by Clayton, Dhonielle; Jackson, Tiffany D.; Stone, Nic; Thomas, Angie; Woodfolk, Ashley

Six critically acclaimed, best-selling and award-winning authors celebrate Black teen love in this interlinked novel of heartwarming and hilarious stories that shine a bright light through the dark. Simultaneous eBook.

*Starred Review* In this collection of interlinked shorts, the YA-author supergroup of Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk, Angie Thomas, and Nicola Yoon takes the concept of a New York City-wide blackout and lights it up with six sweet, Black-teen summer romances. The conceit begins with "A Long Walk," Jackson's story of a recently split couple whose flame reignites over the course of an epic walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Crucially, this is broken up into five interstitial acts, anchoring readers and giving the book a solid through line. In between those segments, Stone's "Mask Off" explores the history of two young men whose long-simmering attraction comes to a head after they're trapped underground on a subway car; Woodfolk's "Made to Fit" sees two lesbians falling for each other while caring for retirement-home residents; Clayton's "All the Great Love Stories . . . and Dust" draws out the agonizing confession of love between two lifelong best friends; in "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn," Thomas' love triangle (turned quadrangle) becomes a journey toward self-love; and Yoon brings it home with a meet-cute between a girl and her "Ryde" driver. Rich with intersectional queer representation and light with banter, humor, and even philosophy, this beautiful collaboration hits different from your typical romance novel, ultimately evoking the warmth of greater connection, community, and belonging. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Each of these six powerhouse authors would draw a crowd on her own; together, watch out. Grades 8-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Six authors collaborate to create an interwoven story set during a blackout. Unbearably hot temperatures in New York City cause a sudden blackout, simultaneously throwing plans into chaos and creating unexpected opportunities. Contributor Clayton, who is joined by YA superstars Jackson, Stone, Thomas, Woodfolk, and Yoon, was inspired by Covid-19 and the "metaphorical blackout" it has created for the world to initiate this project that embraces a wide spectrum of Blackness and sexuality. The characters' final destination is a block party in Brooklyn with Jackson's "The Long Walk," a story about reconnecting exes told in five acts, serving as the overarching mechanism to connect the narratives. Stone and Woodfolk contribute queer love stories in "Mask Off" and "Made To Fit" respectively. Thomas' "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn" begins as a love triangle, progresses to a love quadrangle-and in the end is about self-love and discovery. Clayton's story, "All the Great Love Stories...and Dust," is set in the New York Public Library's main branch and centers on best friends who may become something more. Yoon's piece completes the novel with strangers finding love in a ride-share car in "Seymour and Grace." Working together to deliver a fantastic mix of humor and romance, these authors offer something fun and lighthearted that is welcome during the continuing pandemic and that will bring joy long after it's over. A celebration of Black teen love and the magic of possibility. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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