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Defy the Dark (Across the Universe 0.7 (Night Swimming))

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  464 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
The seventeen original stories in Defy the Dark, an eerie, mind-bending YA anthology, could only take place in darkness.

Open the pages and discover: A creepy guy who stares too long. The secrets of the core of the earth. Dreams of other people’s lives. A girl who goes mad in the darkness. Monsters in Bavaria. A generational spaceship where night doesn’t exist. And other my
Hardcover, 455 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by HarperTeen
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Not a bad little collection of stories. Some stories are disturbing, others creepy. We had modern tales, medieval fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, science fiction and more in this book! If it has to do with darkness or nighttime it could be in hear. Many of the stories leave you with a feeling of wondering what happened as you use your imagination to fill in the blanks.

So here are my thoughts (briefly) for each story.

Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers
The main character stalks her ex-boyfriend who
Mar 28, 2012 Courtney added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
so proud to be part of this anthology!

also the final story could be written by YOU:
3.5 stars, most of the stories are descent.

Thoughts about the short stories within the book:

Nature by Aprilynne Pike

Read the first few pages then gave up. Eventually I skimmed to get to the last page of this story, only to find in a dystopian future society, everything is alright because the MC found true love with a boy who showed interest in her!

Totally not amused. 0 star.

Ghost Town by Malinda Lo

It's a nice LGTB paranormal YA short story, the MC isn't an idiot, and I like it. 5 stars.

"The Sunf
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An interesting collection of short stories that I enjoyed but would never read again.

Opening Sentence: Jed Miller is a sleepwalker.

The Review:

Defy the Dark is collection of seventeen stories written by various authors. For the most part they all feature something to do with darkness. Many of the stories are on the scary side, there are also a few paranormal ones, and one dystopian one as well. It was a unique blend of mostly interesting litt
Jul 08, 2013 Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally at:

DEFY THE DARK was one of my very anticipated reads of June, and I only hadn’t recommended it before because I wasn’t sure how you went about recommending an anthology. Here’s what I concluded, though:

Read it.


DFD was an amazing collection of short stories from an even better line-up of authors. I can honestly say I read them all in one night and loved them. That’s not to say that I didn’t have my favorites oh i did and so I’ll use them
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Rating* 3-3.5
*Genre* Young Adult


When I heard that this book was being released, I decided to join the Defy The Dark's mini blog tour and agreed to post my honest thoughts on the stories, and the book itself. There are many different authors that I have followed or have read (1) or more of their works, that I had to see if this was worth the effort to read. I have decided to break down each story individually, instead of at a whole, so that you can see which one's I really liked, and whi
Dec 05, 2013 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Across the Universe Prequel

OMG. yes, more of this please :D

I loved it! Getting a peak into the head of that creepy guy who was always scribbling and being angry.

OMG I thought this guy was in book 2, but NO, it's LUTHOR!
Luthor, the crazy guy! I found it in As They Slip Away

where Kayleigh talks about his interest in her and him watching her. Ugh.

but it was great to read this little peak and be with them on Godspeed again. before book 3, before some things go crazy. I loved it!

Rate this a 4 I did read two books out of this book. I only brought it so I can read Almost Normal that went with the other short stories to forest of hands and teeth. I mean I wanted to read the other stories but I got bored! So anyways I'll rate this for almost normal which I enjoyed that book and for the first book that was in the beginning of the book it was something about sleepwalking I did enjoyed that even though it was mad short and I wanted that boy to wake up and see her for goodnes
Feb 12, 2014 Mhairi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at Mhairi Reads

Defy the Dark is an anthology of stories set under the cover of darkness. Written by seventeen Young Adult authors, the stories cover a wide variety of genres, including dystopia, horror, paranormal, romance and crime. I picked this one up for two reasons:

1. It features stories by my perrenial favourites Sarah Rees Brennan and Carrie Ryan.

2. It has a super pretty cover and I am a total sucker for those.

In addition to some great standalone pieces, Defy the Dark al
Kim Maule
Sep 07, 2014 Kim Maule rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a big fan of this collection of short stories. There were several "new to me" authors whose other work I'm now determined to track down. In the interest of not spoiling any of stories, I'm not going to provide summaries of each one, just my own overall impressions.

Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers

This was seriously creepy and a great start to an anthology about darkness. I love everything Courtney Summers writes, so I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed this.

Nature by Aprilynne Pike

This was my fi
Laurie Treacy
I first have to begin my review by stating I have grown to love reading anthologies. Not only do these collections provide readers the opportunity to discover new writers, the shorter works are fabulous when we don't have time to read an entire novel. Plus, I enjoy the variety of works and diverseness of subject matter made available. Defy the Dark contains an amazing array of stories, some I loved and others I liked. I'm on an anthology kick now--I'm reading Shards and Ashes (dystopian YA). Her ...more
La Coccinelle
Defy the Dark offers seventeen (I don't know why the synopsis says sixteen) short stories that all involve things that happen in the dark. I wasn't sure what to expect, genre-wise, from this collection. It's actually a mixed bag: contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, historical...

It's difficult to review and rate a book when it's written by seventeen different people. So I thought I'd share a little bit of my reaction to each story in the collection:

"Sleepstalk" by Courtney Summers - This is a
GENRE: YA Paranormal
THEME: Romance, Magic, Paranormal, and Science Fiction
RECEIVED: Epic Reads

I haven’t read or reviewed many anthologies before and to me it’s hard to pinpoint everything without spoiling too much. I’m going to try my best and give an idea of what I enjoyed about each one and hopefully it will help recommend some great story telling. At the beginning it does mentioned that there was a contest for a new author to debut their story in
Kaleena Melotti
Sep 18, 2013 Kaleena Melotti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Defy the Dark is a collection of sixteen short stories all by different authors. They're all stories of what happens when you're in the dark, but vastly different writing styles and genres. I don't quite know how to rate/review a collection of stories. Some I loved, some I didn't, and some I just... didn't get, I guess? So, rather than give a detailed review of each (they're short... I don't want to give anything away), I'm going to give a snippet of my thoughts on each.

Intro by Saundra Mitchell
This is the best anthology I've ever read.

That wasn't something I was expecting. Sure, it has two authors I enjoy, but it also has a few that I don't, and the premise... wasn't great, exactly. But this book fortunately surprised me, by offering some of the most consistently good short stories I've ever read, trumping my previous favorite, Geektastic. It's also one of only two anthologies where I didn't DNF a single story. So, here's a story by story review.

Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers: 4/5
Jan 16, 2016 Emelie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a really fast paced book even if it almost 500 pages! A book with 17 short stories about to defy the dark (duh?!)

My favorites were:
- ghost town - Malinda Lo
- night swimming - Beth Revis
- the sunflower murders - Kate Espey
- naughty or nice - Myra McEntire and
- now bid time return - Saundra Mitchell
Jan 25, 2016 Mary rated it liked it
Lots of fun, as these YA anthologies typically are! Some of the stories are more my thing than other. The "dark" element brought out a lot of Stephen King-for-kiddies, and I didn't like those as much as I liked the other stories that were less creepy/gross.

Here are the stories I LOVED:
Stillwater by Valerie Kemp
I Gave You My Love by the Light of the Moon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Shadowed by Christine Johnson
Now Bid Time Return by Saundra Mitchell
Where the Light Is by Jackson Pearce

Honorary mentions g
May 10, 2016 Michele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, ya
technically I didn't read all of the short stories in here because I am lazy at the moment about learning new authors. here are the ones I read.

the dark side of the moon by dia reeves. it was okay. it made me want to read her other 2 again more. I've only read them once and it might be time.

eyes in the dark by Rachel Hawkins. creepy. but not too obvious. I really thought the evil was going to be some thing else (looking at you, human boy).

I gave you my love by the light of the moon by Sarah Re
I only read 3 of the stories:

Night Swimming by Beth Revis: This story was OK. It dealt with characters that are side characters in her main Across the Universe trilogy. Honestly, I read the trilogy a couple years back, and didn't remember much about these characters as I was reading this short. I vaguely remember how the end of this story is mentioned in one of the main books.

