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Love at the Edge of Seventeen

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Featuring: M.T. DeSantis, A.E. Hayes, Serena Jayne, Cara McKinnon, Mary Rogers, and Kylie Weisenborn.

It's never easy to go through the fraught transition into adulthood, but the teens in this short story anthology have more to deal with than most: super powers, magic, illness, and prejudice against sexual orientation and gender identity. Fortunately, they all find love at the edge of seventeen.

M.T. DeSantis – “Be Null, My Heart”
Teen love…with superpowers.

A.E. Hayes – “Her First Fever”
Can a smart, stubborn girl look past the things she desires the most in life to help out her annoying, enigmatic biology partner – even if helping him comes with an emotional price?

Serena Jayne – “Dead Man’s Party”
Despite formidable evidence to the contrary, Xander was magic.

Cara McKinnon – “Three Jagged Pieces”
Boy meets girl meets boy.

Mary Rogers – “The Crayon Thief”
The last time they talked, he stole her crayon. Now he wants to take her on a date. But why?

Kylie Weisenborn – “Now I Am”
Annalyn is dead…so what is she waiting for?


Published May 1, 2018

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About the author

Cara McKinnon

13 books12 followers
Cara McKinnon has been writing magical stories since age five, when she penned a gripping tale about a unicorn couple--her first foray into fantasy romance. Cara is a graduate of the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction MFA program, which she recommends to all genre writers. She lives in Western Maryland with her husband, two children, and an oversized lapdog named Jake.

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5 stars
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6 (40%)
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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Dora Okeyo.
Author 27 books172 followers
April 3, 2018
You can't help but reminisce your teenage years when you read the stories in this anthology. There are a variety of themes highlighted in each story and what I found quite refreshing was that the characters, despite the challenges, were all able to find their ways towards resolutions. Thank you NetGalley for the eARC, fans of YA would love this short collection.
Profile Image for Christine.
108 reviews6 followers
April 17, 2018
Some of these stories I enjoyed but then the others really annoyed me so brought down the overall rating for me. Be Null My Heart and Dead Man’s Party were my two favorites in this collection. Both stories I would love as stand alone because it wouldn’t be so rushed and have more detail. I have both of those 4 Stars. My 3 Stars in this collection are Three Jagged Pieces, Her First Fever and The Crayon Thief. They weren’t bad stories but they’re nothing to really hold onto either. Now I Am was rough for me to get through. I ended up not even finishing it because it was just ridiculous which is a shame because I normally really love paranormal.
Profile Image for Taryn.
517 reviews8 followers
May 30, 2018
For a breakdown of the 6 stories:
1- ⭐
2- ⭐⭐⭐.1/2 By far my favorite.
3- ⭐⭐
4- ⭐ DNF
5- ⭐ DNF
6- ⭐ DNF
Profile Image for thelibraryofalexandra.
529 reviews27 followers
May 29, 2018

On the Edge of Seventeen is a young adult anthology with stories from Cara McKinnon, M.T. DeSantis, A. E. Hayes, Serena Jayne, Mary Rogers and Kylie Weisenborn. It’s a collection which intends to depict the chaotic transition into adulthood. Not only does it do so with magic and superpowers, but at its core, it deals with significant issues of sexuality, gender, identity and of course, love at the edge of seventeen.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this anthology, but there were some stories that I found two-dimensional with no real depth. Although I completely understand the fact that these stories are significantly short, there were some that really were incredible, and others that fell short. It is completely doable to make an intriguing, awesome, kick-ass read within a short word limit.

As there were six short stories within this anthology, I’ll write a brief review on each. However, I will not provide a synopsis of each story, as I really do not want to accidentally give spoilers!

