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Sixteen: Stories about That Sweet and Bitter Birthday
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Sixteen: Stories about That Sweet and Bitter Birthday

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3.35  ·  Rating details ·  985 ratings  ·  60 reviews
An incredible anthology of 16 short-stories by award winning & critically acclaimed young-adult authors, inspired by all the angst, melodrama, and wonderment of being sixteen. These hilarious, poignant, and touching tales capture all the emotions and milestones of this age ranging from first love to establishing one's own identity. A perfect read for anyone about to re ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by Broadway Books (first published May 1st 2004)
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3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  985 ratings  ·  60 reviews


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Sunhi
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I spotted this sweet little polka-dotted book at the used bookstore the other day. I noted the title, the editor (she wrote my beloved books Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings), and the copy included the words "hilarious and poignant". What a lie. If this book were more honest it would be "Well-written stories that will make you sad for the rest of the night and you'll lie on your bed and weep and despair through several of them."

Some of the stories, including Sarah Dessen's and Megan McCafferty'
...more
Laura
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has been, is, or will be sixteen
The depth and breadth of the stories in this anthology is remarkable. The one that sticks with me the most is "The Alumni Interview", although they are all excellent. I enjoyed reading about sixteen from so many different perspectives. It also made me think back to my own teenage years and all of the things that I leaned along the way. Some of the stories also made me miss the people I hung out with then. Although I still see some of them, I haven't heard from others in years. Aaahhhh, nostalgia ...more
jacky
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Infinity - I really liked this one. Potentially a good choice for how a story can have multiple stories working together. Growing up in a town with a rotary, I especailly enjoyed that aspect.

Relent/Persist - This one is told through letters, emails, and instant messages. I enjoyed how it was very realistic. Particularly, there were bits that could have been based on notes between my high school friends.
Meredith
Apr 19, 2011 marked it as to-read
Looks amazing! I love it when authors come together and write books!
Cecilia
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Average Star Rating: 3.25 out of 5
OVERALL OPINION: Overall, the voices were captured well, the plots were well-constructed, and the character personalities were well-developed. That being said I had two major issues.

1. Despite the addition of homosexual characters (a good thing!) the inclusion of minority characters was very small. There was one explicitly non-white character, one character who may have had autism or not and one character who had a mental breakdown do to physical illness rather
...more
Brad
Jan 03, 2014 marked it as dnf-partial-read
Shelves: young-adult
I checked this out specifically to read Ned Vizzini's piece "Rutford Becomes a Man."* Unlike the other literary compilations I've read containing his short works (21 Proms, The Girl Who Was on Fire, Not Like I'm Jealous of Anything and Vizzini's collection of teenage essays Teen Angst? Naaah...), this piece was fiction. Being fiction, this short story had a looseness to it that has been missing in the other collections, which can feel at times like Vizzini is as much apologizing for himself as h ...more
NTE
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read for CBR6

, milestone birthdays that everyone remembers. Girls get a little bit more mileage out of it, what with the whole sweet sixteen thing, but even for guys, turning 16 tends to mean a certain amount of freedom – there’s the whole license thing, just for a start. Mine wasn’t like that, for various reasons, but I remember the hype. In the book, Sixteen; Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday, edited by Megan McCafferty, sixteen young adult authors tell some of their best stories a
...more
Alisha Marie
Apparently a girl's sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the be all to end all of all birthdays. It's supposed to be the year when your life begins. When everything of interest starts to happen to you. The cute guy right by your locker will finally notice you and your kick-ass boobs. The meanest girl in school will finally bow to your awesomeness and you'll get the chance to be a total bitch to her. It's supposed to be the year you look back at and think "Man, those were the days. The sneaking o ...more
Navi
I read this book two weeks ago with eager intent to review it.

And then I forgot about it.

This is a book with a Chinese prostitute drawing China on her breasts, and I forgot about it.

That's how boring these stories are.

Now, not all of them are horrible, a few are, but not all of them. I can only think of two standouts; Sarah Dessan's story at the very beginning and the aforementioned one with the prostitutes, which was actually a decently written history piece, as well.

But really, there was nothi
...more
Melissa Pilakowski
Sep 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Such a dearth of short stories exists in the YA genre that I was tickled to see that Megan McCafferty put together a collection of short stories from the likes of Sarah Dessen, Jacqueline Woodsen, David Leviathan, and others.

And some of the stories are quite strong. Dessen opens the collection with the story "Infinity," putting forth perhaps the best writing I've seen from her yet. Jacqueline Woodsen's "Nebraska 99" stands out as the strongest voice and perhaps strongest story of all, portraying
...more
Brittany
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Curtis Sittenfeld, Megan McCafferty, short fiction
Recommended to Brittany by: Myself
How I Came To Read This Book: I believe Danielle gave it to me as a birthday or Christmas gift.

The Plot: The book is a compilation of sixteen short stories surrounding sweet sixteens - whether birthdays or events closely related to that treasured bday year (like learning to drive or embarking on a first solo trip sans parents), including a 'countdown' story of the last sixteen minutes Jessica Darling ever spent with her bff Hope of Megan McCafferty's actual regular series.

