A collection of 15 short stories by different authors focuses on learning, keeping and telling secrets.
The theme provides a common thread, but otherwise, the stories are diverse in both genre and content. Some stories are fantasy and others, realistic; some are lighthearted and others, heavier. Some follow a classic trajectory in which a secret is kept then climactically revealed, while others are more subversive. Quality varies. Kekla Magoon reveals a universe of detail when her character, the only black girl in her grade at boarding school, tells readers she didn't bring any of her eating-disorder–related paraphernalia with her when she left for school, "As if I already knew I wouldn't need it." In Louise Hawes' "When We Were Wild," the alcohol-soaked fairy tales told by the mother of the outcast girl the narrator refuses to admit to being friends with sparkle with twisted hopefulness. Other stories, however, are less memorable. Chris Lynch's "Lucky Buoy" never provides enough background to give the story its full impact, and Cynthia Leitich Smith's "Cupid's Beaux" will resonate most with readers already familiar with the paranormal universe in which the author's books are set.
Though uneven, the collection offers many worthy entries. (Anthology. 14-18)