M.T. DeSantis - “Be Null, My Heart”

We have super powers! Emma was born into a superhero family with superhero threats - but, she also goes to high school like a normal seventeen-year-old. I have to say the writing, the flow, the overall plot-line of this short story was absolutely incredible,! It was a refreshing narrative that reminded my of a mix between The Incredibles and Sky High. The only aspect I’ll have to critique for this story, was that I felt that the character development could have been handled with more depth. Honestly, I just wanted more!

rating: 5/5

A. E. Hayes - “Her First Fever”

I would have to say that Her First Fever would be on of my favourite stories from this anthology, alongside Be Null, My Heart. Mainly because the chemistry between Johnny and Madeline was too adorable and written in such a beautiful way that I was entranced - even though it was ‘insta-love’, which is a trope that I do not really enjoy - but I adored it! Especially the way in which Johnny was written; I have to day that he was such an intriguing character and one that was inherently interesting. The writing and the plot-line was wonderful and I wish there would be a full-length novel. One criticism, however, would be that I didn’t really feel any sort of connection with the main protagonist, Madeline, and I felt that her character could have been explored better - however, the limitation of constructing a short story is the fact that there is not significant room for authors to explore such aspects of the story.

rating: 4/5

Serena Jayne - “Dead Man’s Party”

Magic. Zombies. This story was a wild ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. The story was intriguing, the character development was done well and the overall flow of the narrative was wonderfully done. To be honest, the relationship and dynamic between Xander and Shay was beautifully written and I look forward to reading more from this author.

rating: 4/5

Cara McKinnon - “Three Jagged Pieces”

I adored how McKinnon wrote about issues concerning gender and sexuality identity and it definitely was a refreshing take on the old ‘love triangle’ trope. I found that each character, Ava, Noah and Sam were wonderfully written and done so with respect and love. However, I have such a violent reaction against love triangle-esque plot-lines, even ones with this sort of story-line. I find that there I lose interest in such stories - especially when there are multiple perspectives. But somehow, this story kept my attention and I ended up loving it.

rating: 3.5/5

Mary Rogers - “The Crayon Thief”

The Crayon Thief was a such a fun read. Rogers definitely knows how to keep her audience immersed within her story by providing a depth to the characters and to the narrative itself which had me emotionally invested with the characters. I was a bit suspicious about Randall (a.k.a Mr Popular) - but I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I wish I was able to read more.

rating: 5/5

Kylie Weisenberg - “Now I Am”

Another case of insta-love. I have to admit that the premise of the story was intriguing. Anna is a ghost who is in love with the very-alive Carter - what could possibly go wrong? I enjoyed reading about Anna’s reality; in that, she is a ghost who is clearly moving around the realm of the living. To be honest, I found it incredibly lonely - and I believe that Weisenberg touched on this briefly. However, I found the execution of the story quite underwhelming. Insta-love, for me, can be hit-or-miss. I felt myself losing interest in this story every time Anna mentioned Carter as ‘the boy she loved’. I felt that there was literally no chemistry between the two love interests and most importantly, it felt forced. I really believe though, that if this was a full-length novel, that it would have been an incredible read as it would have allowed the time for a relationship to naturally develop and create that romantic and emotional element that was missing from the short story.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this anthology to lovers of YA romance! It was a collection that highlighted different themes which, at its core, illustrated the sometimes chaotic nature of young adulthood.
5 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2018
At first, I wasn't sure how I'd like this book - I'm not a big YA fan, and I'm not big into paranormal stories (there are two in this anthology) - but I was very pleasantly surprised. There is truly a mixture of something for everybody in here. The stand-out stories in this collection are, by far, A.E. Hayes's "Her First Fever" and Cara McKinnon's "Three Jagged Pieces." Those are two solid five-star stories with complex themes and not-so-common tropes. Yes, they may go BACK to former tropes in literature, but they don't overuse them. Hayes does an amazing job sucking you into the intrigue and mystery of her two main characters, and McKinnon's novella-length story is a page-turner from the first word to the last (and while there is a love triangle, it is NOT a conventional one, which I loved!). I've read work by both of these authors before, and once again, they do not disappoint. You could buy the book for their two stories alone and it would be worth the $3.99 on Kindle.

