Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring som...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Running Press Kids (first published January 19th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,938)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
May 13, 2012 Reynje marked it as to-read
Shelves: on-hold
Reviewing as I go, so let's get this party started.

Berserker Eyes by Maria V Snyder - 2.5 stars

Knocking half a star off what's otherwise a good story because the ending feels rushed and anti-climactic. It's light on the love angle, which is fine, but it feels a slightly odd choice for this particular anthology.

Kiss Count: 1
Domes: Nope
Insta-Love: Not really.
Breeding References: Yes

Now Purple With Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughan - 3 stars

This is not the story I thought it would be, and that is a...more
The average of all the individual stars was 3.6, but I rounded up.

Just a small disclaimer, I have nothing against gay/lesbian/bi/etc. couples, I am critiquing the writing only.

This book had the "brave" and some of the "new", but love was lacking in some of the stories. Please be aware that five of these stories do have gay/lesbian/bi themes so if you don't like it, skip those stories. They will be noted in the individual reviews below.

HIDDEN RIBBON by John Shirley
4.5 stars- Good world building,...more
I read 4 stories, and that was enough to make it clear that this anthology focuses on the romance, and not the dystopia. I read the stories by the 3 authors who have written novels I've read (and liked). The other story I read for no other reason than just to read it. None of the other stories attracted me enough to actually read them.

In the Clearing/Kiera Cass: 3 stars- Predictable, vaguely dystopian, and hard to distinguish between the 2 points of view in some parts.

Now Purple with Love's Woun...more
Berserker Eyes was amazing. I loved it. The others .... eh. Disappointment.

I guess the stories being a compilation, it would be hard to try to mention the beginning, middle, and climax in a 20-40 page novelette. So I understand that. And because I didn't finish this book except for the few stories above, I will not give this book a rating.

See? I'm being fair.
I'm gonna give the book overall a rating but I'll mention each story on its own. This book actually surprised me and was a lot better than I expected.

Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley
I didn't really like this one at all. I found the writing to be kind of immature and the characters seemed to fall flat. Things happened without much building up to them. The romance wasn't didn't feel real - the author made sure to mention that the two main characters "talked all night", but nothing was shown of any co...more
I generally enjoy dystopias so this compilation sounded intriguing. I only read three of these before I was reminded that short stories often frustrate me, because they don’t have the time to expand on the characters or the world. I also started a couple and then realized they are GLBT, which doesn’t interest me. Here’s a brief look at the three I read.

The Clearing by Kiera Cass. Mackenzie is kidnapped from her home by Dylan,a thief who usually only steals food to feed the small group of people...more
Rating is more in the neighborhood of a 4.25 because there were a few stories that were downright terrible otherwise it would have been a five.

Rated 1: Sense does not live in this universe.

Rated 2: Hummm

Rated 3: This was kind of unremarkable and forgettable but the premise was promising.

Rated 4: Almost got it right but there's something missing here.

Rated 5: Potential for a full book.

So going story by story :

"Hidden Ribbon" by John Shirley 3

"The Salt Sea and the Sky" by Elizabeth Bear 3

"In the...more
It was different....dystopian. My favorite love story was the one by Kiera Cass. With evil Monica after Mackenzie for falling for Dylan-its awesome! Some of the love stories were confusing and hard to understand, but ok. I hope the authors take these mini stories and make them into a book!
Feb 07, 2012 Anila marked it as to-read
it really is time we did a little follow-up.

Tracking this one down with all the resources I have. As a college student, these are few in number, but I am still optimistic.
Well I thought I would be amazed and blown away by this book. Truthfully only a few of the stories in here amazed me and I'm going to rate a few stories individually so you get an idea of how I viewed them.

Hidden Ribbon by: John Shirley: 4 stars: This was a good start to the book. Giorgio and Felice are trying to escape their controlled society together. Giorgio feels an attraction for Felice, but isn't sure if it's worth it. In the end he discovers it is and they escape together.