Eyes in the Dark by Rachel Hawkins: I adore Rachel Hawkins writing. I flew thru the Hex Hall trilogy so I made it a poin
Mar 12, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

*Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers
*Nature by Aprilynne Pike
*The Dark Side of the Moon by Dia Reeves
*Ghost Town by Malinda Lo
*Eyes in the Dark by Rachel Hawkins
*Stillwater by Valerie Kemp
*I Gave You My Love by the Light of the Moon by Sarah Rees Brennan
*Night Swimming by Beth Revis
*Almost Normal by Carrie Ryan
*There's Nowhere Else by Jon Skovron
*Naughty or Nice by Myra McEntire
*Shadowed by Christine Johnson
*Now Bid Time Return by Saundra Mitchell
*The Moth and the Spider by Sarah Ockler
Feb 12, 2015 Louisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know the title is Defy the Dark, but a good deal of these stories were about living in the darkness! Lots of creepy books, a lot with no real happy endings, but oh, well, really great short stories, loved reading them!
Mar 01, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it took me forever to get into this book (or rather I had this one sitting on my desk for a while now), but I thought it was a great little collection of short stories from some of my favourite authors. But mind you though, I'm not really a huge fan of short stories (though that depends on who writes those short stories) or at least I don't get the same satisfaction from a short story compared to a full length book that I always, always enjoy more, which is probably why I did hold off from ...more
Mar 02, 2016 julieta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cs-rec, ric
Read Courtney Summer's story.
Oct 29, 2015 Priscila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, since this is an anthology it's a little harder to review. What I can say is that I you've read the authors that are included before then what you expect is exactly what you'll get. I know that's totally obvious, but it's true.

The reason that I want to write a review is mainly because there was a joke about asexuals and it was really shitty.

I read the book a while ago so bear with me. This story in the anthology was titled "Naughty or Nice" by Myra McEntire.

It's about s girl and a guy who
black lamb
Aug 01, 2013 black lamb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
First of all: Overall, I greatly enjoyed this anthology. There were a few duds, but overall the stories, even if they didn't engage me and weren't really what I was interested in, were interesting and well-written. There were a couple stories I was absolutely thrilled to discover, and a few that I rolled my eyes at so hard they nearly rolled right out of my skull. I'm going to go over the highlights only, since there are like seventeen short stories in this and that's too many to go in-depth on ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
Until recently, I haven’t been one for short stories. I felt they left too much unsaid, ended too soon, and/or just didn’t satisfy me the way a larger work can. Then I read a few recent anthologies, starting with Enthralled. That is the one that started this. I fell in love with short stories then, and have read a few anthologies since – being quite eager to be part of blog tours that involve these tomes. I have been mostly rewarded. Before I talk about Defy the Dark as a whole, I thought I’d no ...more
I have a lot of respect for these authors. It must be hard work, coming up with a memorable, creative story only twenty to thirty pages long. Many of these stories are either paranormal or dystopian, and that means thinking up a new world and its rules as well. Like I said, a lot of respect.

It's difficult to review anthologies, especially one with so many stories like Defy the Dark. If it had only three or four stories, I could review each one, but that isn't very practical, as there are around
I was torn on how to rate this book. Some of the stories were really enjoyable. A few of them confused me, though, or really seriously annoyed me, and so I can't give it an overall great rating. Here's a breakdown author by author, in order:
Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers--read like a convincing glimpse into the mind of a violent stalker. obviously quite disturbing reading because of this, but I thought it was well done.
Nature by Aprillyn Pike--I loved the initial concept of the story, and was r
I don't really like short stories (I know, I know, I say that all the time and then I KEEP ON READING THEM), but there are a couple of authors in this collection that I do like and so I figured I'd give it a try, because every now and then short stories manage to surprise me. And there were a couple in this collection that I enjoyed fairly well. I was kind of fascinated with Dia Reeves' Portero after reading Bleeding Violet, but a whole book of it is kind of intense, so her story in this collect ...more
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Saundra Mitchell is a longtime screenwriter and author. Random House's Delacorte Press published her debut novel, Shadowed Summer, on February 10th, 2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's will publish her next novel, The Vespertine in Spring 2011, with its companion novel, The Springsweet, following in Spring 2012.

For almost ten years, she was the sole screenwriter for the Book of Stories, On
More about Saundra Mitchell...

Other Books in the Series

Across the Universe (3 books)
  • Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
  • A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)
  • Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)

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