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Color Outside the Lines

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This modern, groundbreaking YA anthology explores the complexity and beauty of interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships where differences are front and center.

When people ask me what this anthology is about, I’m often tempted to give them the complicated answer: it’s about race, and about how being different from the person you love can matter but how it can also not matter, and it’s about Chinese pirate ghosts, black girl vigilantes, colonial India, a flower festival, a garden of poisons, and so, so much else. Honestly, though? I think the answer’s much simpler than that. Color outside the Lines is a collection of stories about young, fierce, brilliantly hopeful people in love.
—Sangu Mandanna, editor of Color outside the Lines

312 pages, Hardcover

First published November 12, 2019

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About the author

Sangu Mandanna

18 books1,655 followers
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 179 reviews
July 11, 2020

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I loved the idea behind this anthology so much that I had to get it. COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES is a collection of short stories that are all about diversity-- interracial relationships, LGBT+ relationships, and even a couple with both-- and some of the challenges and delights and obstacles that occur within these relationships, while also celebrating them wholeheartedly (well, mostly-- more on that to come).

Short story collections are always hard to rate because they tend to be uneven. It's inevitable that you'll like some of the stories more than other ones, which is why I tend to rate each story individually and then average my rating out over the whole collection. I think that's the fairest way to rate books like these since the editors are on the hook for the authors they chose to be included to represent them, and a bad fit is a bad experience.

Last note before I dive in is that this is an ARC, and two of the "marquee" authors in this collection-- Danielle Paige and Adam Silvera-- didn't have their stories included in this collection for some reason, so I won't be talking about or rating those stories at all and they won't be included in the average rating.

Turn the Sky to Petals: ☆☆☆☆

Anna-Marie McLemore

This is a really great story about two people in Mexico who end up bonding over the pain in their art against the backdrop of flower gathering for a rich man's wedding. The writing is poetic and brilliantly evocative and I loved this story so much. This is definitely an author whose work I would want to explore more, because I loved their writing so much!


Title to Come: NO RATING

Danielle Paige


What We Love: ☆☆½
Lauren Gibaldi

This story was okay but kind of heavy-handed. It's about a Jewish girl and an Indian boy who find romance when they unite together against a bullying classmate. I like the idea but the bully was such a laughable caricature of evil, and the premise so forced, that I just couldn't get into it.


Giving Up the Ghost: ☆☆
Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

This one was just weird. First, it's kind of a paranormal/AU type story where everyone is haunted by ghosts only they can see. The main character is Indian and haunted by a Chinese ghost who plays matchmaker for him. This matchmaking is the focal role of the story. It's... weird.


Your Life Matters: ☆☆☆½
L.L. McKinney

This is a story (F/F) about a black/white interracial couple trying to navigate their brand new relationship while also dealing with the white character's racist dad (ugh). Also deals with activism and the BLM movement, and it has a nice ending (I was worried). I thought this one was cute.


Starlight and Moondust:
Lori M. Lee

Story about a Hmong girl and a white guy with magic realism. I didn't get/understand/like this one. 


Five Times Shiva Met Harry: ☆☆☆
Sangu Mandanna

This story is REALLY short which is a shame because it has an important topic at its heart (the lingering pain caused by the British occupation of India). Being so short made it seem superficial.


The Agony of a Heart's Wish: ☆½

Samira Ahmed 

Set in India when it is being occupied by the British, and is a romance between an Indian girl and an Irish guy serving in the British army. SUPER DOWNER story with no HEA. Very preachy, too, and seemed rushed, like the emotionally manipulative ending was supposed to compensate. Bleh.


The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love: ☆☆☆½

Caroline Tung Richmond

This story also doesn't have an HEA but I actually really liked the theme of empowerment, so it didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth like the previous story did. The heroine in this one reminded me of me; it's always important to remind teens that they need to take risks to see change.


Death and the Maiden: ☆☆☆☆☆

Tara Sim

A super erotic F/F fantasy romance between an Indian girl and a female personification of Hades, Greek god of the underworld. Hi, this is the gender-flipped Persephone retelling I didn't know I needed but loved to pieces anyway. The writing is gorgeous, the romance is so nicely fleshed out, and it has a fantastic sub-theme about justice, revenge, and also consent!! I really wish that this had been a full-length book instead of a short story because it was absolutely amazing.


Faithfull: ☆☆☆½
Karuna Riazi

Meet-cute between (I think) an Indian Muslim girl and boy that focuses heavily on family, which I loved. It kind of reminded me a bit of LOVE FROM A TO Z. This is another story that I think would have worked really well as a full length novel, which the author hopefully considers doing!


Gilman Street: ☆☆☆☆½

Michelle Ruiz Keil

Bisexuality rep, Mexican heritage, fun hookups, and rockabilly/punk culture in Berkeley, CA. Do I need to say anymore? I don't think so. This one was fantastic.


"The Boy Is": ☆☆☆☆½
Elsie Chapman

I knew this author sounded familiar, and it turns out she wrote CASTER, which I loved. I really liked this story, too. Like her other book I read, "The Boy Is" features a strong Asian heroine. This one opens with her breaking up with her creepy white boyfriend who, it turns out, treats her like she's a fetish and not a person. The rest of the story is about her finding herself and what she wants. Love it!


Sandwiched in Between:

Eric Smith

I actually... low-key hated this one. So, if I'm rating off the technical elements, yeah it was written fine. It's about two Middle Eastern teens who are dating and the girl is raised with her culture in the home but the boy was adopted by white parents (and has adopted siblings of other various ethnicities). The execution was totally horrible. The boy's girlfriend does nothing but berate him about his privilege and how "white" he is throughout the whole book and when she meets his parents for the first time, and the mom serves hummus, she explodes with rage.

It ends on a "happy" note with the girl calling him a "jumbled mess" and they laugh and I'm just sitting here like, wait, she is gatekeeping his ethnicity and actually being really offensive and this is a toxic relationship, but it's being written like she's so woke and in the right and what even ???

Yeah, this one definitely made me the angriest and I kind of hated it.


Yuna and the Wall: ☆☆☆☆

Lydia Kang

I love Lydia Kang! I've read three of her books and they were all amazing, and I'm happy to say that this short story didn't disappoint. It's a fantasy story with characters who seem to be coded as East Asian and South Asian, and there's beauty and the beast elements, but it's also about overcoming stereotypes and learning not to be prejudiced, and I really thought it was a nice close.



Adam Silvera


Overall, this is a pretty decent collection. I think there's something for everyone in here, and even though the stories are uneven in quality, there are some pretty standout ones and Tara Sim totally needs to make Death and the Maiden into a full length book so I can throw my money at her.

Averaged rating: 3.1 rounded down to an evened-out 3 stars

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  

3 stars
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
November 27, 2019
3.5 stars.

Color Outside the Lines is a collection of YA stories celebrating all kinds of love.

I was really excited when I first heard of this book, for several reasons. I’ll admit the first reason was the promise of a new story from Adam Silvera, as I’ve been going through withdrawal until his new book comes out next year.

But I also really love short stories, and was excited about the idea of a collection focused on stories about interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships. Those relationships are certainly more prevalent in YA fiction than elsewhere, and it’s so great to see them depicted so fairly and so well.

This is an interesting collection because the stories aren’t just fiction or romance; some are science fiction, historical fiction, or fantasy. I definitely felt the collection was much heavier on the interracial side than the LGBTQ+ side, which really provided me a different area of focus.

As with any story collection, there were ones I absolutely loved, ones I totally didn’t get, and some that were simply good and entertaining. (The Adam Silvera story was adorable but way, way too short for him to get top billing.) The best thing is that many were written by authors with whom I’m unfamiliar, so I’ll get to check their other work out now.

Among my favorites were: "Turn the Sky to Petals" by Anna-Marie McLemore, which was about a musician and a dancer both suffering from the physical demands of their talent; "Your Life Matters" by L.L. McKinney, which told of an interracial lesbian couple battling a father with reasonably racist beliefs, with a superhero twist thrown in; "The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love" by Caroline Tung Richmond, about two best friends, and one is trying to get their nerve up to move their friendship to something else; "What We Love" by Lauren Gibaldi, in which two high school students are brought together by their desire to enact revenge on a bigoted classmate; "Five Times Shiva Met Harry" by Sangu Mandanna, about random interactions which could propel a couple to get together or stay apart; and "Sandwiched in Between" by Eric Smith, in which an interracial couple deals with Thanksgiving at both of their houses, and realizes no one is completely innocent of bigotry no matter how well meaning.

