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Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire
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Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  59 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)
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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


Because what the fuck.


What the fuck?
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,
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
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
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
I love anthologies but I don't like this one at all. Some of them read as slash fanfiction, as they were cliché, unbelievable and 'experimental'/spur of the moment tropes. The writing in those stories also came off as amateurish.
I'm sorry to say that my two stars are pity stars because this anthology features two well-known authors: one star for Maria V. Snyder and 1/2 a star for Carrie Vaughn.

The trouble we've got here is that this anthology tackles romance and dystopia, two very different gen
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
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.
Jen Minkman
I have to say I was a bit anxious to start this one, because short stories don't always work that well and a collection with so many different authors can go either way. Fortunately, I liked this book a lot. Granted, there were some stories in there that clearly demonstrate not all authors have a knack for short story-telling (which is no mean feat), but I discovered some great new authors thanks to this collection. There were some true gems in here, and I also appreciated the fact that 6 storie ...more
Reading this book was actually way cooler than I had anticipated. There are 15 chapters, each by a different author, and each featuring a story completely unrelated to the others. I absolutely loved being able to read one chapter a night, and be able to enter a completely different world the next day.

I think one of the cool aspects about this collection is that all 15 authors were asked to consider the same two factors: 1) What would happen to our world if it ended, and 2) A love story between t
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I liked how the stories focused on a mix of queer and straight couples. The quality of the stories varied, or maybe it was just that I was more drawn to certain writing styles and premises.
Kelsey S. Hock
I make a point to only ever rate the books I read completely, but I made an exception since this is a collection of short stories. Keeping that in mind, I only read the ones that really hooked me, and of those my average rating was a 4.

I think it was a generally good collection, not being a particular hard core ya post-apoc reader, but if you're into that stuff I would definitely recommend. It could also be used for inspiration for writer's block.

My favourites would be:
Berserker Eyes - Maria V.
Robyn Drummond
I was really excited to read this! Some of the stories focused more on the dystopian than the romance which means I couldn't connect with the characters and I feel that some of the stories would have benefited more from being a novel and not squashed into a short story. Never the less I really did enjoy some of the stories.
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
Some of them were really good and I really wished I could follow up on those and others were just so-so.
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.
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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
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