Publisher: Greenwillow Books


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

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The Anthology We Have Been Waiting For: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Ellen Oh
Genre: Anthology, Mythology, YA
Publication date: June 26th, 2018
by Greenwillow Books

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Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
-A copy was provided by Greenwillow Books for review-

There have been so MANY amazing anthologies on my radar this year but A Thousand Beginnings and Endings might have been my most anticipated for the year. 

I’ve talked this about a lot so I sometimes feel like a broken record, but it is an important point and a huge part of my love and excitement for this anthology so it is worth repeating. I grew up without much rep which was weird and confusing. Obviously, this review is not meant to be an analysis of my trauma but even as a teen, this was so evident when I’d open all those angel/vampire books that were soaked in Christian and western myth. Myths I grew up on, or other people grew up where never part of mainstream media even though they were all cool and all fascinating with potential to make for amazing stories! 

My first taste of seeing Hindu mythology on paper was when I read The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. It was very validating and freeing to see a part of my culture in a book! ANYWAY, SO. THIS ANTHOLOGY. It is a collection of Asian myths and folklore, written by Asian authors. We aren’t just talking East-Asian (as such is often the case when people say ‘Asian’) WE’RE TALKING South-East Asian, South-Asian, ALL OF THE THINGS. 

I’ve now written three paragraphs without saying a single thing about the actual stories but you know, anthologies aren’t really easy to review and a long-ago gave up on trying to review every short story in an anthology.

Here is what I can say. This stories in this anthology are written by a group of talented authors. I didn’t love every single one of them but I did like all of them very very much and loved a good deal of them.

Top 3 Stories

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi

Chokshi is known for her re-creations of Indian folklore but this time she is re-creating a Filipino folklore about a mountain spirit, a diwata and a villager who fall in love. There is vengeance, forbidden love, heartbreak, betrayal and death. Basically, all the good things. 

The Smile by Aisha Saeed

I am not really sure what to say about about The Smile other than it was just really well-written? It is about Naseem who Prince Kareem’s courtesan. After a series of incidents, she slowly becomes aware of how her relationship with Prince Kareem has basically left her with no control over her life and choices. She then begins the fight to regain control over her life and her freedom. Basically, The Smile is very empowering and just one of the best in this anthology.

The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon

THIS ONE IS ALSO A FORBIDDEN STORY between a cow herder and an immortal goddess. Our main character has never had a flirtation with a mortal like her sisters but when a slight flirtation turns into full-fledged love, she must deal with the consequences. The Crimson Cloak has no vengeance like Forbidden Fruit but it is much more heartbreaking and melancholic. 

 

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Posted by on 12/20/2015 • 5 Comments

A Drop of Night actually proved to be a pretty interesting book.

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Do take note – it’s not perfect. But it did try and it tried really well.

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Posted by on 08/26/2015 • 10 Comments

Long story short: this book got me out of a dreadful book slump.

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Leave it to Rae Carson’s fantastic storytelling skills and genuine characters to pull me out of that abyss. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

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Review: Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Posted by on 04/09/2015 • 3 Comments

I was hoping that this would be cute and fun, but I found myself so annoyed by the MC that I couldn’t really enjoy the book at all. I think that the story itself was pretty interesting, but I couldn’t stand Ivy. I did enjoy the stuff about the Clock Diamond and its magic and Ivy’s journey though. I wish that I could say that I enjoyed some of the characters, but I really didn’t. This is a middle grade book, so the younger crowd might enjoy it much more than me, and probably won’t find things as irritating as I did. The other thing that I liked about this book was the artwork. It was very good and thought that it really brought something more to the story. Since…

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Posted by on 01/16/2015 • 15 Comments

Ah, Illusionarium, that new book coming to town with such a bad-ass name that simply screams wonder and magic and romance. With a cover like that, I had imagined myself fantastically flying through parallel dimensions while eyeing the handsome rose tucked behind my ear that a gentleman in a dashing tuxedo has given me.

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Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Posted by on 11/05/2014 • 13 Comments

I was so torn on rating this one. While I truly enjoyed the writing and the depth of the story itself is incredible, I really did not like the main character. I realize she is a character we’re not supposed to like, per se. She’s not likeable, period. But contrary to many books I’ve read with unlikeable characters (Courtney Summers’ Some Girls Are come to mind), I never got to the point where I “got” her despite it all. She never learned, she never wanted to change, it was like she figured she was going to kill herself anyways so why bother being a better person.

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Posted by on 09/25/2014 • 16 Comments

The Fall was so very unique and the writing: wonderfully atmospheric. Having really enjoyed Bethany’s Masque of the Red Death (I have yet to read the sequel), I knew that I was in for a stunning read. Masque was very well written, gorgeous in its melancholy, really – and that’s what I love the most about these historically creepy novels: the way they enchant you into their eerie settings. The Fall was no exception. I felt transported into this ancient house which was truly a character in and of itself. I could see every crack and hear every faint footstep. You could say that I was sufficiently creeped out.

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Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Posted by on 08/15/2014 • 12 Comments

I can’t even count the number of people who messaged me their love for this book on the day that I started it. Because of that I was pretty hopeful that I would be a fan as well. Upon finishing I can say that while I was smitten with the unique perspective it quickly got very dry for me and the novel is one that I had to force myself to pick up just to get through.

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