Friday, May 8, 2009

No Such Thing as the Real World by M. T. Anderson, K. L. Going, Beth Kephart, Chris Lynch, An Na, and Jacqueline Woodson

This is a collection of stories all about the jump that one takes from being a child into the real world. While the line is thin, each has their own unique story about the crossing and these authors share the stories of six different individuals.

One character deals with the loss of a parent, who was special to the entire community, and how to uphold his business, which so many people relied on.

Another has to write her senior thesis, but it becomes more of a necessity than a requirement when her best friend commits suicide.

There is a graduation speech to be given, just after seeing your crush make-out with your sister. Then there is the monologue of two actors, who would normally never have crossed paths, who seem to be married until one forgets. Finally the stories about growing up wouldn’t be complete without a case of teen parenting.

I am quite new to reading anthologies, but I have to say they are quite fun. You get a brief view into another’s world, and while sometimes you wish there was more, more often then not it’s just the right amount. All the stories in this particular anthology were okay, nothing spectacular, and I felt like they still needed some more work, especially since they were so short.

Beth Kephart’s story was by far the best. While all the stories dealt with a tough issue that really defines one’s coming of age, Kephart made her story so much more believable and real. Her writing was absolutely superb and she dealt with the whole issue of suicide in such a way that didn’t make it seem so horrible. She made the main character relatable in the fact that she took out her sadness in writing and didn’t really want to think about what had happened. I definitely think that Kephart was able to fully capture the essence of a short story and leave a lingering thought in the reader’s brain on how they would react to the situation.

Overall the anthology was decent and I recommend it to all of you looking for a good dose of reality. Appropriate for all teenagers and older readers I think this is a good book to help you see the “real world.”


So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I don't often read anthologies either but this sounds really good.

Doret said...

I loved this collection. Beth Kephart's was my favorite as well. Though I really enjoyed K.L Going and Chris Lynch's as well


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