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Life Is Short and Then You Die: First Encounters with Murder from Mystery Writers of America

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Life Is Short and Then You Die is the Mystery Writers of America's first teen anthology, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Adolescence is a time of “firsts.” First kiss. First love. First loss. First job. The first taste of adult responsibilities, and the first look at an independent life away from both the restrictions and the security of hom
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Imprint
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  277 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Michael Fierce
3½ stars.

Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
Thank you to Imprint/Macmillan for my review copy.

I'm going to start with the warnings first.  Since this anthology is all about death and murder, you can already expect that it contains just about every trigger warning there is.  Murder, implied suicide, implied sexual assault, some sex (nothing explicit), language, animal deaths (not described, just mentioned), all types of abuse, Nazi Germany, teenagers saying slurs at others, talk about appearance (both good and bad), young teens in jail (hi
Ben Truong
Life Is Short and Then You Die: First Encounters with Murder from Mystery Writers of America is an anthology of eighteen short stories which was collected and edited by Kelley Armstrong. It is a collection of eighteen tales of murder witnessed, committed, and experienced, from an array of Young Adult and Adult authors.

For the most part, I somewhat like most of these contributions. Life Is Short and Then You Die: First Encounters with Murder from Mystery Writers of America is an anthology eightee
Feb 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yikes, owned, bookclub
Thanks! I hate it
This book is based only on the following reviews.

Floater - Kelley Armstrong
This one made me sad. I hated what Kylie learned, but do agree with how she left things.

Daddy's Girl - Melissa Marr
This one was flat out creepy. I didn't like how calm Iris was about things, to say she had issues is not even close to what was going on.

The Boy in the Red Vans - Rachel Vincent
This was another one that made me sad, but more for Michael, he didn't deserve what happened to him and Ellie took the easy way out.

Nov 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
representation: varied - hard to tell usually with anthologies
content warnings: death, murder, gore

This one was a mess. Usually in an anthology, I won't be a fan of very read, but I still might enjoy a few. There wasn't one in here that I really really enjoyed. To be honest, I could barely make it through most of the stories. I wasn't able to get pulled into any story, and I felt like it was just super eh even on the ones I sort of enjoyed.

I can't think of a stand out one. The Kelley Armstrong o
Sarah Yung
A fun, if uneven, jaunt into short YA murder fiction. Like many (if not, dare I say, all) anthologies, there are some remarkably solid inclusions (“Summer Job,” “Gnat," “First Party Back,” etc.) amidst some weaker entries (“Daddy's Girl,” “The Company I Keep,” “Night of the Living Dog,” etc.). While there's a smattering of diverse characters throughout, it seems like the only author of color included is Y.S. Lee (correct me if I'm wrong).
An amazing collection of short stories about teenagers and their first encounter with dead.
Even if the level is uneven all are well written and engrossing.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was pretty good, kind of sad though.
Penny Ramirez
Some stories were better than 3 stars, some not. I read all but one. Many authors were new to me. I was surprised by a few of the stories. Billed as YA - most of them fit that bill.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that I could not put down. I ignored laundry, emails, phone calls, eating and sleep for this one. That’s how great it is!

This was the first time that I’ve read an anthology and it didn’t disappoint. I’m struggling with this review as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. However, I will say that each short story is unique and different. All of them have their own identities and little twists that go along. I want to point out that there are a lot of triggers going on here so tread
Zoë Danielle
I don't read a lot of short story collections, it's just not my favourite genre, but Kelley Armstrong is absolutely one of my favourite authors so when she edits a collection--which includes a story from her--I'm definitely going to have to make an exception. Life is Short and Then You Die: Mystery Writers of America Presents: First Encounters with Murder includes stories from 18 different authors, most of whom I hadn't read from before, but there are some familiar names such as Armstrong, Melis ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
*Goodreads Giveaway*
Well, this was a fun little read. I love short stories, particularly creepy/unsettling ones, so this book was right up my alley. As other reviewers have said, the book is a little uneven. Some of the stories are quite good, others not so much. I particularly enjoyed the couple of "historical" stories that were included. All in all, this book is a good weekend/rainy day read.
Clare Bird
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I give this book 4 out of 5 birds. This is such a TOUGH one to review because it's not one author but many. But this book had me by hello. It's all about first experiences with murder. I have yet to have my first, unless you include the time I found the body in the river during high school cross country... Beside the point. I'll make it crystal clear, I have no plans to join the club unless it's a zombie apocalypse. Out of the entirety of the book there were 3 I skimmed and maybe two I read and ...more
As the introduction acknowledges, being a teen means experiencing a lot of firsts, most of them pleasant and exciting. In these eighteen stories, teens encounter more unpleasant firsts--death in the form of murder in various forms. All of the entries are infinitely readable and entertaining. Although some of the pieces are written by debut authors, others come from the pens of bestselling authors, including R. L. Stine and Barry Lyga. If the first story in the collection, "Floater" by Kelley Arm ...more
Kristina Lenarczyk
Average Rating: 3.38 / 5 stars

Floater by Kelley Armstrong
- 4 stars

The Day I Killed Coach Duffy by R.L Stine
- 3.5 stars

In Plain Sight by Y.S Lee
- 3 stars

Daddy’s Girl by Marissa Marr
- 2.5 stars

Summer Job by Amanda Witt
- 3.5 stars

The Boy in the Red Vans by Rachel Vincent
- 5 stars

The Company I Keep by Jeff Somers
- 3 stars

Concealment by Eileen Rendahl
- 4.5 stars

Night of the Living Dog by David Bart
- 3 stars

Murder IRL by Jeff Soloway
- 2 stars

A Killer Story by Julie Tollefson
- 3 stars

Gnat bf Jos
I received this book free as an ARC from a Goodreads Giveaway

So, I liked *most* of these stories. YA Thriller is not really a genre I usually read, but I recognized several of the authors in this anthology and thought I'd give it a try.

