Thursday, June 13, 2013

Defy the Dark blog tour: review & giveaway

We are part of a very special tour today. This tour is for an anthology of short stories written by many of today's hottest Young Adult authors and is published by HarperTeen. Reader Girls is thrilled to be today's stop on the Defy the Dark blog tour. Besides spotlighting this upcoming release, we are sharing our review and offering a giveaway. Continue reading to find out more!
Defy the Dark by Saundra Mitchell (Editor) 
Hardcover/paperback/eBook, 480 pages 
Expected publication: June 18th 2013 by HarperTeen

Defy the Dark, an all-new anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell. Coming Summer 2013 from HarperTeen!

It features 16 stories by critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA authors as they explore things that can only happen in the dark. Authors include Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Ryan, Aprilynne Pike, Malinda Lo, Courtney Summers, Beth Revis, Sarah Ockler, and more.

Contemporary, genre, these stories will explore every corner of our world- and so many others. What will be the final story that defies the dark? Who will the author be?

I first have to begin my review by stating I have grown to love reading anthologies. Not only do these collections provide readers the opportunity to discover new writers, the shorter works are fabulous when we don't have time to read an entire novel. Plus, I enjoy the variety of works and diverseness of subject matter made available. Defy the Dark contains an amazing array of stories, some I loved and others I liked. I'm on an anthology kick now--I'm reading Shards and Ashes (dystopian YA). Here are my thoughts:

Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers
Oh, this is typical Courtney Summers. Different with a twist. A young girl "stalks" a guy by waiting outside his house late at night and finds out he sleepwalks. Each night she waits, he occasionally shows up, and she follows him on his travels. We also learn exactly what happened between these two. Very creepy, has a dreamy feel, and I don't trust the narrator. Very good (3.5/5)

Nature by Aprilynne Pike
Kylie lives in a totalitarian dictatorship and in this "well ordered community" she learns she is a 'perfect' Nature (she has roomy hips for childbirth). She doesn't want to be a Nature. When the hottest guy in the community begins paying her attention, she's surprised to find out why. I found this one slow going and it took time to figure out this 'new' society but by the end I thought it was sweet and different.
Good (3/5)

The Dark Side of the Moon by Dia Reeves
Offbeat and different, this is the story of Cado and Patricia, a couple described as "the Bonnie and Clyde of the classical world" and Cado's wish to ride the night trolley. 
Good (3/5)

Ghost Town by Malinda Lo
Ty, a LGBT girl, has recently moved from California to the small town of Pinnacle. McKenzie befriends Ty, 'leading' her on at times until Ty decides to stop being nice. I loved Ty's voice, was enticed by the fast pace, and wouldn't mind reading more about Ty.
Very good (4/5)

Eyes in the Dark by Rachel Hawkins
Sam meets the hot Kelley Hamilton outside her job one night. He drives her to Cater Creek Bridge in Alabama which has been closed off. All she wants to do is make out with this hottie, he wants to explore the local urban legend. He's driving. She's cheating on her boyfriend. Suffered a bit from insta-lovelust. Entertaining, fast paced, even though I disliked Sam.
Good (3.5/5)

Stillwater by Valerie Kemp
This story made me sit up and look up the author's name. One of my favorites in this book. Pruitt Reese , 17, is a normal teen guy, makes deliveries for his father in the small town of Stillwater (population 319). There are two sides to the Reese family and each side hates the other. A bike accident and Pruitt is seeing a sibling who doesn't exist. Small town life gets a creeptacular makeover in this story. I wanted to read more and see these worlds explored further.
Loved it! (5/5)

I Give You My Love by the Light of the Moon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Berthe gets sick in a coffee shop while a strange guy watches her. Her condition worsens, forcing her to leave her friends. Once outside, said guy follows her and offers his help. Each is different and he assists her in her new 'life.' This oddball story about love and acceptance is so sweet, humorous and whimsical. I liked it. 
Very good (3.5/5)

Night Swimming by Beth Revis
I haven't read this author's books and felt this story had to deal with one of her books. It took some time to get into it and was my least favorite.
Can't rate since I felt lost

