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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 printCareful 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 youBecause these stories are meant to be read And sharedThirteen 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


10 thoughts on “Fresh Ink An Anthology

  1. says:

    ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewFirst off I’m a cis extremely white passing reviewer I have been able to see myself in literature and media my entire life regardless of how much my Filipino culture means to me and how proud of it I am So even though all of these stories are ownvoices this review you are about to read is not After publication I will feature some actual ownvoices reviews here because this anthology was created to support and boost diverse and marginalized voices therefore we should also be supporting and boosting diverse and marginalized reviewers If you’re a PoC who would like to have your review listed on mine please DM me on any platform “It became pretty freaking clear that book after book adventure after adventure the heroes weren’t like me at all I don’t mean short and moderately athletic with severe seasonal allergies because I’m aware those traits might hinder one’s ability to save the cityworldgalaxy I mean black boys More often than not if I ran across a character who shared my race and gender in a book he was a gross stereotype comic relief token sidekick or depending on genre I’m looking at you science fiction fantasy and horror there to die so the real hero could fight another day” Next friends this was amazing Like go get your preorders ready This is so worth every single penny And if you have some extra money maybe you’d be interested to donating to We Need Diverse Books as well And hopefully one day we will live in a world where every child can easily see themselves in all media And the first step to that is showing the world how important books like Fresh Ink are and how these stories are uite literally life changing This book has so much Black stories Asian stories Native stories Persian stories Latinx stories Muslim stories Bi stories Trans stories Contemporary stories play acts fantasy stories historical stories sweet stories heavy stories superhero stories And every single one is ownvoices What a damn blessing in 2018 I’m not sure I’ve ever been as proud reviewing a book as I am reviewing Fresh Ink My personal favorites were Meet Cute by Malinda Lo Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz and Super Human by Nicola Yoon but I promise there is so much to love on every single page of this anthology I have no word combination to let you all know how powerful and amazing this collection is I'm going to break down each short story with my thoughts opinions and individual star rating➽ Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds ★★★★This was so beautifully written and it was able to evoke so many emotions from me despite this being so short This is a story about a girl and boy who have grown up together and who having fallen in love over the years having to say goodbye because one of them is moving away But while the girl and her family are moving we also get to see a white family moving in and their disregard for the black family packing up and leaving the home they’ve known for most their lives This was a perfect opener to this collection ➽ Meet Cute by Malinda Lo ★★★★★This was perfection in every single way Like to genderbend and racebend cosplays to living that constantly ueer life of always uestioning if the person you are currently flirting with is also ueer to all the nerdy references to the call out of me never being able to hide my blushing to the feeling of claustrophobia and anxiousness in hectic crowd settings This felt like a love letter to myself in every way and it was easily the story I most connected to This also has such an important discussion about “geek culture” and how toxic it can be and how gross dudes can be towards girls And this story stars two girls whose paths happen to cross at a convention center while a big storm causes the power to go out And if you like The X Files and Star Trek you have to buy this anthology for this story alone I can’t stop smiling just thinking about this one I loved it And give me all the ww stories Masterpiece ➽ Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth ★★★★This was an amazing short story that packed such a powerful punch We follow a Native boy who lives on a reservation but is forced to go to a Junior High where he is in the vast minority This story talks about how some people of color are white passing or people who are biracial or how some choose to hide their heritage and how some stand out now regardless of their wants or wishes This also heavily talks about how white is the norm in most classrooms and how hurtful that can be to teens who are proud of who they are and their beautiful not white skin color ➽ Be Cool for Once by Aminah Mae Safi ★★★★★Friends this was just written completely captivating for me The conversations the setting the feeling of having a crush this was just such an accurate depiction of my high school experience and I loved it I legit giggled tears over the Anne Boleyn conversation Also full disclosure here my first kiss was at a similar concert experience as this so this story was just completely perfect for me All the feels And this story’s main character is a Muslim American teen whose parents immigrated to The United States and the boy she is crushing over stated that his grandparents immigrated to The United States After reading this I instantly added Not the Girls You're Looking for to my TBR because this was such an addicting read I truly fell in love with this author’s writing ➽ Tags by Walter Dean Myers ★★★★★This was beyond words powerful This story is told by one act in a play that I wish the world could actually see We get to see four boys recounting the reason they died while hoping their tags will keep them remembered Systemic oppression is highlighted in this story and how we allow black men and women to die because of the broken cycles we’ve never abolished It’s a different kind of slavery and police brutality and internalized racism enforce it This script evoked so much emotion from me and seeing these young men’s stories cross is something I don’t even have words for