The Salt Sea an...more
Well, this book was a disappointment. I was really excited because it was dystopian short stories. What’s better than a dystopian world? LOTS of dystopian worlds! But most of the stories I read in this book I did NOT like. Some of them I didn’t like because I’m fairly conservative and I didn’t agree with the relationships portrayed, but there were a lot of stories I just flat-out did not like because of the way they were written. Many were dark, or weird. Some were disjointed and didn’t really m...more
If I could, I would've given this book 2.5 stars instead of 3 stars. But rounded up since there were a number of stories I liked.

Though after the first two stories, I really wanted to put down this book because of the cruddy quality of the short stories, but I'm glad I kept reading because I did encounter a few that I liked (Berserker Eyes, Arose
From Poetry, Seekers in the City

But I also encountered quite a few that I disliked for whatever reason. Some had a completely unbelievable world that...more
I don't often read short stories, for the simple reason that I don't often enjoy them. When an author is constrained to a short space, it is very hard for them to build realistic, rounded characters and worlds and to have much in the way of plot development. Even the best writers often fall far short of the mark. But this one arrived in my inbox and I thought - well, it's free, I'll give it a shot.

It's difficult to accurately rate an anthology - some stories I thought held a lot of promise. Othe...more
I took way too long to read this... But that's the great thing about short stories. You can take a break in the middle for as long as you want.

Anyway, like all compilations, there were some that were better than others... But nothing I strongly disliked. (Yes, Becky, I am capable of disliking things.) I appreciated the variety of dystopias represented, as well as variety of relationships.

Favorites: Berserker Eyes (interesting premise - kids with recessive berserker genes are locked away until th...more
Prelim Review: The interesting thing about this collection is that quite a few of the authors aren't normally YA authors. Amanda Downum for instance writes fantasy and John Shirley writes a lot of media tie-in fiction for games and movies. Also there's about twice as much LGBT fiction in here then any other anthology I've read in genre fiction (not specifically geared in that direction). In that, I found this worth reading.

It fails however in that yes its a dystopic future, but very few of the s...more
Meaghan R. (YA-aholic)
i am on the 4th or 5th story, "otherwise" by Nisi Shawl, and it is AWFUL!!!! -not the actual story, but the writing! it is soooo bad that it is overpowering my curiosity of what these private universes are that i have lost interest. that said, i am taking a break from this book altogether...i really hate not finishing something, so skipping the story is out of the question, so i am now reading The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher...

i stopped reading this book..i had accidentally moved it to r...more
I don't know what I like and not about this book, first of all I didn't know anything about the most of the authors which was good because then I don't have any expectations and I'm quite fond of love stories but my feelings are a bit mixed! but unlike many others there are some novels I like, more or less, as Maria V. Snyder's berserkers eyes, Kiera Cass in the clearing, Carrie Ryan the dream eater and most of all maybe Amanda Downum's Red who offered an really unexpected dystopi and the novels...more
I'm pretty much reading this anthology piece by piece,so I'll write a little for each story and then average the rating after I finish.

Hidden Ribbon: 2/5
-I liked the plot, but I wasn't crazy about the writing style.

The Salt Sea and the Sky: 2.5/5
-I LOVED the writing in this. I just feel like nothing happened in this story...

In the Clearing: 4.5/5
-This one lived up to my high expectations.

Now Purple With Love's Wound: 5/5
-GREAT :) I enjoyed the writing and the plot was unique.

