BAYA Book Review

Blackout, Edited by Dhonielle Clayton

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Clayton, Dhonielle. (Contributors: Nicola Yoon, Angie Kim, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Ashley Woodfolk). Blackout. Quill Tree Books, 2021. 256 p. ISBN: 9780063088092 $19.99. HS, OT, AT ***

Black background with a drawn outline of a bridge with city scape in the background. Subtitle: Even love stories can glow when the lights go.

Blackout is a short story collection that features an all-star lineup of authors, including Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nicola Yoon, Angie Thomas, and Ashley Woodfolk. The audio version features a similarly impressive multi-cast lineup. All the stories are loosely linked by the experience of a summer heatwave blackout in NYC. Tiffany D. Jackson’s short story is told in a series of episodes interwoven throughout the other stories in the collection. I enjoyed the reading, as well as the audio experience, and the diversity of relationships depicted. It was refreshing to find a collection of stories featuring black characters in love. While I really enjoyed most stories, I felt like the overall theme wasn’t as effective as it served to homogenize the stories rather than adding to them. Most stories could be read individually or a little at a time. Still, the writing talent of contributors elevates the collection. The storylines are best suited for high school students and older teens, but with no problematic content that would limit it to a younger audience. Blackout is a must purchase for your library – especially with the announcement that the Obamas will be adapting the collection for Netflix. 

–Megan Keane, San Mateo County Libraries

Tags: Diverse, Romance, short stories 

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