ONE HOT SECOND: Stories About Desire

Cathy Young, Editor . Knopf $10.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-375-81203-3

The title is more titillating than the content of this collection, but there's truth in the 11 sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting short stories. The authors approach the topic of desire from a variety of angles. The main character of Sarah Dessen's "Someone Bold," for example, has lost 45 pounds, but has yet to shed the feeling of being undesirable; in Victor Martinez's "The County Fair," race and class intersect with attractiveness. Three entries focus on gay relationships, and one of them, Jacqueline Woodson's lyrically wrought "Lorena," narrated by a New York City girl whose lover overdoses, is among the standouts of the volume: "[Death] takes away everywhere—a little bit of your mind here, someone else's smile there, the quiet beauty of cappuccino with lots of foam in an East Side café." In tonal contrast, the title entry, by Rachel Vail, hilariously catches a ninth grader relating her awkward first kiss and her ensuing nausea over the thought of germs. Other contributors include Angela Johnson, Nancy Garden, Rich Wallace and Ellen Witlinger. Ages 12-up. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-72268-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-30838-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 224 pages - 978-0-440-23783-9
Hardcover - 218 pages - 978-0-375-91203-0
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