These stories were thought-provoking and entertaining, and as I've said many times, I'm so glad that YA literature is so willing to explore social issues and the idea that love is love is love. I wish it was like that when I was younger!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
644 reviews1,692 followers
September 2, 2019
This is the book of my heart. Love is diverse, and I'm so happy this book celebrates that.

- I absolutely loved this collection of stories, and I hope that it paves the way for more interracial relationships in fiction that explore the complexities and dynamics of interracial couples.
- Some of the stories you might find: the interracial relationship between a Black and white f/f couple in the context of BLM, an Asian teen who grapples with her Asian-fever white boyfriend, and a Hades/Persephone retelling where Hades is a woman and Persephone is an Indian MC!
- Explores a range of interracial relationships and the different challenges associated with them. From communication, to finding common ground, to being separated by differences, only for love and hope to bring them together, to differing expectations.
- Offers a range of genres, from mythology retellings, historical fiction, superhero sci-fi in a contemporary context, paranormal urban fantasy.
- Honestly? I loved it. I think this is the sort of stories we need more of, and I'm so so happy that this exists.

Full review to come, closer to release date.

Thank you so much to the publishers, Soho Press, for giving me a DRC of Color Outside the Lines!
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,031 reviews206 followers
September 23, 2019
This book has been on my tbr for a very long time, probably since the day it was announced. And I was so happy the day I got approved for the ARC. This is such a delightful read, full of adorable meet cutes and chance encounters and every story in its own way emphasizes that our differences can bring us closer and it’s so much better to learn from each other, than letting the color of our skin divide us. Really a nice set of empathetic stories and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. My experience was also enhanced by the fact that I buddy read it with my dearest friends.

Below are my individual reviews for the stories:

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore

It’s always jarring when the first story starts off in second person, but this one turned out to be easy to adjust to. This is the story of a Latina girl who loves dancing and a Romani boy who’s very passionate about playing the cimbalom, who bond over the fact that the thing they love so much is also the reason for their body getting battered and having to live in constant pain. Their dread of maybe having to give up their art for the sake of living a relatively less painful life was very palpable and I could totally feel it. But what made this story was the descriptions of the amazing variety of flowers which made this a very atmospheric experience.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Prom by Danielle Paige

Another little story in second person, this was about two childhood friends who feel it’s just inevitable to be together, but one of them is a bit worried what others will think of their relationship. I’m actually unsure how I feel about this because it was too short to form an opinion.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi

The story of a Jewish girl and an Indian boy, this one quickly took a dark turn with a white girl continuously bullying the protagonists. And while they wanted to fight back, I thought it was both cute and awesome that they took inspiration from Star Wars to make their point but also not take revenge, deciding that they were better than the bully. I found the development of friendship and more pretty adorable.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

A world which has ghost mentors for each person, this story was hilarious. I loved how snarky and bitchy Sanjiv’s ghost Ching was, but it was nice discovering she was a softy inside (probably “inside” isn’t a valid term for a ghost 😂😂). And the resolution of Ching’s centuries old heartbreak against the backdrop of Sanjiv reconnecting with his childhood best friend was both extremely funny and sweet.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney

It was awesome seeing a black female superhero in this story, set against the Black Lives Matter movement while also dating a white girl who’s father is a racist cop. This one dealt with heavy themes like police brutality and racism and microaggressions, but ended on a hopeful note. And I loved the message that all black folks lives matter, not just that of a black superhero only because she did something good.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee

I can’t say I fully understood this story of Hlee, who belongs to the Hmong community and Argus, a white boy. But what affected me about it all was how much non-western cultures and stories are treated as weird, Hlee bullied just for believing what she does, and the journey it takes for her to realize that she has every right to believe what she wants and she doesn’t need to be the sidekick in anyone’s story. The whole atmosphere of this story was also quite amazing.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna

Firstly, I love the author a lot so I’m a bit biased. The meet cute happens in a library and there’s a hint that it might become more, which I completely loved. And the underlying theme of history being written by victors and colonizers, and how we are never taught both sides of the story in school was presented very well. The idea that it’s important for us to try and learn from multiple sources to get the whole picture is very relevant and I think it was told in a very relatable manner.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed

This story set in 1919 pre-independence India is full of fire, passion and longing, and the beautiful connection that forms between a young Indian Muslim woman and an Irishman who happens to be a soldier in the British army. I adored how they bonded over their love for poetry and the wish for their countries to be free. But that ending just about killed me and I can’t stop crying 😭😭

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond

The setting of this story is the National Gallery of Art in DC and I read this exactly a day after I visited it, so I felt very very excited to see some familiar names. And it’s about Juliet who’s got a huge crush on her best friend and is feeling very anxious about expressing them to him. I loved the idea of the story that we should seize the moment and not take too long to tell what we feel, or we might lose the opportunity to ever do it.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim

A sapphic Hades Persephone retelling, this story features Parvani who decides to give up her life of earth and become Hades’s wife for the sake of vengeance. This is a tale of a woman in despair finding purpose in her life and trying to do something beautiful to better the lives of others. The descriptions of the underworld were beautiful and eerie and I loved the amalgamation of cultures.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Faithfull by Karuna Riazi

Featuring a Christian girl who is unsure if she wants to be part of a new community after her mom marries a Muslim, this story is about finding your people among those who might dismiss you and trying to form new bonds. I’m not sure I understood the whole emphasis on food, but it was a good read.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil

This story had so many elements in it, I was surprised by the skill with which the author managed to fit everything in. The sadness of not being close to your best friend anymore, the thrill of the kiss that makes you question your sexuality, feeling lost because you feel you don’t belong completely to either part of your heritage and finally feeling joy when you meet someone who is pretty similar to you - this story which is set in the 80s has it all and it’s sweet and beautiful and very thoughtful. Definitely on point with the biracial and bisexual rep too.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman

Between a mom who just wants Holly to fit in with the white majority of America and a dad who wants her to meet his Chinese friend’s son, all she wants is actually the chance to make her own choice. This is a cute story about all the possibilities that open when one decides to make their own choice and allow ourselves to make our own mistakes.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith

The story of a Palestinian boy adopted by a white couple and a young middle eastern girl, this is about how differently each of them perceives their identity and how despite both of them being brown, their attitude towards race isn’t the same because of their upbringing. I think there were some valid points but I also didn’t completely understand it.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang

I somehow wasn’t expecting a kind of fantasy story, so this was a surprise. A girl who is misunderstood because her father is a poisoner, and a boy who is ostracized because he is scarred due to a childhood occurrence of pox - this is the story of both these unlikely people trying to find their voice and fighting against prejudices in whatever little way they can.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera

This was again very very short but I’m happy that Silvera didn’t make me cry. It has a very adorable meet cute in a bookstore and some very important commentary on the need for representation. I particularly connected with the thought that not all LGBT+ books have to be “issue” books and non-straight kids should have the opportunity to see themselves in happy and regular stories.

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Profile Image for Emma.
911 reviews869 followers
November 17, 2019
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Full review HERE

This anthology was quite well done.
First of all, there were a lot of different genres included, which is something I did not expect. I thought it was going to be only YA contemporary and so I was pleasantly surprised.
The main theme of this anthology is interracial relationships and so there were lots of interracial couples or families and a lot of good diverse representation. I also appreciated how some queer couples were included in some of the stories.

As always I did not love every single stories, but there are some that I truly enjoyed.
Here are my ratings for every story:
-Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore 3/5
-Prom by Danielle Page 3/5
-What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi 3/5
-Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas 4/5
-Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney 3.5/5
-Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee 2/5
-Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna 4/5
-The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed 4/5
-The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond 4/5
-Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim 3.5/5
-Faithfull by Karuna Riazi 2/5
-Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil 3/5
-“The Boy is” by Elsie Chapman 3/5
-Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith 4/5
-Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang 3.5/5
-Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera 3/5
Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews189 followers
February 13, 2019
Color Outside the Lines is an anthology about interracial relationships across time and genres. It's about the ways these relationships are both different and the same as the ones that aren't interracial; it doesn't only talk about love, culture, and prejudice, but also about family, friendships, communication, expectations and legacies, from many different points of view.

I thought this was a solid anthology. As usual, I didn't like every single story, but while the ending was a bit weak, I found some favorites in here.