Seriously this is a must read Not just from this collection but from all the works being published in 2018 Also I’m reporting this with a very heavy heart but the author of this story passed away a few years ago But I am forever thankful that his beautiful work was still incorporated into this anthology ➽ Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan ★★★★★This story has a Persian bi main character and I’ve never felt so blessed This ww romance was also the damn cutest Yasi also has anxiety and is feeling a little anxious to come out to her Grandmother who immigrated to the United States from Iran seventeen years ago And every Friday night Yasi has dinner with her and on this particular Friday she asks her to teach her how to cook She then spends the next two months learning everything her grandmother knows while also not being sure how to come out You all this story had the best one liners in the collection The beautiful writing and important messages were the perfect combination ”You don’t apologize for who you are” And the ending was the cutest thing I’ve ever read All the happy years This was such a bright shining light in this collection I loved this with my entire heart ➽ A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older ★★★This one had a little difficult of a learning curve I think just because it felt like such a fantastic SFF world But I still really enjoyed this one with a Latinx main character and I also think there was a very important discussion on how white people have stolentaken a lot of things from people of color and try to make it their own while also stealing credit I also really liked how this was so very different than everything else in this anthology ➽ A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G Flake ★★★I really enjoyed this historical story that starred a black homeless boy who’s trying to not give up on his dreams or his love for astronomy And even though this story has its sweet moments it was a very heavy one too From just reading a book about a homeless kid to seeing everyday racism to learning about a side character who is grieving the worst loss in this world This was able to evoke a lot of emotions from me And honestly? This is the type of story you read and immediately want to go out in the world and do better ➽ One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz ★★★★★I loved this short story so very much This story centers around a string of hate crimes that are happening on Stanford’s campus and we get to see how it’s impacting a Filipina girl whose family was undocumented This story talks heavily on the privilege that white and white passing people take for granted when they are doing something as simple as walking back to their dorms How white people can use police and “authority figures” as a convenience where people of color not only can’t but they feel afraid of what will happen if they speak out And this story perfectly talks about how hard it is to reclaim your space once it has been violated and deemed unsafe And this also even discusses how we sexualize Asian woman and how so many men fetishize them Like I said above I am so very white passing but this is a book about a Filipina girl studying microbiology what I got my degree in at UofM Like I knew from the first page I was going to completely love this novella the most in this collection But as I read I realized how I wish I could give this short story to every student and make it reuired reading This was a masterpiece and now I feel like such a fool for never reading Melissa de la Cruz before Beautiful important and completely moving ➽ PaladinSamurai by Gene Luen Yang ★★I loved how a graphic work was incorporated into this anthology but I just didn’t completely love this one But I did appreciate it starting out with a DD campaign I also think this one didn’t pack a punch like all the rest in the collection but it’s about a Japanese boy wanting to play as a Samurai in his DD campaign but his DM will only allow them to be one of five classes which is absurd so he is trying to get to be a Paladin But that’s just the DM being bad because Paladins and Samurais are nothing alike Just because they both use melee weapons? I’m sorry I really wanted to love this ➽ Catch Pull Drive by Schuyler Bailar ★★★★★Schuyler Bailar is the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer He was first recruited in 2013 to Harvard’s Women Swimming and Diving team but after his transition he was recruited to the men’s team And his success is such an inspiration that I honestly was crying reading his Wiki And just knowing this makes this story even beautiful and powerful This story is about a trans boy who has finally come out to his school via Facebook and is now having his first day on his school’s swim team as a boy And with that comes a brand new locker room and new reactions from his peers TWCW for bullying hate speech transphobic slurs use of dead name all of these are challenged and none are in a positive light but it can be hard to read This was easily one of my favorites stories in the collection even though an ethnicity andor culture is never brought up but the author is a PoC➽ Super Human by Nicola Yoon ★★★★★This was probably the most perfect concluding story to any anthology every Nicola Yoon just teleports me with her writing every time and I need a full length story to this immediately Oh my gosh But this is a powerful story about how no black person is safe from police brutality in America not even superheroes And one black girl unfolds the story and has her eyes opened This story is so relevant so important and is honestly a short masterpiece I loved this so much and it is such a shining star in this collection I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it Out of a possible 60 stars 5 stars possible for each of the 12 stories this collection accumulated 51 stars 85% But these numbers mean nothing because Fresh Ink means to me than any amount of math This collection is so damn important and I truly believe is life changing This a five star read and I implore you all to preorder and reuest at your libraries Everyone deserves to see themselves and their experiences represented in book and Fresh Ink is the anthology that the world needs Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The uote above was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication


