LIFE IS SHORT AND THEN YOU DIE by Kelley Armstrong

LIFE IS SHORT AND THEN YOU DIE

Mystery Writers of America Presents First Encounters With Murder
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Age Range: 13 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of 18 tales of murder witnessed, committed, and experienced, from an array of YA and adult authors.

A luminary-studded author list notwithstanding, this collection doesn’t shoot high; the mostly implicitly white and heteronormative characters, in largely contemporary settings, combine with the murder theme to give this an air of same-same despite the variety of narrative styles and the many forms of murder. Standouts from adult authors include the heartwarming “A Different Hero’s Day” by Anthony Franze (The Outsider, 2017, etc.) and Barry Lancet (The Spy Across the Table, 2017, etc.), in which ADHD is the critical characteristic that allows the protagonist to save the day when another teen is targeted. “The Company I Keep” by Jeffrey Somers (contributor: No Bars and a Dead Battery, 2018, etc.) excels in its descriptive writing and the slow reveal of psychological damage. The YA contributions feature a wider range, including both of the historical settings and the only ghost story. Y.S. Lee’s (Twelve Sisters, 2018, etc.) prison murder tale “In Plain Sight,” complete with historical note, is particularly noteworthy, tackling as it does female agency, while Jasper Dent fans will enjoy Barry Lyga’s (co-author: The Hive, 2019, etc.) I Hunt Killers' (2012) prequel “Six Ways to Kill Your Grandmother.” Suited more to casual browsing than cover-to-cover reading, this anthology may entice teens to expand their mystery reading.

Diverting enough. (introduction, author bios) (Mystery. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-19640-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Imprint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2019