The Curiosities Maggie Stiefvater Tessa Gratton Brenna Yovanoff Book Review

Straight up, short stories are awesome. They give you a little taste of the author’s writing so you can decide if that’s something you want more of. Usually short stories are SUPER focused because there isn’t much room for meandering, thus I personally get a lot of enjoyment from them. The Curiosities: A Collection Of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff is an anthology of short stories originally posted on the Merry Sisters Of Fate collaborative blog.

The Curiosities Maggie Stiefvater Tessa Gratton Brenna Yovanoff Book Cover

The Curiosities

Some of the short stories in The Curiosities are based on a singular prompt that all three authors take on, whereas other stories sprang up promptless. Prefacing each story is commentary from the author of the tale on the writing process and occasionally there are comments from the other two writers. There are also handwritten comments in the margin as well as doodles.

I thought the layout of The Curiosities was an interesting way to shed light on the creative process of the three authors. It also shows growth and provides concrete examples of the process without being boring. I really, really liked getting that inside peak, it’s kind of like having the commentary track on a DVD.

The stories were hit and miss for me. Some had compelling, likeable characters, interesting worlds, and strong dynamics. Whereas other stories had these sociopathic murdering characters that I just could not get behind and root for and was feeling rather detached towards.

In all, I think the merit of The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff lies in it’s use as a tool to showcase the creative process and development of writing skills. If you are a hardcore fan of the Merry Sisters or a short story lover, I’d recommend this book. If you aren’t an aspiring writer, fan or short story person I would say pass on this anthology and pick up the authors’ full length novels instead.

Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.

Other reviews of The Curiosities:

As of typing this (6/28/12) I have not seen any. If you’ve reviewed this, drop me a link in the comments.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I’ve had this on my Kindle for awhile and still haven’t gotten to it. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it. I love all three authors and I can’t wait to get that peak into their process too.

  2. We hosted the three authors for a library event where I work, so I reviewed the collection here: http://mollymoreadsandwrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/curioser-and-curiouser-a-review-of-the-curiosities-a-collection-of-stories/

    Your comparison of this the notes and doodles in the margin to a commentary track on the DVD is spot on.

  3. All of that stuff about how it shows their process is very intriguing. I wasn’t all that excited about this one, but you’ve got me more anticipatory. Is that a word? Well, if not, it is now!

    Short stories can be fun, but they are so tricky to review, no?

  4. I haven’t ever really gotten into short stories, but something tells me I might like these ones. As a writer, it’s always interesting to hear about successful authors’ processes and ideas. I just might have to pick me up a copy of this anthology now! Very cool.

  5. I’m looking forward to reading this, mostly because I LOVE Maggie Stiefvater! Plus, it’s always fascinating to get a look into the writing lives of authors… And it certainly sounds like that’s the case in this work.

  6. Not sure how I missed this one but now I have to read it. The cover is really neat.

  7. I was really bummed when this one was archived on NetGalley fairly early and I never got it to my Kindle. I am still interested in it, because I enjoy short stories, but after this review I’m less upset about missing out. I’ll likely see if I can check it out from the library and pick and choose between stories.

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