a shocking political deception. The final story departs from the format to present a jointly-narrated account of transsexual Stephen’s (nee Stephanie’s) decision to accept an overture from an unsuspecting childhood friend.
This diverse collection will appeal to a broader readership than many short-story anthologies, due to its innovative format and universal theme. Some stories are naturally stronger than others: “Mouths of the Ganges,” by Terry Davis, for example, breaks new ground, while its partner, “Mars at Night,” by Rebecca Fjelland Davis, is more conventional. Casual profanity and frequent references to sex (more thoughts than action) will not surprise YA librarians. This is a strong choice for older teen readers.”- VOYA
“[A] proliferation of romance and hormonally charged electricity” – VOYA
“A strong choice for older teen readers” – VOYA