Turn the Sky To Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore - 5 stars
This might be my favorite McLemore short story? I've loved Roja from All Out and Glamour from The Radical Element too, but not as much as this one, and I don't think this even had magical realism elements - the atmosphere and themes made this perfect and just as magical as her stories that actually had magic in them.
It's a story about a Romani boy who once played the cimbalom and a Latinx girl who liked to dance, brought together by their experiences with chronic pain. They meet while they're helping their town to prepare for a rich man's wedding, and said wedding includes the most beautifully described rain of flowers ever.

TK by Danielle Page - no rating, not in the review copy

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi - 2.5 stars
This story is about a Jewish girl and an Indian boy, and it talks about what it's like to not fit in and be othered, and how people who are from different backgrounds can experience this in different yet similar ways. It also talks about familial expectations and about legacies - the focus on what we leave behind was what I appreciated the most about this story (and: if you like Star Wars references, read this). However, I found this story disappointing, because the antagonist is the stereotypical Blonde Mean Girl Who Wears Revealing Dresses (she's wearing a short, tight dress and grinding on a boy!). It's not that racist bullies who are also attractive white girls don't exist, but the problem is that she's racist and a bully, not her clothes.

Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas - 2 stars
This is the story that worked for me the least. It's about a world in which everyone has a ghost who is one of their ancestors, and it follows a South Asian boy (I think?), whose ghost is probably the most successful pirate in history, Ching Shih. I loved the worldbuilding here and how it talked about communication and history, but sadly the fearsome Ching Shih read like a bratty ten-year-old and this ended up not being enjoyable at all.

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney - 4 stars
The first f/f story! It's about a black superheroine, her white girlfriend/sidekick, the Black Lives Matter movement, and people changing for the better. It deals with some heavy themes - like police violence and dating someone from a racist family - and at its heart is an hopeful story, which I really appreciated. It made me want to try McKinney's novels, even though Alice in Wonderland retellings have never been my kind of thing.

Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee - 5 stars
This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. It follows Hlee Khue, a Hmong girl, and it's a story about stories (I always love those). It's not just about Hlee, even though she's the main character: it also talks about an old woman who is a healer, and a boy with a mysterious past. It talks about the way non-western stories and beliefs are held to different standards from western ones, seen as sillier/more absurd just because they're not western.
It's a magical story full of beautiful descriptions (the atmosphere! the food! the dragons!) and now I want to read more from Lori M. Lee, since I never had before.

Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna - 4 stars
A not-always-lighthearted but cute story about an Indian girl and a white boy who start dating almost by accident. It's about how sheltered, privileged people can grow up without ever challenging racist and imperialist assumptions - but they can also change once that's brought to their attention. I liked how this story casually mentioned that Shiva's brother is dating a boy who is Zimbabwean-American.

The Agony of a Heart's Wish by Samira Ahmed - 4 stars
This was heartbreaking. It's a story about colonialism, following an Indian girl and an Irish boy as they meet on a train in colonial India, and bond over Yeats' poems. They never meet again, but meeting each other changed their lives.

The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond - 4.5 stars
Not a Romeo and Juliet retelling!
I loved the setup in this one, the themes, and the main character's voice. It's the kind of lighthearted contemporary I love - fun and never lacking in depth. It follows a Chinese-American girl who has a crush on a boy of Montenegrin descent. I remember that I also really liked another short story by this author a few years ago, The Red Raven Ball from A Tyranny of Petticoats, so I can't wait to read her story in Hungry Hearts too.

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim - 5 stars
An f/f Hades and Persephone retelling with an Indian main character! This story was beautifully written and it made me want to read more of Tara Sim's books even though I didn't love Timekeeper. This had the best aesthetics, atmosphere (the writing reminded me of Strange Grace, which is one of the most atmospheric books I've ever read), themes I loved - it's about life, death, and growth. I want this to become a full-length so badly.

Faithfull by Karuna Riazi - 3.5 stars
A story about a girl and her complicated relationships with her self-absorbed mother, who is now marrying a Moroccan man. This is mostly about friendships, food (so many food descriptions!) and what makes a family. I didn't feel strongly about it but I liked the message.

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil - 3.5 stars
This is a story about self-discovery following a biracial, bisexual Mexican girl as she meets a biracial boy who is Filipino, kisses a Mexican girl, and discovers that some people are better left behind. This is historical fiction - set in 1980, I think - and now I want to see what the author will do with her debut novel this year, as I've heard it's historical fiction too.

The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman - 3.5 stars
This is about dating as a Chinese-American girl. It talks about the conflicting expectations of family members, yellow fever, and... pros and cons. It was an interesting read, if really short. Elsie Chapman was also a new-to-me author, and I think I like her writing, so maybe I'll try her novel Caster when it comes out.

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith - 3 stars
I don't think Eric Smith's writing is for me, and that's the main reason I'm not rating this story high - I like what this said about family, adoption, communication and "colorblindness", but I just can't get into his books.

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang - 3.5 stars
A fantasy story following the daughter of a poisoner and a boy who is hated for his scars. It's about people finding each other when society doesn't accept them; I liked its message and what I saw of this world. Like Kang's Toxic, this story almost read like middle grade, but this time I didn't have any problems with that because I expected it.

TK by Adam Silvera - no rating, not in this copy

My average rating is 3,80, which is pretty good for an anthology (and I think that if the Adam Silvera story had been there, the rating would have been even higher).
Profile Image for Divine.
333 reviews168 followers
May 7, 2020
This book is a blessing and I never thought that I needed to read this until I did. While it depicts if not all, most of the facets of diversity, Color Outside the Lines blends in various narratives from acceptance, revenge, passion for the arts, kinship, familial matters, and a whole lot more!

I've read this anthology slowly from last month until this day, and I guess it's safe to say that it's by far my most favorite one of all time! PLEASE DO YOURSELF THE FAVOR OF READING THIS.

Here are all my mini reviews of each story, I also listed the reps here for reference!

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna Marie McLemore
- Goddamit, this was beautifully written and is the perfect opening story!
- Lyrical writing, delves on the intensity of our passions and the great lengths we go through to achieve mastery, kindred spirits

Prom by Danielle Paige
- Hmmm, not gonna lie, Paige's stories always suck in every anthology I've read with her.
- high school sweethearts

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi
- 2.5 STARS
- This just wasn't fit for my taste but some would probably love it though!
- Star Wars fans, Jewish rep

Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
- This was an absolute favorite! I really love the concept of this story and how things turned out by the ending.
- ghosts as guardians (every person has one!), childhood friends, witty banter

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney
- This was pretty great at first but I guess it just wasn't really my cup of tea. Nevertheless, it executed its message pretty well.
- Black lives matter narrative, LGBTQ+ rep

Starlight and Moonlight by Lori M. Lee
- Awww this was such an enchanting and lyrical tale!
- shamans and magic, myths

Five Times Shive Met Harry
- 4.5 STARS
- I really love how cute and simple this story was! I can't help but smile giddily while reading this.
- Indian rep

The Agony of a Heart's Wish by Samira Ahmed
- Another lyrical tale! It's set in a wartime era and has definitely a lot of historical romance vibes.
- Bittersweet love, South Asian rep

The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love
- AAAAAHHHH I REALLY ADORE THIS ONE. It's such a cute and carefree story and I really felt the tension bubble huhuh I pined so hard in this one.
- best friends, Asian rep

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim
- Just imagine this: Hades as a sultry woman and Persephone as a South Asian. There you go!
- Revenge, South Asian rep, LGBTQ+ rep

Faithfull by Karuna Riazi
- I kind of teared up in this story tbh! I really love how this revolved more on the possibility of romantic love and more on friendships and family.
- Muslim rep, South Asian rep, traditional religion practices

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil
- This one resonated so much for me more so because it dwelled with punk rock and the Riot Grrrl Revolution "GIRLS TO THE FRONT!". This is also very easy to read and quite lyrical in such a unique flavor.
- LGBTQ+ rep, Mexican rep, Filipino rep

"The Boy is" by Elsie Chapman
- I love Elsie so freaking much and this story is not an exception!
- Chinese rep, debunking tradition

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith
- 4.5 STARS
- This story made me crave for moussaka and hoagies. HAHAHAH
- Brown rep, Palestinian rep

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang
- This is such a wholesome tale and kind of reminded me in a way the vibes of the first story. I really love how it wrapped up!
- PWD rep

Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera
- 2.5 STARS
- I personally wish the anthology ended with the previous story since it circled back to the first one. While this was just pretty okay for me it felt a little lacking.
- LGBTQ+ rep
Profile Image for Enne.
718 reviews112 followers
April 12, 2020
Overall rating : 3.9 stars

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore - 4 stars
There's always something magical about Anna-Marie's writing that makes me fall in love and this story was no different. I absolutely loved the concept and I loved that this was written in the second person. The only thing was that I found myself sometimes confused by what was going on, but I got used to it soon enough.