There were two other stories I enjoyed, but to be honest, "The Crayon Thief" and "Now I Am" left me feeling a little - flat. The first felt a bit dated and rushed, and the second was a cute attempt by someone who still seems to be a teenager? I'm uncertain. I don't dislike the stories, but they didn't really add anything. The stories by Jayne and DeSantis make up for that, though, even though I'm usually not a fan of superheroes or the paranormal.

But the best part of this anthology is that it was inclusive. It didn't focus on ONE overused teen trope: it tried to break the mold of tropes by doing something different (using a rare disease but not focusing on death, having a love triangle but not making it about two boys who only fight over a girl, etc.). Again, Hayes and McKinnon run the show in this collection, but if you like sweet romance and a quick, light read - despite the depth of some of the themes - this is definitely a collection you want to buy. I read it all in one sitting. It's easy to devour because the stories are so different from one another, and I was curious to see what they'd provide. Again, two stories fell flat for ME, but not enough for me to shame the collection. I'll be reading this again for certain.
Profile Image for Anya.
13 reviews
April 18, 2018
Love at the Edge of Seventeen is an anthology of YA romance stories, each very unique with different themes.
Cara McKinnon's novella 'Three Jagged Pieces' was by far my favourite in the anthology focusing on sexuality. It follows the story of Ava, Noah, and Sam as they each battle with their feelings for each other and is a very refreshing take on the classic love triangle trope so often found in YA stories.
Another standout story for me was 'Her First Fever' by A.E. Hayes. I don't want to go too into the story as I don't want to spoil it, however, I really liked the dynamic between Madeline and Johnny. The rest of the stories were just ok. If you enjoy romance with some fantasy elements thrown in, then there are a couple of stories in this anthology that you will enjoy.
Overall, it felt like McKinnon's novella was the star of the show, but there is something for everyone in this anthology.
Thanks to NetGalley for sending me this book early to review.
Profile Image for Shreya.
337 reviews7 followers
April 13, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I have conflicting feelings about this book. On one hand, I like romance stories to be resolved, but on the other hand, I like short stories to leave something for me to think about. Most of the stories here felt like mini-novels, and because they were short stories, the pacing and character development would always feel a little bit off, since they had to accomplish the goal of a novel in the space limit of a shorter piece. I would say "Her First Fever" and "Three Jagged Pieces" were my favorites, out of all of them. Cute read, overall, with some intriguing concepts that would have been cool to see in a more expanded format.
Profile Image for Carrie.
1 review1 follower
May 1, 2018
A mix of shorter and longer stories and one novella, and tones ranging from lighthearted and fun to serious and emotional. There's something for everyone, whether you like straight, realistic contemporary stories or paranormal/superheroes.
Profile Image for Mary Boland-Doyle.
36 reviews1 follower
June 5, 2018
As I am one of the authors in this book, I think reviewing it would be coarse, but I loved everyone's stories. What a lovely collection of writers to work with.
Profile Image for DB (DB's Guide to the Galaxy).
214 reviews62 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
December 11, 2021
I really like anthologies but this one definitely missed the mark by a lot. I didn’t like any of the stories, I found myself flipping through a lot of them and decided to dnf it early and just barely skim some of the stories.

It was quite boring. All of the stories. They needed a lot of work. If I managed to finish the book I’d probably rate it a full 1 star out of 5. Maybe 2 if I were feeling generous.
Profile Image for Heather.
Author 3 books14 followers
December 30, 2018
I really enjoyed the YA anthology. The Crayon Thief and Dead Mans Party were among my favorites but each story had something different to offer.
32 reviews
April 27, 2018
Not what I expected. Not my type of book. I like depth to my stories, and length. I did not get that from these short stories. I didn’t even finish the whole thing.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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