Thank you so much to the team at Silver Dagger Book Tours for having me on this blog tour! Anthologies are some of my favorite reads that I don’t get to enjoy very often, but when I do I love getting introduced to new-to-me authors that I want to learn more about. Don’t forget to click on the banner to see the rest of the schedule and check out some of the other tours coming up for Silver Dagger.
In every new story we pick up, we’re seeking an exciting original voice. So why are there still voices we don’t hear from nearly enough? Why are there characters that so rarely take centre stage? In this collection from Odd Voice Out press, we discover the stories of twelve teenagers who stand out from the crowd and who’ll not easily be forgotten.
With settings that range from Scotland to Syria, Mexico to Mauritius, Africa to Russia, these stories take us to all corners of the globe and into the lives of young people with their own unique circumstances and perspectives. Characters dealing with issues of culture and class, exploring their sexuality and gender identity, or letting us into their experiences with illness, disability or neurodiversity. Their tales span all genres and can’t be reduced to labels. These are stories about bending the rules and breaking the law. Stories of fighting for survival and finding your place in the world. Stories of family solidarity, unlikely friendships and aching first love told by teenagers who don’t always fit in and aren’t often heard.
With a foreword by award winning YA author Catherine Johnson, this anthology brings together the top ten stories of Odd Voice Out’s 2019 Not So Normal Narrators contest, as well as bonus stories from in-house authors Kell Cowley and K.C. Finn.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Silver Dagger Book Tours and Odd Voice Out for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
It’s a shame that I haven’t heard of many of these authors before now, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read a sample of their work in this anthology. I feel like diverse voices is so important in this industry, especially when it’s #OwnVoices diversity because we should be able to tell our own stories from our own words.
It was great to see more authors in the YA genre that wrote some nice diverse novels, ranging from contemporary to magical realism novels that showed that diverse short stories can be received just as well as not diverse short stories. I feel like there’s a stigma that if a diverse novel has a trope that is similar to a trope of a book from a white author, then it’s naturally not as good, which is such a huge lie but that’s another topic for another time.
As always, there are some stories that I like more than others, and there are some writing styles that I like more than others. That’s just natural with trying out new-to-me authors, and it’s okay. I think that there will be a story for everyone on here to enjoy, and I think that’s the true positive outcome of this anthology. I hope that this will also show people that there is so much more to diversity than just gender and race as well. Get creative, friends.