Prom by Danielle Paige - 4 stars
Despite the fact that this story was only two pages long, I thought it managed to convey its message very well and it was also absolutely adorable. There's not much else I can say about this, since it was only two pages long, but I did really enjoy it.

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi - 3 stars
I could not get past the writing with this one. The story on itself wasn't that bad, even if I did find the concept somewhat questionable. But the writing felt really juvenile and repetitive and it really hindered my overall enjoyment of the story.

Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas - 5 stars
This was such a fun story! Not only was the concept something that I would genuinely read a full length novel on because it was really fun, but the characters added a lot to my enjoyment of this. The dynamics between the main character and his ghost?? I love them.

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney - 4.5 stars
I love reading about queer kids of color who are superheroes. In fact, one of my favorite series, The Sidekick Squad, is about queer kids of color who are superheroes. So I was bound to love this story. And I did! I absolutely loved the main character and I loved the relationship and all of it was just so incredibly written and I'm absolutely in love.

Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee - 2.5 stars
I was just not a fan of much about this story. I thought the concept on its own was interesting, but there were parts that I wish the story had focused on instead of focusing on the romance. Also, the writing really didn't do it for me with this one and definitely negatively affected my enjoyment of the story. The ending also felt a bit rushed to me, but that could be just because I'm not used to short stories.

Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna - 3.5 stars
I thought this was really cute, but it didn't have much substance beyond that. I did like how it started the discussion on the British colonialism and the way it's not widely acknowledged, especially by white people. I really liked Shiva's character, too.

The Agony of a Heart's Wish by Samira Ahmed - 5 stars
This was one of the most beautiful short stories that I think I've ever read. Samira Ahmed really knows how to tug at those heartstrings and make me feel a million things in the span of twenty pages. I loved this story ended and I loved the message and I loved both of the lead characters so much. Within such a short span of time, Samira Ahmed managed to get me completely invested in their story. This was absolutely delightful.

The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond - 3 stars
I don't have any thoughts about this story because it wasn't bad and it wasn't good, either. For the most part, I was just very indifferent to anything that the main character was going through. I didn't mind the concept of the story and I really appreciated the message that it was trying to send, I just.... did not care.

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim - 4 stars
I love modern takes on mythology and this one is absolutely no exception. Tara Sim's writing is just as exceptional in this short story as it is in her longer works and I was in love from page one. I loved the concept and I loved the world that was established. And I especially loved the f/f romance!

Faithfull by Karunma Riazi - 4 stars
The way this short story manages to cover so many important topics and somehow gives them all the time they deserve. This is the one story in this anthology that brought me to tears and, to be honest, I'm still impressed. While I wasn't necessarily the main character's biggest fan, I really appreciated the struggles that she went through and the way she dealt with them. I liked how this was about family relationships and friendships and finding a place where you belong. It was an absolutely beautiful story and if you're going to read any story from this anthology, have it be this one.

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil - 5 stars
This was?? So good?? I wasn't expecting to be as enamored by it as I was. It takes place around where I live and I loved hearing about a similar setting, but I also really loved the way this was historical fiction. I loved the romance in this and I also loved how it centers around the music scene in Berkeley. Everything about this story was just... Delightful.

"The Boy Is" by Elsie Chapman - 3.5 stars
This is another one of those stories that wasn't very memorable. I really appreciated the way this one had an open ending, but other than that, I didn't really care about anything that happened in it. And the plot wasn't very coherent, to be honest.

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith - 3.5 stars
Another one of those not-memorable stories! I think this one tried to do a lot of things and explore a lot of topics in a very short span of a time and as a result of that, a lot of the more basic story elements weren't as developed as they could be. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I was just expecting something different from it. I do appreciate that this explores a very important topic and one that isn't touched on often, though, and I'm grateful that it does.

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang - 5 stars
I don't think I can even articulate why I loved this story as much as I did, but I absolutely fell in love with it from page one. I loved our main character. I loved the world. I loved the relationship that was being set up. I loved the themes that were being explored. And to top it all off, the writing was absolutely gorgeous.

Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera - 3 stars
We all know that I love Adam Silvera. But unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy this one as much as I wish I had. I thought it was cute and it sent a nice message, but it didn't have much substance beyond that and I didn't care about any of the characters enough to care about the outcome.
Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews345 followers
August 4, 2019
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler

Listen, I’m usually not the biggest fan of anthologies. Most times, there are two short stories that I really love and the rest, I just feel meh about. Sometimes, I feel obliged to review every single story on its own, while other times I feel like the stories only work as a whole. It’s a complicated thing.

But Color Outside the Lines has my whole heart.

This collection of stories approaches interracial and LGBTQIA+ relationships in various ways, addressing a plethora of topics connected to it. Love, culture, family, expectations, prejudice, discrimination, and barred communications are just a few that are explored. There are stories about trying to find common ground between cultures, facing the challenges of the privileges of being “colorblind” and understanding that to be equal is not the same as to simply say the words and be done with the topic. There are stories challenging stereotypical points of views, stories about kids who just want to find themselves in popular culture, stories about fierce people who just want to be heard and seen, who just want to be able to say, “I matter. I deserve to take up space.”. It’s a kaleidoscope of voices that illuminate how much we need more diverse literature and just how important these voices are.

I contemplated reviewing the short stories individually, but I feel like it would be doing this book a disservice. I went into the stories not knowing anything besides the title and it made the exploration of the previously mentioned topics all the more magical. The vibrant mix of stories is what makes this anthology so accessible. Truly, there is a story for everybody within these pages – whether it’s about not being aware of the monumental differences between cultures, the way one kindhearted person can change your life, or the female/female Hades/Persephone reimagination you’ve always wanted. Moreover, every single story left me wanting more – and it is my hope that this anthology is one of the necessary steps to get young readers to pick up diverse stories and find acceptance in them.

So what can you expect to get if you pick up this book? You will get a Jewish girl and an Indian boy discussing their outsider status and the worry of not fitting in. You will experience a world in which everybody has a ghost as their sidekick. A story in which colonialism separates two people who might have had one of the most epic love stories of their time. A tale about a daughter of a poisoner and a boy shunned for his scars finding common ground. And so much more!

What you can expect most of all is finding new authors to obsess over! For instance, I’ve been following Eric Smith on Twitter for ages, but I’ve never read any of his works. After reading his contribution to this fine collection, “Sandwiched in Between”, that tragic mistake will be remedied immediately. These authors put so much soul into these stories and it transpires beautifully onto the page. Whether it’s the lush descriptions of a fantastical land in which a girl gets to decide where and when her story begins or the realistic, no-nonsense prose that follows a boy wanting to find a book at the store that gives a queer character a happily ever after – there is care behind these words. Care to give teens a voice. And it is so, so encouraging, I can’t even find words for the wholesome feeling in my chest, closing this book.

All in all, I’m so happy this anthology exists and my hope is that every young individual who is craving to see themselves represented in stories will find they are very welcome in this world – to quote this anthology: “Stories belong to everyone, not just the ones telling them”.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,543 followers
March 19, 2020
I received a DRC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review

*cries and chants* Will I ever find an anthology that I genuinely love? I mean, I have a few still on my TBR that I have faith in before I give up all hope of ever loving an anthology. But unfortunately, Color the Lines wasn’t the anthology to prove my unlucky strike wrong. Although I loved a couple stories and liked a couple others, most of them were either forgettable, outright not good in my opinion or I failed to see their purpose in the context of this anthology. Color Outside the Lines is supposed to explore and celebrate interracial relationships and although most of the stories fit the bill, some of them just…didn’t, and I was confused as to why they were included here. But I digress, let’s do a run down of all the stories, the good, the bad, and the one that made me cry.

Full review posted on my blog : Word Wonders
Profile Image for Manon the Malicious.
968 reviews54 followers
April 9, 2019
*4.5 Stars*

I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Color Outside the Lines is an anthology of short stories "exploring the complexity and beauty of interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships where differences are front and center". The anthology will contain 16 stories, but my review copy only had 14 since this comes out in November. When I rated each story one by one, it gave me an average 4.35 rating which I happily rounded up since I just love the concept of this book and definitely think it's an important one too. I really liked most of the story, they were all so different and interesting. They weren't two stories that were alike and I just found this anthology to be so captivating and all around amazing.

