Source: Stripes

Review: A Change Is Gonna Come

Posted September 4, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Review: A Change Is Gonna ComeA Change Is Gonna Come by Various
Published by Stripes Publishing on August 10th 2017
Pages: 384
Source: Stripes

Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene. Contributors include Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, Ayisha Malik, Irfan Master, Musa Okwonga and Nikesh Shukla.

Plus introducing four fresh new voices in YA fiction: Mary Bello, Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy.

Review: I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this was probably one of the most anticipated releases of Summer 2017. After the success of their Christmas and home themed anthology, Little Tiger announced a BAME YA anthology of poetry and prose with some of the country’s best YA voices. I’ve read several YA anthologies this year and I really like the format and introduction to new authors as well as more work from authors I already know.

Before I talk about the stories themselves, I think it’s worth saying how vitally important it is to for an anthology like this to be published and also how depressing it is that books like this are unusual. Darren Chetty wrote the foreword and he wrote a brilliant essay within The Good Immigrant about children being able to see themselves, or as the case may be currently sadly not, in literature.

I particularly found Nikesh Strukla’s contribution We Who? thought-provoking and depressingly realistic. It stayed with me afterwards and was very powerful. I think with the news in recent weeks and our 2017 world,  it shines an honest light. Tanya Byrne’s Hackney Moon was beautifully written and poignant. I also always enjoy Catherine Johnson’s writing and her addition to the anthology was not an exception to the rule there.

It stayed with me afterwards and was very powerful

A Change Is Gonna Come is not just about the established voices within UKYA though. Stripes held a competition and have published four new BAME authors in the anthology. I look forward to hearing more about these each of these talented authors in the future. Each story showed insight and had a strong, unique voice.

As an aside this anthology is also named after one of my favourite songs; A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke who was a brilliant singer and the song became an anthem in the 1960s civil rights movement (and the song has had a lasting legacy and acclaim since)

This is one of those cases where the hype is worth it; A Change Is Gonna Come has been talked about in the blogosphere for some time and so it should. It offers something for everyone and is important and meaningful and a brilliant addition to UKYA.

Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various

Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Various

Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a UKYA Christmas anthology by Stripes (Little Tiger) around the theme of home. £1 from each book sale is also donated to Crisis, the charity for homelessness. Notable UKYA writers such as Juno Dawson, Lisa Williamson, Benjamin Zephaniah and Marcus Sedgewick all contributed stories and a competition was held for an unpublished UKYA voice. Tracey Danton won this with her poignant short story, The Letter. I was very keen to read this anthology due to the themes and the fact that there aren’t many UK based YA anthologies and this is something I’d like to see more of as the community has some fantastic authors, many of whom don’t get the acclaim they may warrant. Short stories are also a fantastic way to sample an author and see if their style works for you. There are fourteen […]

Posted January 30, 2017 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Mini Reviews #5: It’s Getting A Little Creepy

Review: I love a good creepy read and Daughters Unto Devils definitely delivered with its historical setting, mountain location and distinctly sinister plot. After Amanda’s family move to a remote cabin, she hopes she can leave her past behind, including the fever that she’s worried has caused her to lose her mind. Only, the cabin is soaked in blood and there are stories about the area – about murder and unhinged minds. Oh, this book is delightfully creepy and Lukavics writes a sinister, disturbing tale with an intriguingly unreliable and very often unlikeable narrator. The plot develops and becomes even more horror-filled and disturbing by the end and has this feverish quality to it. The horror and gore is not sanitised so I would recommend this to younger readers personally. Books like this aren’t for everyone; that said fans of books with […]

Posted February 10, 2016 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Review: I was really intrigued when I heard that Stripes were going to be publishing YA and not just YA but creepy horror YA in the style of the old Point Horrors under ‘Red Eye’. I love horror movies (not so much the gory ones) and at the same time hate them because I always get five minutes into a film and remember I actually have an overactive imagination and will get a bit freaked out. Frozen Charlotte involves an old boarding school and creepy dolls and the scares start early with a very creepy oujia board scene (always a subplot that will scare me). Sophie is a strong narrator dealing with the death of her best friend and the weight of the possibility of their oujia experience having a significant part in that death after calling on her dead cousin. She […]

Posted January 9, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 5 Comments