Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles
In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.
Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.
Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.
Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.
This was a great book full of short stories, a comic, and play. I’m not going to talk much about each story since they are not very long. But I will say a little and rate each one below.
Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds This was a sweet story about a girl who was moving away. She was giving her boyfriend an eraser tattoo to remember her by. 4 1/2 stars
Meet Cute by Melinda Lo Two girls meet at a con. The power goes out and they get lost, but form a connection right away. 4 1/2 stars
Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth This was such a touching story. A boy stands up for himself by coloring a picture at school with a color closer to his skin tone vs the “flesh” color he was given. 4 1/2 stars
Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi A girl is at a concert with her best friend and sees the boy she likes. She is a wreck, but decides to tell him how she feels. 4 1/2 stars
Tags by Walter Dean Myers This is part of a play that I wish I could see. Multiple boys are tagging and we find out that they are all dead. They were shot and killed and talk about their deaths and connections. 4 1/2 stars
Why I Learned To Cook by Sara Farizan This story was really touching because I was very close to my grandma. In this story, a girl is afraid to have her grandma meet her girlfriend. She asks her grandma to teach her to cook and then invites her over. 4 1/2 stars
A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel Jose Older While I enjoyed this story and the writing, I felt that it needed more to really understand it. A girl’s notebook is stolen and they boy who loves her goes after it. She ends up rescuing him. There were mentions of Gods and aliens, so it got confusing. 3 1/2 stars
A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G Flake This story takes place during WWII. A black boy leaves his farm and paints. His goal is to join the navy and go to school. He spends his time at a cafe that his friends caused trouble at. The cafe owner’s wife tries to help these boys. 3 1/2 stars
One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz This is probably my favorite story in the book. It’s just so relevant to the time we live in right now. A girl is at Stanford. She found out that her family is undocumented and she is terrified of being deported. There is racist graffiti painted there and she has to explain to her boyfriend how that makes her feel. That words matter. 5 stars
Paladin/Samurai by Gene Luen Yang This is a little comic. I honestly had a hard time reading it on my kindle, so it was a bit tough to rate. I’m hoping to reread it when the book is released. What I could see was decent, but not great. 3 1/2 stars (could change)
Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar This was another standout story person who recently came out as transgender. He is now competing on the boys swim team for the first time and using the boy’s bathroom. 5 stars
Super Human by Nicola Yoon I love Nicola’s writing, so I knew this would be a favorite before even starting. In this story, there is a black superhero that is giving up on humanity. The first girl he saved is asked to go speak to him and find out why. This is another story that is so relevant right now. 5 stars
Overall, this was a great book that I gave 4 1/2 stars. My three favorite stories were Super Human, Catch Pull Drive, and One Voice. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the chance to read this early.
Have you read this one yet? What were your favorite stories?