Story by story reviews:

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore:
The writing was very Lyrical, it was cute but hard to follow, especially since the characters didn't have names. It didn’t really capture my attention...
3.5 Stars

TK by Danielle Paige [story forthcoming]

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi
That was so very cute. I loved the whole dance thing and the Star Wars references. It was short but didn’t need more.
4.5 Stars

Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
This one was cute and had ghosts. I really loved the main character’s ghost. It felt very short though.
4 Stars

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney
F/F couple with talk of Black Lives Matter & superheroine. Perfection.
5 Stars

Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee
This was pretty good, it had nice characters, dragons, a shaman in the woods... But it was pretty hard to focus on... Kinda lyrical, poetic style. I think I have trouble focusing on this kind of style.
4 stars

Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna
That was a library romance where Harry educates himself on racism and Shiva has an overbearing dad. It was a fun read.
4.5 Stars

The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed
That was a historical romance between an Irish soldier and an Indian girl. It was a powerful story but too insta-love for me.
4.5 Stars.

The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond
That was very good. I felt for her immediately and deeply related with her. I actually almost cried.
5 Stars

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim
F/F retelling of Persephone and Hades. It was pretty damn great.
4.5 Stars

Faithfull by Karuna Riazi
This one wasn't bad but I felt like something was missing. The fact that the spacing wasn't right in my file didn’t help...
4 Stars

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil
I loved this one. It's set in the 80’s. A girl skips school because her best friend abandoned her for her new boyfriend. She ends up in Berkeley and has an unforgettable adventure. Very cute lgbt+ story with lots of bi people.
5 stars

The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman
This was a cute story. It's mostly set in a food court. The main character breaks up with her asshole of a boyfriend at the very beginning of the story. I really loved the mc, this story left me wanting more.
4.5 Stars

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith
That story was a Thanksgiving story about a new couple going to both families houses. The have weird ass meals, fights. It was short and fun.
4 Stars

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang
A nice read. I loved the whole quiet and wall thing, but had some trouble fully focusing. By the end, I felt like something was missing.
4 Stars

TK by Adam Silvera [story forthcoming]
Profile Image for USOM.
2,412 reviews199 followers
October 30, 2019
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

It's always challenging to review anthologies, because I wonder if I review the stories, or the anthology as a whole. First off, the concept of this anthology is not only moving, but also so well executed. As Mandanna writes in the introduction, "representation matters" and these stories of relationships that cross borders, families, prejudices, and more are tender and heartfelt. Within this anthology are stories about superheros, ghosts, resistance, and poisons. They transform in front of your very eyes.

full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
Profile Image for Jo.
44 reviews
November 27, 2022
I liked some of these stories a lot more than others but i wouldn’t say there were any bad stories here. This was a great way for me to expose myself to a plethora of cultures and experiences and learn about some great authors. I would totally recommend this for anyone who needs something happy right now.
Profile Image for Josie.
77 reviews6 followers
May 27, 2020
I really enjoyed the majority of these stories and reading from new authors! I just bought an L.L. McKinney book and cannot wait to start reading. I look forward to reading more books like this and discovering new favorite authors.
Profile Image for Dany.
263 reviews86 followers
October 6, 2019
Review will be posted closer to the publishing date.

Buddy read !

*I got the e-copy of this ARC from Edelweiss and Soho teen in exchange of my honest opinion*
Profile Image for Richelle Robinson.
1,181 reviews35 followers
January 1, 2020
“I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.’’

I’m all about diversity which is why I wanted to read this anthology. I find that the young adult genre does a great job with providing diverse stories. So as far as the anthology goes I liked some stories more than others. Some stories were well written and some stopped just when things got interesting. A few stories went right over my head. This anthology had a little bit of everything, historical, contemporary, fantasy.

Turn The Sky To Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore-3/5
What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi -4/5
Giving Up The Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas 3.5/5
Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney-4/5
Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee 3/5
Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna 4/5
The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed 3/5
The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond 3.5/5
Death and The Maiden by Tara Sim 3.5/5
Faithfull by Karuna Riazi 3/5
Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil 2/5
The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman 2/5
Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith 3/5
Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang 2/5

Stories by Danielle Paige and Adam Silvera were not included in this copy so I won’t be able to give them a rating.

Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
489 reviews669 followers
November 29, 2019
I have yet to find an anthology I truly adore. There was a decent mix of interracial and LGBTQ love stories. This one had some decent stories and some that didn't quite hold my attention. Buy it was missing that standout short story that makes me want to reread over and over again.

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ashley Owens.
404 reviews69 followers
January 23, 2020
I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I always find it difficult to rate anthologies & short story collections. To give the book as a whole a rating feels wrong because each piece is its own. If I had to, I would rate the collection 3/5 stars. But what feels more right/appropriate is to talk about the highs and lows of this YA short story collection, and give ratings for those stories specifically.

The Bad Ones:
Unfortunately a large handful of these were either forgettable, corny, or had an unbelievable approach to the topic. For example “What We Love” by Lauren Gibaldi was the most corny shit I’ve read in a long time. It was like a heavy-handed Hallmark movie for teens. Seriously, I skim read this.

Similarly, “The Coward’s Guide to Falling In Love” by Caroline Tung Richmond was very cheesy and amateur, and felt like it didn’t actually get much into the topic of culture or racial identity. There were slight themes of empowerment that I suppose were nice, but it just lacked depth to me, and was very forgettable.

Finally, “The Agony of a Heart’s Wish” by Samira Ahmed was so emotionally manipulative and heavy-handed it actually made me angry. It centers around the very important topic of British colonization, but is so preachy and such a downer. It was rushed in places that needed more time, and slow in places that could have been cut. This was the most disappointing of the bunch for me.

The Best Ones:
The book started off very strong with “Turn the Sky to Petals” by Anna-Marie McLemore. To be honest, it was destined to be downhill from here, because AMM is among my top 3 favorite authors of all time. But I digress. This story was full of the lyrical writing, imagery, and magical realism that is AMM’s trademark. It was short, yet managed to be colorful, poetic, and unique. I can tell they chose their words carefully. It was an interesting way to talk about culture and “otherness,” because the magic element of it made it not entirely about the main characters’ cultures. It was about the things they were experiencing as individuals within their larger group. The pressures they faced growing up to do their absolute best and also participate in the group events. Given the theme of this anthology, I don’t know if this is necessarily a good thing… but I certainly would have read an entire novel of just this. In a sea of forgettable short stories, I have a feeling I will remember the particulars of this one for a while.

Similarly to AMM’s story, “Death and the Maiden” by Tara Sim told the story of culture without being heavy-handed and through the lens of fantasy/mythology/magic. It made for a more enjoyable experience, and a unique avenue to convey cultural conflicts and violence. I am head over heels for this story, which should come as no shock given that it’s a sapphic retelling of the myth of Hades & Persephone! It was about the struggles of a people and oppression and chronic violence and genecide, but done in a beautiful and heartbreaking way.

A more overt story that I very much enjoyed from this anthology was “Your Life Matters” by L.L. McKinney. It packed a much bigger punch and was much more fast-paced, but man did it make a point! Some of the plot points felt convenient, but there was a surprise element to this story that made it absolutely cool, and I am so happy this story was included.

And finally, “Gilman Street” by Michelle Ruiz Keil was the last one I was truly invested in. It has an awesome nod to punk music in Berkeley, CA (which is literally less than an hour from me), and featured some amazing queer and latinx representation. It was a rad story about connections and self-discovery and managed to pack in a lot about discovering one’s identity in a very short amount of time.
Profile Image for Leigh Kramer.
Author 1 book1,173 followers
December 8, 2019
What a solid collection! While there were a few stories I liked less than the others, the reasons were always my personal preference. On the whole, I was super impressed with the offerings in this YA anthology. Each story has an interracial component but it’s not always romantic, nor do the love stories always have a happy ending. There’s a mix of subgenres and I really liked seeing what each author came up with. My ARC did not include the stories from Adam Silvera and Danielle Paige.

Samira Ahmed broke my heart with The Agony of a Heart’s Wish and proved to be my favorite of the collection. (I mean. Could that title be any more up my alley?) An Indian girl meets an Irish boy who’s about to become a solider for the the British army in 1919. They bond over the poetry of Rumi and Yeats. They have a wide-ranging discussion about British occupation of India, colonialism, and what the poets speak to them. There’s so much longing and angst because of the cultural divide between them, despite how much they’re drawn to each other. I teared up multiple times while reading.

