Anthologies for Those Who Like a Shorter Read

Maybe you struggle with longer books or you don’t always want to read a full novel? Or maybe you like getting a taste of an author’s style or of a book? If any of these sound familiar, then try an anthology. Here are some good ones for YA readers:

Love Hurts edited by Malorie Blackman


This is a collection of stories – extracts from novels – about contemporary love. All different types of love and situations are covered: this is not a fluffy book about teen romance. The excerpts tackle tough love, difficult love and include excerpts from LGBT books. What is so special about this collection is not just the broad range of love included but the quality of the writing – the book contains excerpts including Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, More Than This by Patrick Ness, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Junk by Melvin Burgess, Trouble by Non Pratt and many more.

Let It Snow


Three short stories by three different authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. The stories are set at Christmastime in Gracetown. The first story starts on Christmas Eve when a severe storm hits town, the second takes place mainly on Christmas Day and the third, the day after. All three are about falling in love and the characters from each story appear and pass through the other stories, giving the book a continuity, even though each of the three stories are stand alone.

The stories are enjoyable, with slightly wacky but fun characters. Each set of characters is quite different and their love stories are believable. The book starts with John Green’s story and it is funny, gentle and has a real feel-good factor. Maureen Johnson’s story looks at friendship and love and Lauren Myracle studies how some teenagers can ruin something good by being wrapped up in themselves. Ideal for a lighter read or for readers who don’t enjoy long books.

Newly published by Amnesty is an anthology of short stories and poems exploring the top human rights issues facing young people today. It is called Here I Stand: Stories That Speak for Freedom and the 25 authors include John Boyne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Elizabeth Laird and Chris Riddell.


You might also try the ‘A Little Aloud‘ series. There is one for children, one about love and one for people you care for. They all contain a selection of poetry and prose selected to be read aloud. The children’s one includes excerpts from classics and contemporary books and would appeal to younger teens.

Other anthologies to check out include Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl (seven stories of magic, mystery and suspense), My True Love Gave to Me edited Stephanie Perkins (12 romances from some well mown authors) and 21 Proms edited by David Levithan (21 prom stories you’ll never forget by an amazing array of authors).


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