Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon – A Review

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon – A Review

TITLE: Blackout

AUTHORS: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon

PAGE EXTENT: 272

PUBLISHER: Electric Monkey (HarperCollins India)

GENRE: YA Anthology

MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

SOURCE: Received a copy from HarperCollins India in exchange for an honest review.

When a heatwave plunges New York City into darkness, sparks fly for thirteen teenagers caught up in the blackout.

A first meeting.
Long-time friends.
Bitter exes.
And maybe the beginning of something new…

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths, love blossoms, friendship transforms and new possibilities take flight.

Six of today’s biggest stars of the YA world, Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon, bring all the electricity of love to a collection of charming, hilarious and heartbreaking tales that shine the brightest light through the dark.

I LOVE New York City. And I LOVE love stories. A book of SIX LOVE STORIES featuring BLACK TEENS written by SIX POWERFUL BLACK WOMEN who are amazing YA authors, set during a BLACKOUT in NEW YORK CITY? Por favor, take my dinero.

New York City is plunged into a blackout thanks to a massive heatwave. Commotion on the streets. Trains stuck on the tracks. All cabs booked. Everything is in disarray. But for some teens, this is the start of something new. A new dawn. A new hope. And a whole dollop of cuteness for you!

Before reading Blackout, I found out that this book will be having a movie adaptation soon, produced by none other than the Obamas! Not surprisingly, my expectations skyrocketed and not surprisingly again, this one definitely lived up to the hype!

Each story focuses on a classic YA trope: exes-to-lovers, besties-to-lovers, insta-love, a love triangle, to name a few. The authors have infused so much warmth and love and optimism into these stories you’ll end up wanting a love story like this one in your life too! 🥺

While all of the stories were great in their own right, three stories stood out for me.

  1. Tiffany D Jackson’s story has been split into acts and features an amazing exes-to-lovers romance all while talking a long walk across New York City! Karim and Tammi open up to each other while taking a long walk and I mean, a LOOOONG walk which constantly makes you go, JUST KISS ALREADY!
  2. Nic Stone’s is a m/m romance featuring a bisexual teen who is coming to terms with his sexuality. Nic has effortlessly stepped into the shoes of a teenager questioning a lot of things and exploring parts of himself he’s always kept hidden, while stuck in a subway carriage during the blackout. This story sheds light on toxic masculinity, homophobia and queerphobia that’s rampant in sports and normalizes breastfeeding in public too! And an adorable romance, of course!
  3. Ashley Woodfolk’a story is a sapphic romance set in a shelter for aged people where Nella’s grandfather plays matchmaker! I guess I giggled the most while I read this one! The best part? Not one person at the shelter batted an eyelid about two girls falling for each other, exactly how it should be!

There is a thread of connection, sometimes thin, sometimes very obvious, between every story and every character and all of these kids are a part of a larger intergenerational Black Community in New York City and that made my heart swell with joy! This book succeeded in what it set out to achieve! 💜

We have read a ton of stories featuring Black kids fighting racism, White supremacy, hateful comments etc. but for once, this book portrayed Black teens just BEING TEENS. Brimming with Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy, this book is packed with happiness and affection and the beauty of falling in love!

And yes, this took my New York City obsession to a whole new level! 😂

Have you read any YA anthologies? Let me know in the comments!

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