My other two favorites are Tara Sim's Death And The Maiden, a wonderful FF Hades-Persephone retelling, and Sangu Mandanna’s Five Times Shiva Met Harry, which called to mind When Harry Met Sally. Mandanna’s offering is contemporary, which was fun to experience after her amazing SFF The Celestial Trilogy.

As always, Anna-Marie McLemore's contribution Turn The Sky To Petals was utterly lovely. Both characters are talented at their respective arts (cimbalom for the character referred to as "you," and ballet for the narrator) but their art causes them pain (wrists and arms, ankles respectively.) They meet while the community is picking flowers for a wealthy man's wedding."

Other standouts were Starlight And Moondust by Lori M. Lee, Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil, and Yuna And The Wall by Lydia Kang.

I did not track individual content warnings for each story but some stories include the following triggers: death of a loved one, bullying, racism, xenophobia, disordered eating/diet culture, and possibly others.

Disclosure: I won an advanced copy from Goodreads.
Profile Image for tara.
194 reviews114 followers
November 28, 2021
I'm finally going to accept that anthologies just aren't for me. I don't think it's possible for me to like a short story and feel the same love for it as I would with a full-length novel, so my experience reading anthologies has always fallen flat... and it wasn't any different with this one. Although I love how this collection as a whole tries to center stories about interracial relationships and show how race affects many parts of a relationship, I disliked almost every single one of these stories. Frankly, most of them needed another round of editing; they were so aggravatingly unpolished and boring, often too short to make me care about them at all. I only had a few favorites, which I've bolded below, but my average rating for the anthology was an unfortunate 2.8 stars—which I think is still too high to describe it as a whole.

Individual story ratings:
✧ Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore // 3.5 stars
✧ Prom by Danielle Paige // 1 star
✧ What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi // 2 stars
Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas // 4 stars
✧ Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney // 3 stars
✧ Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee // 2.5 stars
✧ Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna // 2.5 stars
✧ The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed // 3.5 stars
✧ The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond // 2 stars
Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim // 4.5 stars
Faithfull by Karuna Riazi // 4 stars
Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil // 4 stars
✧ The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman // 2.5 stars
✧ Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith // 1 star
✧ Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang // 3.5 stars
✧ Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera // 2 stars

Overall rating: 2 stars
144 reviews14 followers
November 10, 2019

I don't generally read anthologies or short stories, so this was a treat to read something completely out of my comfort zone.

This was a beautiful compilation of stories about love. Love that comes in various forms, colors, shapes, and sizes. I adored the concept of love and friendship transcending cultural and society norms. Reading stories like these give you hope that we can peacefully coexist and support each other despite what we solely see on the outside.

With a collection of stories, there are usually going to be some you enjoy more than others. In saying that, there were some stories I truly did not want to end, while others I was okay with moving on from. There were also a couple stories that weren't yet included in the ARC.

Overall, I would certainly recommend this book for those looking for inspiring and unique stories of love.

Thanks to Goodreads and SoHo Teen for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for mad mags.
1,123 reviews82 followers
April 10, 2019
"We won tonight because we saved what we love."

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for racism, misogyny, and ableism.)

I swarm the stage with the other girls and here is Lourdes, jumping up and down like a circus girl on a pogo stick. She grabs my hand and I jump with her, the mess of our kiss less important than this moment when a tiny powerful woman stands, feet spread wide, and the crowd of boys parts for the shining raging mass of girls.

“GIRLS TO THE FRONT!” she yells again, and she is pure magic.

(“Gilman Street” by Michelle Ruiz Keil)

“Shiva,” he said quietly, “it was one conversation. It doesn’t mean I’ve been programmed.”

What if he doesn’t want to figure shit out?

“Of course you have. We all have. You just don’t notice because the program has been meticulously designed to benefit you.”

(“Five Times Shiva Met Harry” by Sangu Mandanna)

Anna-Marie McLemore and Adam Silvera are two authors on my (relatively short) insta-read list, making Color outside the Lines a no-brainer for me. Though I was emotionally devastated (!) that Adam Silvera's story was not included in an early ARC of the book, some of the other stories made up for it (okay, almost). In my experience, anthologies tend to be uneven; and, while Color outside the Lines is no exception, I'm happy to report that each story is mildly entertaining at worst.

The overarching theme of the collection is YA fiction about interracial relationships, both opposite-sex and LGBTQ. Some of the stories are contemporary fiction, as I expected, but there's a nice mix of historical fiction and fantasy as well. There are some happily ever afters here, while other endings will reduce you to a puddle of tears. A few are...frustratingly ambiguous. (To Elsie Chapman's “The Boy Is," I say: WHY NOT HAVE THEM BOTH?!? Like for real though, they both sound delightful, and it's just toasted cheese and a donut, yo!)

Anna-Marie McLemore's “Turn the Sky to Petals” is achingly beautiful and magical; no surprise there! “Five Times Shiva Met Harry” by editor Sangu Mandanna is as charming as it is brief; I'm really looking forward to reading more from her (The Lost Girl just jumped up a few spots on my TBR list).

Speaking of new-to-me-authors, Michelle Ruiz Keil's “Gilman Street” is a freaking revelation. Set in 1980s California, and boasting a rad punk vibe, I can only hope “Gilman Street” is just a little taste of what we're in store for with All of Us with Wings, Ruiz Keil's upcoming debut novel. Having just been ghosted by her friend Kelly (for her sleazy BF Ben and his racist friends), Tam skips school and heads down to Berkley, where a chance encounter with a badass drummer named Lourdes changes the course of Tam's life for the better. Spoiler alert: there will be Bikini Kill.

I also quite loved “Giving Up the Ghost” by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. In this world, kids are gifted Ghost Mentors at the age of nine, to help guide them through adolescence - and life, if they so choose. (A Ghost Mentor is mandatory only until one's seventeenth birthday, at which time you may opt to have it removed.) Whereas his parents got a Buddhist monk and a cobbler from Mumbai, Sanjiv got stuck with Ching, a bloodthirsty pirate from the nineteenth century. Her advice, among other things? To re-introduce himself to his childhood crush Addy thusly: "Hi, do you remember me? I’m Sanji and we used to try and glue our hands together in preschool so we wouldn’t be separated at the end of the day—wanna bang?" The story's structure is a countdown to Sanjiv's birthday. Cue: dramatic tension.

Samira Ahmed's period piece “The Agony of a Heart’s Wish”, featuring two star-crossed lovers - both victims of British colonialism, circa 1919 - will shred your heart to pieces. Ditto: Lydia Kang's “Yuna and the Wall,” though in a much happier and more hopeful kind of way. Oh, and Lori M. Lee's “Starlight and Moondust”? 110% as ethereal as the title would have you believe.

Color outside the Lines is a really fantastic collection, in both concept and execution, and even if romance isn't normally your thing.

“Turn the Sky to Petals” by Anna-Marie McLemore - 4/5
“What We Love” by Lauren Gibaldi - 3/5
“Giving Up the Ghost” by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas - 5/5
“Your Life Matters” by L.L. McKinney - 3/5
“Starlight and Moondust” by Lori M. Lee - 4/5
“Five Times Shiva Met Harry” by Sangu Mandanna - 4/5
“The Agony of a Heart’s Wish” by Samira Ahmed - 5/5
“The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love” by Caroline Tung Richmond - 3/5
“Death and the Maiden” by Tara Sim - 4/5
“Faithfull” by Karuna Riazi - 4/5
“Gilman Street” by Michelle Ruiz Keil - 5/5
“The Boy Is” by Elsie Chapman - 3/5
“Sandwiched in Between” by Eric Smith - 3/5
“Yuna and the Wall” by Lydia Kang - 5/5

TK from Danielle Paige and Adam Silvera

Profile Image for MJ.
89 reviews2 followers
May 11, 2021
A really diverse anthology in many senses. It sets out to show the full spectrum of interracial and multicultural relationships, and it succeeds. It’s not just straight couples with one white person and one person of colour, there are stories with queer main characters and relationships between two people of colour as well. It had happy and sad endings, heavy and lighthearted stories, and multiple genres as well - historical settings, fantasy, contemporary, magical realism. There’s really a story for everyone in here. Like every anthology I’ve read, there were some absolute gems and some stories I didn’t like that much, but overall it’s a nice work I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. One thing I did notice were a couple of jarring editorial mistakes, for example two instances in different stories where the characters were addressed by a wrong name, which is always confusing.
My aggregate rating amounts to 3.6 Stars, so I've rounded up for the overall rating, but of course I had to review the individual stories as well. I never know how to shut up anyway.

