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Official Review: Brave New Girls

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.

Official Review: Brave New Girls

Post Number:#1 by TeaAndSpooks
» 19 Feb 2016, 16:08

[Following is the official review of "Brave New Girls" by Mary Fan, Tina Closser, et al..]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by TeaAndSpooks
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Brave New Girls is a collection of sci-fi fantasy stories that focuses on female heroism and capability. As a feminist, it tickled me pink to see such a lovely collection of tales about young women being awesome. Some are steampunk in nature, while others give off a very ‘Alien’ vibe. From grunge to sleek aesthetics, all the authors who contributed to this collection are incredibly talented. To top it all off, a percentage of the proceeds from sales get donated to charity. I enjoyed this anthology so much that I will be purchasing a hard copy in paperback very soon.

The forward is written by Lara Hogan, the engineering manager for Etsy, and she states that she hopes that this collection can put foreword strong, intelligent new role models for young girls, just as Meg in A Wrinkle in Time did for her when she was young. I would be fibbing if I said that did not strike a cord in me, because I also looked up to Meg when I first read about her as a child. It is so refreshing to be able to relate to a character in that way!The wonderful authors who contributed to this collection are Paige Daniels, Kate Morelli, Evangeline Jennings, Martin Berman-Gorvine, Ursula Osborne, Tash McAdam, Lisa Toohey, Aimie K. Runyan, Davien Thomas, Leandra Wallace, George Ebey, Stephen Kozeniewski, Kimberly G. Giarratano, and Mary Fan.

There are 18 different stories in this anthology, and while I would love to write about each and every one, I feel like I would quickly run out of space! So I will choose two that I believe best display the diversity of the stories best. Note that this is just my personal opinion and all the stories in this are phenomenal and should be read with the same care!

The first one I chose is Blink by Kate Moretti. This is my first choice because I really enjoyed Moretti’s writing style, it flows well and her grammar nothing short of perfection. The main character’s name, ironically (and I do believe this might possibly be a reference or an homage to a Wrinkle in Time) is Meg, and she has quite a big secret. Her 8th grade science teacher gave her a time machine before his sudden death. Meg is a genius, to put it lightly, and she is an inspiring character with real young adult emotions and problems (except for the time machine of course). The time machine doesn’t work properly, but luckily it seems that Meg is smart enough to get it operational. When something goes awry, she blinks back in time to try to fix it, but ends up making other mistakes anyway! I won’t say anymore on the plot as I do not want to ruin anything, but I was really taken by the combination of comedy and intensity throughout the story's progression.

My second choice is The Graveyard Shift by Kimberly G. Giarratano, which follows Philly Ramirez, full name Philomena, a troubled teen on parole who lives with her mother in a shabby apartment five blocks from the graveyard where she works. I chose this one to talk about because the character has anxiety, her mother is sick and her brother is missing. She has a hard life and struggles to find happiness, and that is something else I relate to, as I have chronic depression. The future that Gioarratano creates in this short story is dark and grim, but also really fascinating. People can see recorded holograms of their deceased relatives at the graveyard, and the deceased can record messages specifically for different family members. This to me was very original and something I had never heard of before but really appealed to me. There is also a hint of mafia themed fiction that goes in, but again, I do not want to spoil it! The characters in this are well written, all with secret motives that make it a very compelling read.

I could continue on about the numerous other fantastic works in this collection, but I would like to leave a few of the tales open for discovery to anyone who may be reading this. I, in all honesty, have nothing bad to say about this book. I give it a 4 out of 4. The illustrations compliment the stories nicely, always positioned at the beginning of a new tale. The writing styles are all different and all enticing. The author’s powers of description were impressive and immersive, which can be difficult in science fiction writing, and yet they pulled it off flawlessly. The subject material is obviously something I hold dear to me: female leading ladies with guts and smarts. Romance is not a key player in these stories, instead the characters’ intellect and independence as talented human beings is the main driving force behind all of the plots. It’s so refreshing! I can say without hesitation that I hope one day this anthology will be a required reading in schools and I, myself, will be quick to offer a copy to my future children. The stories are exciting, interesting and colorful. Readers who enjoy science fiction, fantasy, young adult and female lead genres will love this! I highly recommend you take a peek at it’s contents, as you will not be disappointed.

Brave New Girls
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TeaAndSpooks's Latest Review: "Fantasy or Reality" by Ruth Andrews Garnes
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