This is a fun collection of short stories involving popular authors of young adult fantasy. Sarah Mlynowski of Bras and Broomsticks tells a story about two girls going on a cruise. They are scoping out guys so one of them can lose their virginity. The two girls befriend another girl who warns them about a string of vampire attacks on cruise ships. Bodies are found overboard drained of blood. When Kristin finds the guy of her dreams and they are finally alone, we find out she has a secret of her own. Virginity has an entirely different meaning to these girls.
Claudia Gray, the author of the Evernight series, takes on a witches vacation filled with rivelry. Every year this coven gets together to work magic. Her mom’s coven from college and their families meet and the men in the family really have no idea that their wives and daughters are witches. Cicely hates Kathleen. The two have been rivals since they were little kids. When Kathleen brings a new boyfriend on vacation, Cecily suspects the boyfriend has been bewitched. Now Cecily must decide whether to risk performing powerful magic beyond her years.
Maureen Johnson of 13 Little Blue Envelopes fame writes about two sisters, the French countryside and a strange curse. When people hear a story about the French Revolution they are compelled to commite murder.
Cassandra Clare, author of City Of Bones & City Of Ashes, writes about a family that vacations next to an ancient witch. The villa staff’s warnings are not enough to keep two curious teens from approaching her beach house.
The story that was truely terrifying was saved for last. Libba Bray, author of A Great And Terrible Beauty, scared me to death with her “Nowhere Is Safe.” A group of teens backpack through Europe and decide to go off the beaten path near Budepest for a little adventure. They go to small village for a festival with a dark history. They find ghosts, a frightening history of devil worship and a terrifying evil shrouded in mist and dense forests. I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep after reading this one!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
How is reading a collection of short stories different than a full novel? Which did you like better?
Talk about which stories were your favorites?
Did you think the students in Nowhere Is Safe were brave or stupid?
Talk about superstitions and how legends can shape the way we think.
Desperate circumstances can make people do horrible things. Talk about what would make a village sacrifice their own children.