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Defy the Dark (Across the Universe 0.7)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  323 ratings  ·  71 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 (first published June 1st 2013)
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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
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
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
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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!
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
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
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
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
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
black lamb
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
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
Short stories are sometimes hard to get into if you've been reading novels only. But Defy tthe Dark was surprisingly easy to get into. And easy to read though too. I found most of the stories interesting, but a few a bit vague and confusing, as expected of a short story. And then there were the stories that I loved. From favourite authors, and authors who I now totally want to read their other works, this is a great collection of short stories. I loved their order and the fact that they seemed t ...more
Not bad but nothing exceptional to me. There were a few stories smith at caught my attention but for the most part I honestly just found myself bored with it. I've read anthologies and story collections before that kept my attention even through the less than stellar stories, this however did not.

The writing is good and the authors are fine, but I just can't maintain an interest in this. I made it almost halfway through before I quit. It's just not for me I guess.
Stefan Bachmann
So, I had never read an anthology before, everrrrrr, and since we have an anthology coming out in about a month, I thought I should, ya know, read other people's anthologies and see what the experience was like. So I got this one, and I'm not lying when I say I really love the whole anthology concept. I loved having an entire smorgasbord of voices and authors and characters and settings, and I loved knowing that I could put this down whenever I had finished a short story and pick it up again whe ...more
I kind of love reviewing short story anthologies because to me, they are easy to review. I just pop up the name of each story, summarize it and give a little paragraph of my opinion for each story. That’s not terribly hard and the review basically writes itself. I pulled Defy The Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell off my pile because it was the last ARC I had that was a short story anthology. Friends, this anthology took me a really long time to read. First off, there are a TON of stories in it. Se ...more
this book was pretty great. a lot of these short I wish were actual novels they made me want more. I started out as mostly scifi ghost stories, scary stories. defy the dark. but it really hits more then just scary things DARK int just night its the hidden things about suicide and hiding who you really are when you think no one will understand. it was quite beautiful and well put together.
Amanda Gylling
Unfortunately, like with many anthologies, I had to wade through a bunch of crappy short stories before I reached the good stuff. Pretty much every story that was not written by a major author like the ones listed on the front of the book was a bust. The ones that were the worst though were the stories that glorified and worshipped the main characters who were gay or lesbian. The graphic content in those stories should have insured that they never made it into a book for people younger than adul ...more
Nicole Chisari
The Good: "Almost Normal" by Carrie Ryan; "The Sunflower Murders" by Kate Espey; "Naughty or Nice" by Myra McEntire; "Ghost Town" by Malinda Lo; "Stillwater" by Valerie Kemp; "Shadowed" by Christine Johnson; "Eyes in the Dark" by Rachel Hawkins

The OK: "The Moth and the Spider" by Sarah Ockler; "Sleepstalk" by Courtney Summers; "I Gave You My Love..." by Sarah Rees Brennan; "Night Swimming" by Beth Revis

Didn't Do it For Me: "Nature" by Aprilynne Pike; "The Dark Side of the Moon" by Dia Reeve
I always find different authors every time I pick up one of these kinds of books. This time I picked up this book not really completely knowing any of the authors (I have not previously read anything by them unless they where in other short story books). I loved Courtney Summers, Aprilynne Pike, Malinda Lo, Rachel Hawkins, Kate Espey and Carrie Ryan's stories. I honestly tried to try everyone else but I think two were novellas or short stories from a series (ie Beth Revis I think wrote something ...more
D Carr
While there were one or two stories that were too (ethically) gross for my taste (one of which I just did not finish), all in all, this was a wonderfully modern collection of dark tales.
I didn't used to be an anthology reader, but lately I'm finding that I'm really enjoying them. Saundra Mitchell's The Chosen One was one of my favorite stories in Foretold (ed. by Carrie Ryan) and the reason I chose this book.

The stories all center on things that happen in the dark. There are big name writers and even one from a high school student and really, they're all good.

My personal favorites are (in no order): Now Bid Time Return (Saundra Mitchell); This Was Ophelia (Tessa Gratton); Ther
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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...
The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1) Shadowed Summer The Springsweet (The Vespertine, #2) Mistwalker The Elementals (The Vespertine, #3)

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