Monday, March 12, 2018

ARC Review: The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood and more

Title: The Radical Element
Series: A Tyranny of Petticoats #2
Written by: Jessica Spotswood and more
Published: March 13, 2018 by Candlewick Press

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis:In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself—should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It's a decision that must be faced whether you're balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it's the only decision when you've weighed society's expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs—whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they're asking you to join them.

I read A Tyranny of Petticoats in 2016 and I totally enjoyed it. I don't read a ton of short story anthologies but I loved that one and I was excited to read more, especially with the amazing authors in this collection, and I was not disappointed.

Like the last book, this one was full of diverse stories. It spanned different locations and centuries and immersed the reader in the period and the setting. Each author did a great of establishing the time and place. Some of the stories and locations were familiar and others were completely new to me. Some of the stories had some magic to them, and others were rooted in reality. I think some of my favorites were ones that had more fantasy elements like When the Moonlight Isn't Enough By Dhonielle Clayton and Glamour by Anna-Marie McLemore. I also loved The Magician by Erin Bowman, Step Right Up by Jessica Spotswood, and Land of the Sweet Home of the Brave by Stacey Lee. Obviously some stories were better than others but I don't think there was a bad story in the bunch.

I think one of the best things about this book and the real connective tissue is the characters. Even though they were so different, they all had one thing in common. For one thing, they are all these kick ass female characters. But the real reason they all felt so familiar is that they all had this yearning. This yearning and desire to be more than they are or exactly who they are even though it may not be what people expect for them. It made them really engaging and likable characters. I rooted for all of them and wanted to seem them achieve their goals. Each author really did such a great job with the characterization in such a short story.

This was a really short and easy read. Each of the stories was engaging and interesting and it was easy to read them in short bursts. But before you know it you have finished the entire book. Each story on it's own was really great but collectively this is look at amazing young women throughout history who were completely themselves and achieved their yearning for more. It's a fantastic collection of stories of kickass women that I really enjoyed.

I give The Radical Collection by Jessica Spotswood and more 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy! This was a really good read. I enjoyed the stories a lot and I think not only will fans of anthologies or short stories will like it but also fans of historical fiction.

Have you read The Radical Element? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. I noticed that this book has authors like Marieke Nijkamp and Mackenzi Lee, so now I'm really interested in it. It sounds really amazing!