I wanted to do a different spin on the Top ____ Tuesday and so I came up with an idea. There was NO DOUBT a landslide of Young Adult books that led me to start Novel Lives. I am not going to review or even attempt a mini-review of each. I went on a YA reading binge between June 2017 until Novel Lives launched in July 2018 and no they weren't all home-runs. Even for those that were all home-runs. For some it is a more horrific draw... an attachment based on being placed between empathy and disgust, and four days of insomnia (you know who you are). While, for others it is a love for the gift they've brought to the world. Others have provided desperately needed escapes and some desperately needed hope I can turn to, while others provided hope, taught me about the world, about myself and for one it is for a plan, a future I never got to live out and I miss it with every beat of my heart. They are all too meaningful and too different in their respective purpose to single out and say one belongs before another. That is not what we do to art. And all of these are pieces of art.
Fresh Ink is an anthology of “twelve label-defying” stories. For those familiar with Point-of-View short story works that have recently come out, Fresh Ink is not centered on a central plot point. For instance, it isn’t the same as Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson (a fantastic read if you get the chance). Edited by the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, Lamar Giles, the anthology includes topics on coming out, poverty, untimely death, transitioning and romance. I am not going to go through every story, but I am going to talk about my favorites without giving too much away. Dedicated to the late, great Walter Dean Myers, I am going to leave Tags for last.