Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions - Jeri Smith-Ready, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary E. Pearson, Rachel Vincent, Ally Condie, Sarah Rees Brennan, Claudia Gray, Melissa Marr, Carrie Ryan, Kimberly Derting, Jackson Pearce, Jessica Verday, Rachel Caine, Kelley Armstrong Also appears on my blog, The YA Kitten!Sixteen short stories by some of the most popular YA authors of now full of paranormal goodness, romance, and journeys. It sounds like a good recipe, huh? Not so much. I expected this to be a very good anthology, but it's a middling anthology with only a few good stories, and even those aren't good enough to make me want to keep this book.The best of the stories for me was Sarah Rees Brennan's "Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" for its funny set-up of a boy band with a vampire playing bass, great characters (can someone tell me where Faye got her stake-heeled shoes? I want them), and the growth in the characters as they grow closer. There are a few other good ones, like Rachel Caine's "Automatic," Mary E. Pearson's "Gargouille," and "Niederwald" by Rachel Vincent, but this anthology is sorely lacking in memorable short stories.I don't think I will ever be reading Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl because of my dislike of both of their stories. "Red Run" was riddled with plot holes. If eight people died on a road within twenty years, the police would search it regardless of any ghost stories and find the man living there, but that is apparently inapplicable because it's Earth logic. I can't begin to understand what "IV League" was about because it made no sense to me. All I can gather is that it's about vampires. Ally Condie's "Leaving" strikes me as similar to her novel Matched in how dull it is and how heavily it relies on Random Capitalization to attempt to create Tension (which it fails to do).Three of the authors wrote interesting enough stories that I'm curious about their other works: Jessica Verday, Jackson Pearce (only about her novel As You Wish; I'll stay away from her fairy tale retellings), and Rachel Vincent. Pearce's story in particular sticks with me because it quickly but surprisingly deeply shows the aftermath of the choices made in As You Wish. Verday wrote a funny story with a heroine who was tolerable up until about halfway through. She sees a boy strapped to a table with a fresh cut on his cheat and her immediate action is to just ogle the shirtless cutie? Hello! What about helping him?Normally, I would keep on babbling because I'm a babbling kind of girl, but I managed to come up with one sentence to describe how I felt about each of these stories. What I did up above? This wouldn't have been a helpful review if I didn't go into some detail about the stories, so I chose a few good ones and a few bad ones to get provide a deeper look into. With ratings out of five and a one-sentence summary, here they are in order of appearance:"Giovanni's Farewell" by Claudia Gray- An irritating heroine hampered this story of a set of twins with special powers and a ghost in Rome who wants to move on. 3/5. "Scenic Route" by Carrie Ryan- Two sisters trying to survive after the world has gone to hell in a handbasket have to make some hard choices and made me wish I could hug them. 4/5."Red Run" by Kami Garcia- Edie's attitude as she tries to kill the ghost that killed her brother was the only redeeming quality here; the story itself is riddled with holes and poorly constructed. 2/5."Things About Love" by Jackson Pearce- One of the more unique stories, this tale of a jinn curious about love and the human she has to watch makes me want to read its related novel As You Wish to see how it holds up, but the constant POV switches are irritating. 4/5."Niederwald" by Rachel Vincent- Vincent's short story about mara Sabine's trip to an oracle concerning her ex-boyfriend Nash was a good thrill ride and triggered an interest into the related Soul Screamers series. 4/5."Merely Mortal" by Melissa Marr- Keenan and Donia's holiday together was dull, saccharine, and isn't as good when not familiar with the related Wicked Lovely series. 3/5."Facing Facts" by Kelley Armstrong- Big on spoilers for the related Darkest Powers series, it was a little too full of telling at times as Tori is told the big secret and reacts to it, forcing Chloe to chase after her. 4/5."Let's Get This Undead Show on the Road" by Sarah Rees Brennan- Easily my favorite of the anthology, this made me laugh a few times and appreciate the growth of the bandmates as they grew closer together. 5/5."Bridges" by Jeri Smith-Ready- This tale told in Zachary of Smith-Ready's Shade series fails to work as a verse story and ultimately isn't very interesting to me. 2/5."Skin Contact" by Kimberly Derting- Related to the author's Body Finder series and the character Rafe, I can't help but feel this short story would have had a greater impact on me if I had read those novels, though it was still interesting enough. 3/5."Leaving" by Ally Condie- Dull and as full of Random Capitalization (which, by the way, does not automatically create Tension) as the author's novel Matched, I had no love for this story. 1/5."At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show" by Jessica Verday- Another funny story that got me interested in both Verday's novels and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, though the heroine did something very stupid that bogged down the story. 3/5."IV League" by Margaret Stohl- ...I'm sorry, I still have no idea what this story is about because it was nonsensical and just plain dumb. 1/5."Gargouille" by Mary E. Pearson- This story is cute and fresh in its tale of two gargouille lovers torn apart when one of them loses their wings, but it is otherwise barely remarkable. 4/5."The Third Kind" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes- Two sisters hurry to reach San Antonio and while the story is thrilling, so few questions are answered--and none are answered well--that it makes me want to tear out my hair. 3/5."Automatic" by Rachel Caine- Based on Caine's Morganville Vampires series, this story gives us a peek into Michael's head and captures the difficulty of his relationship with Eve and change within Morganville well. 4/5.