Turn the Sky to Petals - This story has effectively convinced me that I’ll never be able to read a whole novel by Anna-Marie McLemore (sorry enne if ur reading this <3). As in I could tell that this is probably a great story but it’s just not the type of writing I understand. It was just too whimsical, too lyrical for me to make sense of it. The language was beautiful and it was nice to see a Romani love interest, but I honestly did not get what was happening. 2.5 Stars.

Prom - At barely 2 pages, this story is by far the shortest one in the anthology, and even though it does get the message across, I wish it had been just a few pages longer. I didn’t hate it, but it feels too short to really make an impact, which it definitely could have based on what was there. 3 Stars.

What We Love - I’m a boring reader, so I appreciated that this was the most “traditional” short story so far. It was also the kind of YA that makes me look in the mirror and say “Holy crap, I’m getting old,” which is to say that it felt a little juvenile to me, both the writing style and the characters’ actions. It was a bit over-the-top cheesy with the cartoonish antagonist and the pop culture references. 3 Stars.

Giving Up the Ghost - Okay yes, this felt similarly juvenile compared to the story before, but the concept was way more unique (including a Chinese pirate ghost), the characters had more personality, and it was pretty funny. 4.5 Stars.

Your Life Matters - A story about a Black sapphic superhero with a well-executed message. I’m gonna be honest though, I started skimming when I realized it was a superhero story. I cannot express my current hatred for superheroes in words whoops. I’ll probably give this another shot when I’m not so sick of them anymore, because I think it’s incredibly important that unapologetically Black and queer characters can be superheroes too! No rating.

Starlight and Moondust - Just like the very first story, this one had me confused. Magical realism is usually not my thing; I can never quite follow what’s going on. When the ending came around, I kind of looked at the page for a couple of minutes and said “wait, what did I just read?” The concept is neat, but the execution was too confusing for me. 2 Stars.

Five Times Shiva Met Harry - Short and sweet! My host family when I stayed in Canada was Indian and they were super accepting and open, so I loved that this story showed Indian parents that are not incredibly strict or traditional. Despite being so short, this story made me root for Shiva and Harry, and it was nice to see Harry listening to Shiva and looking to educate himself on British Colonialism. Is it petty if I take points off for the Harry Potter references? Honestly I loved it as much as anyone before TERF Rowling exposed herself, but it’s getting a little tiresome. 4 Stars.

The Agony of a Heart’s Wish - Instant favourite. I could have quit reading right here. Samira Ahmed puts so much emotion into this short piece, it’s truly astonishing. As someone who can recite most of Pearse’s “Ireland Unfree Will Never Be at Peace” speech (and a couple of Yeats poems too, for that matter), this one was really close to my heart. Yes, I cried at the ending. Yes, I cried reading “Then how can you wear their uniform, knowing that your brothers died for Ireland to be free? Just like the Indians are dying for India to be free. You must see that, Jimmy. It’s such a simple and humble thing, isn’t it? To want to live free. To make mistakes. To fail sometimes, perhaps, but even for those failures to be your own.” What a sad and beautiful and moving story. I loved both main characters and the message, the writing style, the setting, the romance - everything. I have nothing to criticise. 5 Stars.

The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love - I liked it! The writing was straightforward and to the point, it had a nice message, and the characters were pretty likable. 4 Stars.

Death and the Maiden - Not my usual thing, but definitely a well-written and interesting story. I enjoyed the romance and the discussion of consent as well as how Tara Sim handled the revenge aspect. What I didn’t love was the worldbuilding, and I found it hard to connect to the characters, but I reckon it’s more a “Jim doesn’t do fantasy very well” issue than a problem with the story. 3.5 Stars.

Faithfull - A moving and nicely written story. This is not as romance-focused as some of the other stories, which was a welcome change of pace. The main character’s growth was really satisfying to see, and I think the secondary characters were rather well-developed for a short piece. There was a lot going on, but not too much. Every topic that was explored got enough screen time and a proper conclusion. Made me really emotional. 4.5 Stars.

Gilman Street - Another favourite! The writing is incredibly well-suited to this story, it makes the characters and the setting so vivid, it’s like they’re ready to jump off the page. It captures the energy and transports it to the reader effortlessly. There’s not a lot to dislike here; it’s a fairly lighthearted story but still feels realistic and has enough emotional depth. 5 Stars.

“The Boy Is” - This story had a unique perspective I haven’t seen explored a lot before and I really appreciate that. The main character was relatable to me, and even though the writing felt a bit off at times, the story still flowed well enough. Another great story I enjoyed. 4 Stars.

Sandwiched in Between - I don’t know, this one was weird to me. Definitely not my favourite. The writing style and the characters didn’t really do it for me. I’m not sure if I appreciated the directions this went in, it was kind of all over the place. It tackles a tricky subject that needs a lot of nuance, which is probably not easy to pull off in such a short story, and it fell a little flat to me. I think it could have been more fleshed-out. 2.5 Stars.

Yuna and the Wall - I can’t really explain why I didn’t like this one. Somehow the writing didn’t flow very well, it felt a little stilted and choppy to me. Surprisingly I did enjoy the fantasy-esque setting, and it had a nice if slightly heavy-handed message about prejudice as well. 3 Stars.

Something Gay and Magical - Everyone knows I love Adam Silvera. He’s just such a great storyteller and he knows how to make characters come alive. I had great expectations, and while this is by no means a bad story, it does fall a little short. Of course it’s very short and I think what I was missing is the substance that Adam’s novels carry. Plus, another unfortunate case of "When will YA authors read a book that's not HP?" which is especially funny in this considering the message. Still, it’s a really cute story that brings up great points about why QPOC rep in books is important. A sweet ending for a very enjoyable anthology. 3.5 Stars.
Profile Image for Tia Schmidt.
356 reviews4 followers
September 14, 2022
Average rating for individual stories: 2.94
My rating as a whole anthology: 3
Best stories: Giving Up the Ghost, The Boy Is, The Agony of a Heart’s Wish, Gilman Street
Worst stories: Prom, The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love, Faithfull, Sandwiched in Between

Giving this 3 stars just like almost every other anthology I've ever read. There were stories I loved and stories I absolutely despised, but it was a decent anthology all around and I absolutely adore the overall theme (I'm a HUGE sucked for a good anthology theme. The more unique the better!!!!).

Individual ratings/thoughts:

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I've tried to read Anna-Marie McLemore MULTIPLE times and I can never get into her writing style. The lyricism just wraps me up too much. This was definitely the best thing I've ever read from her, but it still just wasn't for me.

Prom by Danielle Paige 2 ⭐️⭐️

I appreciated the attempted message, but this was WAY too short for me to form an opinion about any aspect of it fully. It needed to be at least double as long to have any impact.

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was ADORABLE and I genuinely really loved the message and meaning behind it all. That 99% of the time, being the bigger person is the right choice. That we may think all our cultures are extremely different, but they have more in common than we know. That you can find love and friendship in the most unexpected places ever. I just loved it.

Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was absolutely EVERYTHING!!!!!! So cute and funny and unique! It also had such an interesting kind of historical element to it that I loved. I can't say enough good things!! Definitely my favorite in the collection thus far.

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LOVED THIS! Black queer woman superhero who faces her girlfriend's ~blue lives matter~ cop dad during the middle of a BLM protest???? Like... what???? I know this came out 3 years ago, but I NEED a full-length story ASAP!!!

Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee 2 ⭐️⭐️

A bit too convoluted for me, but I did like the writing style a lot.

Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Never in my entire life have I met an Indian uncle who would talk about his daughter having sex like that lolol. Weirded me tf out. BUT I loved the message behind this one and felt it could have been really impactful, had it been longer. Right when I was starting to get into the story and really understand what Mandanna was trying to get across, the story just abruptly ended. Like, ok, he's reading books about British rule in India, and then... the book just ends? Like that's it? I needed more.

The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oh my godddddd. This was absolutely stunning. I literally have no words except that this was heartbreaking and I highly recommend NOT reading it in public like I did. Truly heartbreaking, especially since it so accurately describes historic India and British colonization of both India and Ireland.

The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond 1 ⭐️

I just truly did not like or connect to this one at ALL. I can appreciate the ending and the empowerment message it's giving off, but the story itself wasn't for me.

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This seems to be the fan favorite of this collection, but I personally found it really average. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the concept and story, but I just wasn't the biggest fan overall. I didn't feel that true Hades/Persephone spark that I was expecting.