I think there's a very good mix of ghost stories, murder mystery, and physiological thrillers in this collection. I'm sure readers will all find something that interests them.

Since this was and ARC, my main critiques are about editing and format.

I think the book w
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I received an e-ARC of Life is Short and Then You Die from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Like all short story collections that I have read in the past, Life is Short and Then You Die contains some really good short stories, some okay short stories, and some not so good short stories. Edited by Kelley Armstrong, Life is Short and Then You Die contains 18 short stories that tell of teens' first exposure to death. Each story is told from the perspective of the victim, witness, or kill
It should be stated that some of these stories contain very heavy material and a blanket trigger warning should be issued: implied sexual assault/rape, mentions of self-harm, abusive parents/peers, and animal death are present in this anthology.

That being said, Life Is Short and Then You Die is an entertaining and spooky horror anthology written by some of the best voices in mystery, thriller, and horror (including the beloved R.L. Stine). These eighteen short stories are not intertwined, yet th
I intended to read this book for Halloween but just didn't get around to it so here I am finishing it in November... I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how many different kinds of it's-my-first-experience-with-a-dead-body kinds of stories it's possible to write. It's really difficult to review this book because it's a compilation of short stories by the best authors of mystery writing out there, but there were definitely some stories I liked better than others. Even though it's a relativel ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
A varied collection of short stories with young adult protagonists; the stories are linked by their exploration of death:murder. There are a wide variety of stories in the collection from first kill (whether accidental, sociopath, or directly triggered by events), to encountering death, to the long-term effects of murder and the ripple of its effects through time.

There are some well known YA authors in the collection - many of whom I'd read previously. It was a pleasure both to read familiar voi
The feeling right from the start was that it lacked something-- but certainly not based on the topic itself because murder and/or mystery is popular in books, podcasts, and TV, but for some reason this didn't take hold. There was name recognition with authors of the YA persuasion and Kelley Armstrong was the editor, but most lacked some pizzazz or magic to make them riveting, gross, dark, or overall creepy as a whole. There were only several individual stories that were even mildly interesting. ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super quick read, as it is a short collection of short stories. I picked it up because of the title - which is a catchphrase I use WAY too often - and the impressive list of contributing authors.

Like most collections of stories, this one has its ups and downs. ALl of the stories are about murder, and all of them involve teens. To be honest, none of them stood out to me as a favorite - or even as a least favorite. I really felt "meh" about all of them.

That said, it is at least an interesting exe
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is AMAZING. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. There is something for everybody in this book. This book has suspense, thrills, and mystery and it's diverse because of the multiple writers involved. If you love a book made up of short stories, you will love this book. It not explores murder, but it also explores how humanity interacts with it. It blurs the lines between right and wrong, good and evil, and if murder would ever be justified.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a mystery AND a short story fan, I found this collection really entertaining. A nice mix of stories with plenty of surprises. I've worked on this slowly - a story now and then - like an occasional snack and that has been a great way to enjoy this.

Always fun to read the contributions of familiar authors and see what they have concocted. Great fun!
Faith Hurst-Bilinski
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
An anthology of short stories about death. I was disappointed in some, ran through some, and truly enjoyed some. The best were In Plain Sight, Summer Job, Concealment, What I Did On my Summer Vacation, and The Things We Don't Talk About. Each of them had some relationships behind the death and its repercussions.

Those alone were worth reading for. Skim a few.
Triss Aiedail
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2020
The thing about short story collections with works from different authors is, that some of mentioned stories are written so good, but there are always some with rather "meh" writing as well.  

All in all the stories were good, some better, some less but it definitely was fun to read them all! 
3/5 stars seems like a fair rating :)
w  o  r  d  s
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the stories blew me away while others I sped read an one I skipped. The good stories were so amazing. Especially the last one.
These are my top five I order:

1. Six Ways To Kill Your Grandmother
2. Daddy's Girl
3. A Different Hero's Day
4. The day I Killed Coah Duffey
5. The Things We Don't Talk About
Bridgette Stout
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
thought the povs were really unique, in one of the short stories the narrator is dead and is seeing the events after her death unfold. She has a choice to solve her murder or pass on to the afterlife. I thought the concept of this book was very good and I like the short stories because they are all different and interesting.
Bookish in the 'Burgh, Pittsburgh's Teen Book Festival
"A perfect mystery anthology chronicling teens’ first interactions with murder. Some are witnesses. Some are victims. And some are the killers. This book was so unbelievably enjoyable. I could not put it down. There were so many wonderful stories within the pages of this book by authors who are extremely talented in their craft."
-Teen Ambassador Mia
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Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked a

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