Love Is Hell
Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld, Melissa Marr, et al. . HarperTeen, $16.99 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-06-144304-6
Supernatural romance is the well-chosen theme of five original stories by as many authors. After her family moves into a house where a boy was murdered, Laurie Faria Stolarz’s protagonist finds herself falling in love with his ghost; Gabrielle Zevin introduces a high school student who may (or may not) be overidentifying with the book she is reading; and Scott Westerfeld looks into a future where hormonal balancers tamp down teen romances and “bioframes” obviate sleep and dreams. Melissa Marr and Justine Larbalestier reinterpret folklore conventions, Marr writing about selkies and Larbalestier about faeries. There’s enough variety to round out the central theme, and consistently supple storytelling will lure readers through all five entries. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the national nonprofit organization College Summit. Ages 14–up.
Reviewed on: 11/17/2008