Monday, May 7, 2012

Boys of Summer Anthology Edited by Steve Berman

I received a review copy of the anthology Boys of Summer, a collection of short stories that are focused on summer adventures and feelings.  The contributing authors are: Ann Zeddies, Shawn Syms, Dia Pannes, Marguerite Croft, Christopher Reynaga, Aimee Payne, 'Nathan Burgoine, Sam Cameron, and Alex Jeffers. Here's the Goodreads blurb:
Walt Whitman referred to a "Mad, naked, Summer Night!" In the pages of Boys of Summer, acclaimed editor Steve Berman's latest anthology, talented authors and fresh voices reveal the allure and excitement of the season for gay teens. June always promises romance. July entices with its raw heat, and August offers a languid fire that will burn out before autumn's approach. These are stories of young love and adventure, when the sky's ceiling is a bright blue marvel, when another boy's laughter at the beach can distract from dull summer jobs.

I have to say that I don't usually like short story anthologies because they pull you in and then the piece is over.  My favorite anthology of short stories ever was a paranormal anthology where all of the stories ended on a good satisfying ending instead of a cliff hanger.  That being said, I really enjoyed this anthology even though the stories left you hanging.  The stories were many and varied, everything from camp counselors dealing with lake monsters to a boy on a boat trip around the world.  The stories all gave that feel of the teenage years.  I know I hate to look back at that awkward time of self discovery but the feeling of love and the excitement of first kisses... that part was amazing.  Every story in this anthology has that feel.  The feel of crushing on someone and not knowing if your sentiments will be returned.  This feeling is doubled when you add in the feelings that come with being a GLBT teen.  You're doubly unsure if your crush will like you back and you have all the feelings that come with learning about who you are and how you feel about others around you.  Finding your place in the world is a big part of being a teenager and especially for GLBT youth who often have to fight an uphill battle in a world where they don't feel like they belong.  This book has all the warm feelings, the excitement and the insecurities that come with being a GLBT teen.  All of the stories focus on gay young men but I think anyone can appreciate these short stories.

You can click here to add this anthology on Goodreads.  Boys of Summer edited by Steve Berman earns 4 Fairies as a lovely summer read full of nostalgic feelings.

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