Faery Tales & Nightmares

418p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-185271-8; ebook $9.99. ISBN 9780062101907. LC number unavailable.
Gr 8 Up—Marr's many fans will be happy to know that half of the short stories in this collection take place in the world of her "Wicked Lovely" series (HarperCollins). Readers unfamiliar with the books may find the stories confusing because events are out of sequence and little backstory is provided. A number of the selections have appeared in other anthologies, in ebook-only editions, or in special editions of Marr's books. Several of the other tales feature vampires, and "Transition" is particularly violent and bloody. "Winter's Kiss" takes elements from the classic "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" as it portrays a girl who breathes out icy air and can't live in warmth. She heads north in search of a colder climate and befriends an ice-bear who is really a boy from a shape-shifting family. One of the most chilling stories, "Flesh for Comfort," highlights the intensely painful lengths a girl will go to, to lose weight so she can escape the hometown she hates and to avoid ending up married to a local boy and popping out lots of babies. All of the stories are about characters looking for love on their own terms, and that's something any teen can relate to.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
The twelve stories in this collection vary substantially in length; the majority take place in the world of Marr's Wicked Lovely series, which will attract fans (though may deter the uninitiated). The tales set in "other worlds" are short and insubstantial. Overall, these well-told fairy tales with a gothic patina are engaging.

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