Almost Normal by Carrie Ryan
Sarah, Wylie, Bart and Connor go to the amusement park at night seeking to do something regular like ride the Screaming Terror Coaster. Except this world isn't normal anymore and the coaster lives up to its name as zombies swarm the park. 
Good (3/5)

There's Nowhere Else by Jon Skovron
The only male author with a story. Sebastian has dreams where he's someone else, someplace else. When he is able to interact in one dream with his mind controlling the body of another, he decides to test out his new found talent further. The next body greets him, calling him a "night walker." I liked the idea of this but thought it needed to be longer.
Good (3/5)

Naughty or Nice by Myra McEntire
Best friends Henry and Bex take a trip to Bavaria with their private school. While there, they learn about the lore of Krampus (tourist eating monster). Both teens hang out, Henry hitting on a local girl while Bex tryies to attract the bartender when all she wants is Henry. The American teens get more than they bargained for with the locals and get real close to a true legend. Will they survive? Strange, entertaining, but left me with many questions.
Good (3.3/5)

Shadowed by Christine Johnson
This fantasy has tremendous potential but lacked enough depth to make it fully believable. Esme is restricted to living in the tower of her family's castle. She is cursed and her shadow has the ability to kill her whenever she steps into the light. Watching a knight battle outside, she finds him attractive. Insta-love between them and I wondered how much of the knight she could see from the distance of her window to the ground.
Good (3.3/5)

Now Bid Time Return by Saundra Mitchell
Dacey wins a one week trip to Norway to photograph the aurora borealis on polar night. Out at dinner, she is told the story of the legendary Kristian, and learns the cottage she is staying at was built by him for his true love. Soul mates and true love make this a cute story.
Very Good (3.5/5)

The Moth and the Spider by Sarah Ockler
Cali has been back home for two weeks. She's on medication (suicide?) and her doctor has described her behavior as attention-seeking. She becomes fixated with the moth and spider in her window. Another of my least favorites.
Can't rate, didn't get it

Where the Light Is by Jackson Pearce
My second favorite! Will is a Middleview boy and like his father before him is now a miner. Dad was a hero but Will hates the mines. While working he hears sounds and discovers Ennor, a "Knocker" who are the faeries of the mines. They become friends over time. Friendship, trust, love and respect for the earth make this a truly entertaining and fully fleshed out favorite.
Loved it (5/5)

This Was Ophelia by Tessa Gratton
She dresses like a guy and hits the popular clubs of the 1920's in New York City. "Call me 'O'" she says. One night, she attracts the attention of the dead mayor's son, Hal King. They fall in love but Hal doesn't know her true gender. They correspond, their families are celebrating their union until these two come face to face. A wacky love story. A highlight are the references to the madness of Shakespeare's Ophelia. Enjoyed it but was left wondering.
Liked it (4/5)

Cover comment:

Book source: 
I read the ARC which was missing one story by a contest winner.

Check out all the tour stops:
Monday, June 10: Birth of a New Witch
Tuesday, June 11: Seeing Night Reviews
Wednesday, June 12: Book Belles
Thursday, June 13: here
Friday, June 14 Soul Unsung
Saturday, June 15: Valerie K Writes

We are giving away one copy of Defy the Dark, a gorgeous bookmark, and a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. This giveaway is open to US and Canada mailing addresses only and ends on June 26.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I do like anthologies since I sometimes find authors I like who I have never heard of before.

  2. Definitely! Because all these authors are awesome and I'm sure they'll shove all their usual awesomeness in a short story:) LOVE all the creepiness you talk about in your short reviews:)

  3. YES! I love reading anthologies. Especially when traveling.

  4. Sounds like an amazing anthology! Its an awesome way to imtroduce yourself to new authors too :-) Thank you for the giveaway!

  5. I do like reading anthologies. I enjoy reading different authors work. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  6. Sure, The last I read was Unnatural creatures by neil gaiman.

  7. I do.. some i have read in the past were good!! thanks for the giveaway!!

  8. these sound interesting

  9. I think I do even though I have only read one.

  10. it really depends i've never read one before because usally i can't find one with authors i like.

  11. I haven't read that many, but I think I like them.