Faithfull by Karuna Riazi 1 ⭐️

Another one that I really couldn't get into. I appreciated the story itself, but I couldn't get on with the writing style of this. A bit confusing and all over the place.

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was SOOOOOO cute. I absolutely loved this one. It was so fun and the ending made my heart absolutely swoon. I love seeing healthy mother-daughter relationships in literature.

The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I really didn't know what to expect with this story at the beginning and I definitely didn't expect it to be 5 stars, but this was AMAZING! Such an interesting look at culture and assimilation vs. acculturation. Most of the stories I've read surrounding the topic include parents clinging to their home culture and clashing with their more Americanized first-gen children. This was centered around a mother praying, hoping, and begging her child to fully assimilate and release her own culture for a more American way of life, but the child (our MC) wants to know herself and doesn't want to entirely give up her heritage. It was just SO different than anything I've ever read about immigrant parents/first-gen children and it was really a breath of fresh air and extremely intriguing. I'd take a full length on this, for sure.

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith 1 ⭐️

Really REALLY didn't like this one. Just something about the topic and how it's handled didn't sit right with me at all. And improper actions are never corrected or confronted. The story just abruptly ends without any conflict resolution. I just really didn't like this.

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Really interesting!!!! I didn't expect this kind of fantasy story in here and it was a refreshing take on the overall theme of the anthology. I saw a review mention this is a graphic novel, but I listened to this book audibly and I had no idea! I'm not 100% sure if it even is or not, but it would make a great one either way. Overall, I really liked this!

Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera 2 ⭐️⭐️

Good message and typical Adam Silvera writing (catchy, chic, etc.), but it was WAYYYY too short to have any sort of impact on me. I liked what it had to say, but I wish it overall said... more.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
617 reviews48 followers
August 3, 2020
I'm usually not big on short story collections, but I love Sangu Mandanna and when I saw she had edited a collection of stories where the common thread is LGBTQIA/interracial, as a bi-woman who is dating outside my race I was like....was this MADE for me??? The TL;DR of this is that your mileage may vary, which is true of all short story collections. I do think there is at least one story out there for every person, and it has introduced me to a lot of authors who otherwise would not have been on my radar.

1. Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Mari McLemore - This story focuses on two people who are suffering from injuries related to their art (music and dance). This didn't do much for me swoon-wise, but ohhhhhh do I relate to the fear and pain described here.

2. Prom by Danielle Page - Well this was....short. Kind of a plug in situation that could be about a bunch of different things? Too short to really get much out of it for me.

3. What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi - Kind of a Mean Girls-ish vibe to it. Cute!

4. Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas - OH MY GOD YES. This is the most bonkers premise in the entire collection and I wish I had a whole book based off of it! People have ghosts attached to them who are distant ancestors. The ghosts are supposed to advise them (it's otherwise 100% our world). But what if your ghost is FREAKING CHING SHIH AKA THE COOLEST LADY PIRATE EVER AND MY FAVOURITE PERSON IN HISTORY??? Shenanigans ensue. Definitely loved this!

5. Your Life Matters - L.L. McKinney - Woah. Waaaaay more serious than previous story. Heavy but important. Superhero vibes in the midst of BLM protests and - it's a lot, and it's complicated, and it's great. LOVED it!

6. Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee - Mixture of Hmong culture and small town America that I really loved (no surprise, I have thoroughly enjoyed Lori M. Lee's other works!)

7. Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna - (Another author I already know and love!) This one has a nice meet cute and I would have enjoyed as a full novel.

8. The Agony of a Heart's Wish by Samira Ahmed - Set during English occupation of India. So beautiful but...I mean look at the title, it's no surprise this one hit me hard in the feels.

9. The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond - Sooooo relatable, particularly for teens I think. Deals with falling in love with your bff!

10. Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim - HOLY MOTHER OF ALL GOODNESS. This is it. This is hands down the best short story in the collection, and it's worth it just for this story. It is THE BEST retelling of Hades and Persephone I've ever come across. I highly, highly recommend this one!

11. Faithfull by Karuna Riazi - Ooooh another one that is wonderful and very layered!

12. Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil - This is one that I really related to as a bi girl - definitely had a quote in this one that really hit home for me. Loved it!

13. The Boy Is by Elsie Chapman - Deals with being a first generation American and how it can complicate expectations that come with romance in a different way than other stories here have done.

14. Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith - Deals with Thanksgiving when your significant other is a different race than you, which....yeah I've been there.

15. Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang- This one is complete fantasy Kind of had a Shannon Hale vibe (her books of Bayern) or Keturah and Lord Death - very traditional fairy tale like.

16. Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera - If you are a non-white/non-hetero/non-gender conforming reader I guarantee you you'll relate to this one! MC is in the bookstore looking for a book that features someone that is like him, but isn't about him being different than set cis/white/straight

Profile Image for kory..
1,055 reviews109 followers
June 25, 2020
this is all about characters of color having all kinds of love stories and it's wonderfully pure

content/trigger warnings; racism, anti-semitism, bullying, ableism, anti-native language, police brutality, explosions, injuries, hospitals, mentions of war, grief, arophobia, murder, violence, kissing, fetishization, queerphobia,

my rating for each story

—turn the sky to petals by anna-marie mclemore: 2 stars
—prom by danielle page: 3 stars
—what we love by lauren gibaldi: 4 stars
—giving up the ghost by tarun shanker and kelly zekas: 5 stars
—your life matters by l.l. mckinney: 5 stars
—starlight and moondust by lori m. lee: 2 stars
—five times shiva met harry by sangu mandanna: 3 stars
—the agony of a hearts's wish by samira ahmed: 2 stars
—the coward's guide to falling in love by caroline tung richmond: 2 stars
—death and the maiden by tara sim: 1 star
—faithful by karuna riaza: 1 star
—gilman street by michelle ruiz keil: 3 stars
—the boy is by elsie chapman: 3 stars
—sandwiched in between by eric smith: 2 stars
—yuna and the wall by lydia kang: 2 stars
—something gay and magical by adam silvera: 4 stars
489 reviews38 followers
January 8, 2020
Overall Average rating: 3.56/5 stars

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna Marie-McLemore: 3.75/5 stars

Prom by Danielle Paige: 3/5 stars

What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi: 2/5 stars

Giving up the Ghost by Tarun Shankar and Kelly Zekas: 4/5 stars

Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney: 4/5 stars

Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee: 3.75/5 stars

Five times Shiva met harry by Sangu Mandanna: 2/5 stars

The Agony of a Heart's Wish by Samira Ahmed: 5/5 stars

The Coward's Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond: 3/5 stars

Death and the Maiden by Tara Sim: 4.5/5 stars

Faithfull by Karuna Riazi: 4.25/5 stars

Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz keil: 4/5 stars

"The Boy Is" by Elsie Chapman: 2.75/5 stars

Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith: 3.5/5 stars

Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang: 4/5 stars

Something Gay and Magical by Adam Silvera: 3/5 stars
Profile Image for  zah.
375 reviews
October 30, 2020
*2.5 stars*

this is a collection of romance anthologies, from young love relationships to broken hearts, which consists of many types of couples, interracial couples, and also lgbtqia+ couples. i enjoyed a lot of the contents of this book. the short stories was very entertaining and very 'fact-paced' in terms of events occurring in one story. a lot of very obvious tropes were used, made it boring for some of them, sadly :(

what i liked :
- we get to see some very rarely used settings and many new cultures, cultural settings, fresh couple dynamics that we HAVE to see more, maybe in novel form(s) in the future because it's so interesting
- this book is very ya/middle-grade, depends on which story you're reading which i liked, because it's cute and fluffy romance and i'm here for it/very in the mood for it
- i'm really digging some of the author's writing style, might try some more books by them
Profile Image for ✨.
184 reviews13 followers
April 4, 2020
This started off really good, and then got really long and boring. I think there should be a 15-page max limit on anthology short stories because some of these felt like they went on for 20-30 pages, and I definitely skimmed towards the end because of this.

I didn't enjoy most of these but my favorites were:

Giving Up The Ghost by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
“Hurts more if they love you first”
I LOVED this one so much! It was so cute and fun, and I wish there was a whole book of this.

Prom by Danielle Paige 4 stars
“It’s the beginning of us."
Two pages telling the beginnings of a love story. I wish it was longer😩.

The Cowards Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond
"I want someone to love me the way that boy loves the cello."
I didn’t sign up for this.
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