The Up: 3/5
-It wasn...more
Marissa Hakala
I really enjoyed some of the stories, but some of the others were not so much. This probably would have received four stars if The Empty Pocket was just cut out of the book. I honestly had no idea what was going on the whole time and I had to force myself to finish it. I really enjoyed In the Clearing, Berserker Eyes and Foundlings. The rest were okay. Some were better than others but none really stood out. It seemed to me like a lot of the stories ended pretty much the same. I liked the romance...more
This book is a collection of different stories from different authors, so I will be focusing on the book as a whole rather thatn reviwing each story individually. The stories ranged from being mostly about the love story and less about the dystopian background, to mainly about showing off the new world with a smattering of love. And since the stories are from different authors, the writing varies a lot: one author uses cursing, while another uses flowery language; some authors write about a boy...more
I was really hoping for more variety in the stories in ideas, plot, and characters. They were very similar and it made them less interesting.
I liked a few of the stories from my favorite authors. But, many seemed a bit unfinished or the story trailed off.
Half of the stories were good, two were great, and the rest fell flat for me.
I think in no fault to the book, that I need to stop reading short stories. They end so abrupt I always get mad and take it out on the story. Not the stories fault, it's my fault.
But I can say that some of these didn't feel dystopian at all. And some of them didn't seem to have much romance either.
Read this with an open mind, without going into it and automatically thinking dystopian, and you might enjoy it more.
Haiku Reviews
I love all these tales
They felt like the start, not whole
I wish there was more

What is Brave New Love
What does it mean to be brave
To be courageous

Thirteen tales of love
Girls who like girls who like boys too
And boys who like boys

There are straight couples
Who fight the good fight and win
Young couples who try

I loved this good book
Keep an open mind and read
You may find something
I just realized rating an anthology is hard because it's basically a collection of a lot of really different stories. Some of the stories I loved, others not so much. And then there are others that I just plain don't understand. I guess it's pretty good introduction to some new authors but other than that it's not that amazing.
Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books
Read this and more at my blog:

Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley

I have never heard of this author before and have therefore never read anything by him...and I don't plan on ever reading anything else by him. This was so underdeveloped and over descriptive I didn't want to even read the next story. Way to start off an anthology...with a shitty story.

0.5 out of 5

The Salt Sea and the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

This had potential to be something interesting but it just s...more
Among some shining gems there were quite a few lower calibre stories in this anthology. Nothing I actively disliked, only one that made me go "huh?", so overall very readable, and those gems make it well worth the four star rating. Great to see a number of stories with non-hetero YA protagonists.
Jul 17, 2012 Abby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Abby by: one of the authors
A collection of stories about love in a horrible future. I really read this because of the story "Foundlings" by Diana Peterfreund, but I liked a lot of the others as well. As with all anthologies, there were a few duds but overall this showed the depth and creativity of YA authors out there now.
The majority of stories featured in this book were boring, uninspired and featured the dreaded insta-love trope. The good news is that it featured several same-sex romances. The bad news is those stories were just as insipid as the hetero ones. But at least they're there. Yay progress?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 64 65 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia
  • Willful Impropriety: 13 Tales of Society, Scandal  and Romance
  • Defy the Dark
  • Diverse Energies
  • Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance
  • Other Worlds Than These
  • The First Time
  • Magic in the Mirrorstone: Tales of Fantasy
  • Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances
  • Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy
  • Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction
  • Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction
  • Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions
  • Dark Duets
  • Truth and Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness
  • The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity
Paula Guran is senior editor for Prime Books. She edited the Juno fantasy imprint from its small press inception through its incarnation as an imprint of Pocket Books. She is also senior editor of Prime's soon-to-launch digital imprint Masque Books. Guran edits the annual Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series as well as a growing number of other anthologies. In an earlier life she produced we...more
More about Paula Guran...
New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird Vampires: The Recent Undead Zombies: The Recent Dead The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2010 Edition Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations

Share This Book

“In a matter of seconds, all the events of the morning became incredibly clear. For years I'd been stealing things for the group, making sure everyone had what they needed. Today, for the first time, I took something for myself. And it was the dumbest thing I'd ever done. There was no way we could actually keep her here for long, and, if we did, girls didn't fall for boys who stole them.” 3 likes
More quotes…