November 17, 2017

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Three Sides of a Heart by Natalie C. Parker | SLJ Review

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redstarPARKER, Natalie C., ed. Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles. 448p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Dec. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062424471.

Gr 9 Up –In Justina Ireland’s alternative history story “Dread South,” conversations about sexuality, racism, and the legacies of chattel slavery in the United States are deftly woven into a tale of zombies. In Rae Carson’s contribution to this engaging short story collection, Earth has been destroyed by an asteroid. The futuristic tale leaves three teens alone on a foreign planet, where the sole female survivor makes a startling decision regarding the continuation of the human race. Vampires, residents of Mars, and high school students with supernatural powers all make appearances. More realistic contemporary entries include a college freshman deciding between two lovers; troubled young adults living in the midst of drugs and partying in Las Vegas; and two Oklahoma friends offering clandestine kissing classes. The authors use unique strategies for weaving together sexuality and relationships in their love triangle–themed prose. Some follow the classic romance format while others conjure up ancient wisdom of goddesses or infuse their characters with powers beyond their human capabilities. The depiction of various identities and romantic choices make this collection an inclusive, relevant one that is likely to foster acceptance among high school readers. VERDICT A recommended selection for libraries serving teens interested in short stories.–Karin Greenberg, Queens College, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal October 2017 issue.

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