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FOOLS IN LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake


Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales

edited by Ashley Herring Blake & Rebecca Podos

Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-7624-7234-5
Publisher: Running Press Kids

Fifteen notable YA authors take on romantic tropes.

Each entry centers on a familiar romance plot convention—named in the story’s subtitle—with the settings and characters’ identities bringing additional variety. In Laura Silverman’s “The Passover Date: Fake Dating,” 18-year-old Rachel Ableman ropes in her middle school crush, Matthew Pearlman, to attend a chaotic family Seder. In Julian Winters’ “What Makes Us Heroes: Hero vs. Villain,” Black superhero-to-be Shai encounters his estranged friend and maybe-villain-in-training, Kyan, while waiting for his ex-boyfriend. While romance naturally is at the forefront, themes of identity, belonging, and social status are developed in many stories. Some protagonists take on patriarchal norms: Gloria Chao’s “Teed Up: Oblivious to Lovers” sees Taiwanese American Sunny Chang competing as the sole female golfer in a junior championship, while Lili Marin of Lilliam Rivera’s “These Strings: Sibling’s Hot Best Friend” longs to take a creative leadership role in the family business, a Latinx traveling puppet theater. In several stories, characters reflect on gender and sexual orientation. For example, Lev from Mason Deaver’s “Boys Noise: Only One Bed at the Inn” plays hooky and takes a trip to New York City with a fellow member of his boy band; he reflects on being gay and trans and the toll of the professional contract that keeps him closeted. From meet-cutes to frenemies to long-gestating feelings, this anthology offers a pleasurable assortment of love connections.

Delightful, romantic fun.

(author bios) (Romance anthology. 14-18)