From first breakups and romantic vampire encounters to last band performances and the deadly end of a friendship, Firsts and Lasts is an anthology that is just as unpredictable as being a teenager. While each of these stories span different genres and styles, they all perfectly capture the big emotions--confusion, joy, uneasiness, and anticipation--that many teens experience as they grow up.
Whether you are hopelessly in love and not sure how to tell your crush, going through loss and can't fully process it, or just trying to figure out where you belong in the world, this collection of sixteen stories has something for every reader.
Stories written by: Adi Alsaid, Keah Brown, Monica Gomez-Hira, Kika Hatzopoulou, Shaun David Hutchinson, Amanda Joy, Loan Le, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied M�ndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Tess Sharpe, Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Diana Urban, and Julian Winters.
Title: Firsts and Lasts
Author: Adi Alsaid, Keah Brown, Monica Gomez-Hira, Kika Hatzopoulou, Shaun David Hutchinson, Amanda Joy, Loan Le, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied M�ndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Tess Sharpe, Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Diana Urban, and Julian Winters.
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Expected Publication Date: 9/26/23
Thank you to Penguin Workshop for sending me a copy of this book to read and give my honest review.
I love anthologies. Especially those with authors I may not have read yet. It gives me a good idea of whether or not I might like an author's writing and if I'd like to read books they have written or may write in the future. I will say anthologies are a bit hard to review. I find it hard to remember each story, so good notes were a must with this. I did get the overall theme from this book of diversity, which was a breath of fresh air.
For this review, I'll do things a little differently, I'll list each title with a rating and my thoughts about what that story explores.
The First Time I Dated a Vampire by Julian Winters
This one was fun, a bit of romance and it had a paranormal aspect.
The First Day of College by Monica Gomez-Hira
A fun story that explores family, heritage, and starting on something new
The First Kiss by Nina Moreno
This one had fun witchy vibes that I really enjoyed and a cute romance
The First Time We Buried a Body by Tess Sharpe
Probably my favorite story in the book which explores a bit of girl power in a disturbing way
The First Breakup by Anna Meriano
The characters in this one are fun and relatable who show great friendship!
The First Time I Saw the Stars by Shaun David Hutchinson
This one explored the aspect of mental health and the use of a stereotype (mental health patients see small green men) which turns out to be more true than not!
The First Crush by Keah Brown
This one explored first love but fell short for me and I wasn't a huge fan of the writing
The First Job by Yamile Saied Méndez
This gave me Halloween vibes and made me want to feel all fall like, plus reminded me of college when we used to go to haunted houses in the fall!
The Last Dinosaur by Laura Silverman
This one was adorable with its dinosaurs and special friendship while exploring the idea of letting go and moving on.
The Last Purity Ball by Joy McCullough
I appreciated the message in this one and it was interesting how the author worked in the religious aspect.
The Last Bout by Amanda Joy
This one was cool because it had a bit of world building bordering on sci fi
The Last Days in the Only Place That Ever Felt Like Home by Adi Alsaid
I loved the idea of how this one explored the idea of uprooting and how this can skew a point of view on what happens in life
The (Hopefully) Last Demon Summoning by Kika Hatzopoulou
LOVED this one, I adore the paranormal and this one hit them all with it's school for magical beings. I was totally getting my Harry Potter on with this one that explored the importance of friendship.
The Last Goodbye by Loan Le
This one was a bit difficult for me with it's dealings of drug culture but I did enjoy the Vietnamese aspect as I've not had a chance to explore that before
The Last Concert by Rachel Lynn Solomon
This one gave me Daisy Jones and the Six vibes and having grown up in the 80s with music being such an important part of my life, I loved the idea of a band made up of high school friends,
The Last Time I Saw Her Alive by Diana Urban
I'm just confused with how this went down
Overall the stories were fun and I can see how they could be relatable to teens who may be experiencing similar things.