The Good or Bad: Nearl
...more
Hannah Goodman
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the variety in the anthology–from Ned Vizzini’s story about a boy from the old west coming of age via a brothel visit with dad to Carolyn Mackler’s story about two girls–one who has found religion and one who has just had sex. Most seemed to be really from the point of view of the modern teen except…I annotated one of the stories called Infinity, which, when I annotated it, I really liked–at least the use of symbols. She uses the metaphor of mastering a rotary as a symbol of mastering ...more
sidsel89
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
The cover had me stalling for years, I mean it's really embarrassing, but then a voice in me said: "There is some Jessica Darling out there that you havn't read! Are you an idiot?!" So I bought it and honestly I just wanted to get all the other stories overwith and along the way I kept hoping that the next one would be about my favourite heroine. But alas, she was last and I'm not sure I would have read the rest if she wasn't, because most of them kind of sucked. Most of them did nothing for me. ...more
Chrissy Ziccarelli
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
My mother bought this for me at a time not even near my 16th birthday. I can't remember if it was before or after, but there are so many stories that have stuck with me from this volume. There are probably many reasons for this; it was the beginning of my love affair with short story collections, each story is from a different author so they remain fresh, and (most obvious of all) I read it at a time when I could most relate to tales of learning to drive, starting to shave, and discovering love ...more
P.
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: yyay, short-stories
Ignore the terrible cover design and the fact that it says "Dating! Driving! Drama!" on the back over the copy.

Like any short story compilation there were standouts and non-starters, but it's worth picking up for the M.T. Anderson one alone (The Fever and Mud Dialogues). It prompted me to browse ancient Greek philosophers in the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (available online!)

Carolyn Mackler, & Ned Vizzini's were also quite good, and from the Megan McCafferty story I will be bumping
...more
Sandra
Mar 31, 2008 added it
Shelves: advisory-08-09
I read this a while back so i don't really remember much about it but i do know that there is a story in there that is about Jessica Darling's sweet 16. I treated my sweet 16 as any other birthday. I just don't see the importance of making my 16th birthday sweeter or celebrating the new privileges i have.There are some sad stories in there such as the pregnant mothers. There are so many point of views and experiences on 16 year old girls and the book really sums up what being 16 in this era is a ...more
Jennifer :P
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Umm I don't know about how the book start but yet again it was interesting. There were surprises and really bad disappointments. I like how this book actually had the main character to drive instead others who have been driven, walk, or either ride bikes. Being sixteen can lead to emotions, drama, and also depressing. Reading the point of view of a sixteen year old girl, makes me wonder if everyone is like this.
Becca
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm not really a superfan of short stories, but this collection was a fun read. There were only two stories I out and out didn't like. These stories aren't really about being sixteen, though. A handful of the narrators had very adult voices. I'm not sure what I was expecting out of this collection, but whatever it was, it didn't get delivered. I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this, but I won't read it again.
Shannon
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Argh! So many good authors, people I enjoy reading. Yet, overwhelming, a bunch of crappy stories. Of course, some were better than others, but none were "good" in my opinion. I wish I had read the reviews first and saved my self the heartache and time. Since there were sixteen stories by sixteen different people, I kept reading on, kept giving everyone a chance. Yuck.
Kirsten
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, 2009-books
I guess I just didn't get it. Was it because my sixteenth year did not leave a significant impact on my life? Who knows. But it feels like some of these stories were really reaching to be something different, something more complex, when they really didn't need to be. Some of the stories were great though, like the prelude to Sloppy Firsts.
Rowan
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unsure
Some of the short stories in here were really good, others were mediocre. I actually think I may have read this book before because a few were very familiar. The fact that I don't remember that is testimony that the book wasn't the best thing I've read. It was entertaining enough but I doubt I'll re-read it.
Shannon
Jul 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chic-lit
would have been better if i was reading closer to my 16th birthday. short stories usually arent my thing, they just leave me hungry for more. put those two together and you get my lame rating. because its my rating, not because its a bad book, just sometimes its all about reading it at the right time and such...which for me its 15 years too late.
Marian
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: readit, 2008
I won't say that I loved each story equally. I didn't. But the big surprise for me was that the authors I expected to love were merely liked, but the others were loved more than I could have imagined.
Danielle
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Not that impressed, but there were some standout stories: Sarah Dessen's "Infinity", Carolyn Mackler's "Mona Lisa, Jesus, Chad, and Me", David Levithan's "The Alumni Interview", and Sarah Mlynowski's "The Perfect Kiss" were all very good.
kb
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
This has an awesome editor, an equally awesome pool of writers, plus a Jessica Darling story, HOWEVER, this did not work that well for me. It started out promising but later on, the spark in the stories dwindled. Might work better for younger readers, though!
Steph
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I picked up this book solely for Sarah Dessen's "Infinity" which I had wanted to read for a while - and is the entire reason behind the three star marking. Otherwise, it probably would have been a one.

There were a few other good ones, but I was glad that it started out with Dessen's.
Marisa
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is pretty much everything about turning sixteen. Each story is heartfelt and emotional changing in one way or another, but I always felt they cut off the stories at the best parts. So I thought it was okay, but the book could have been better.
chanceofbooks
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
This is a great little collection. Several of the stories were very well-done, and I think there is something for every variety of YA reader here. I really appreciated the exposure to so many different YA authors at one time.
Rachel
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Not the best. There were only a few stories that I actually enjoyed. One of the only redeeming points in this collection was the brand new short story that tied into Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings.
Abby
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
A collection of essays on what it is like to be 16. Some were amazing, some really dragged. Overall a good read.
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English 11 1B/D: Book 2 8 Jan 10, 2013 11:35AM  

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Megan McCafferty writes fiction for tweens, teens and teens-at-heart of all ages. The author of eleven novels, she’s best known for SLOPPY FIRSTS and four more sequels in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series. She's got two new books coming out in 2020: TRUE TO YOUR SELFIE (MG, Scholastic, 2/20) and THE MALL (YA, Wednesday Books, 7/20). Described in her first review as “Judy Blume ...more