  2. says:

    Reading this feels like I got to choose some of my favorite authors and ask each to tell me a story I loved that the collection included a play as well as a graphic short While every story stood on its own with uniue subjects and topics the thread of authentic brilliance brings them together beautifullyI loved it so much I've donated Fresh Ink to two of my favorite HS classrooms


  3. says:

    More often than not if I ran across a character who shared my race and gender in a book he was a gross stereotype comic relief token sidekick or depending on the genre I’m looking at you science fiction fantasy and horror there to die so the real hero could fight another day I love anthologies and I love getting the opportunity to promote authors of color and diverse books so as soon as I learned that the co founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement was editing this anthology I had to grab it—and I am so happy that I didBefore I get into the full breakdown I’d like to give shout outs to a few of my favorites from the collection which were Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan which gave me all of the happy cutesy feels; One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz which broke my heart in the best way; and Super Human by Nicola Yoon which reminded me that even bullet proof superheroes are capable of having their hearts broken by this world → Eraser Tattoo — Jason Reynolds ★★★★☆ ← “No We were five That ain’t count You told everybody you loved them back then You used to kiss your juice boxes after you drank them and tell the straw the same thing” What an absolutely precious beginning to the anthology a teen couple swapping eraser tattoos and memories before one of them is uprooted to another state with her family Not only is this story hilarious sweet and a little bit of a tearjerker but it also takes a moment to show the microaggressions black individuals face in even uiet moments like the general disregard and rudeness the characters are treated with by the white couple moving into Shay’s former home I already knew I’d love anything Jason wrote for this collection but this was honestly the most wonderful beginning to the bookRep black → Meet Cute — Malinda Lo ★★★★☆ ← That was the problem with being ueer You should never assume but if you didn’t assume you had to ask And asking directly was so hard to do Okay no lie this geeky little ff story about a fandom convention just about made me sueal because one of the girls is cosplaying as a black Agent Scully and I grew up the biggest X Files fan so I was automatically dying over the little inside jokes and references I’m not a Trekkie at all but Malinda Lo goes easy enough on those bits that I didn’t feel like I was “missing the joke” or anything and these girls are just so damn cute and geeky There’s also some important internal monologuing about how hard it is to be a ueer person in the dating world especially when you don’t know if the person you’re into is ueer too While the title for this story is perfect it’s not insta lovey at all and overall my geeky little ueer heart was just so here for this one ♥Rep Asian american black ff → Don’t Pass Me By — Eric Gansworth ★★★★☆ ← “This color” I said tapping the box of Flesh on his desk “Its name doesn’t cover everyone” After how cute and sweet the first two stories were this one took me by surprise with how heavy and sad it was a narrative of a seventh grade Native boy in a school full of white kids in the 70s where he has to deal not only with microaggressions and outright racism but also the fact that of the few other Native kids in his school many of them are light skinned and “passing” enough to shun him too He stands up for himself and it is such an empowering story but it also hit me really hard on a personal note My grandmother rest her soul was half Native and not white passing I remember stories she told me about feeling excluded because of her skin color or her features and how disconnected and erased she felt from her culture in a country that has tried so hard to forget Native people It absolutely breaks my heart that Native people have been cast aside so much and for so long but stories like this—and like hers—truly need to be toldRep Native → Be Cool for Once — Aminah Mae Safi ★★★★☆ ← Biohazard may cause heart to burst This wasn’t my favorite story so far but it was super cute and it perfectly captured the joys of concert going for music loving teens so that alone was fantastic It features a Muslim girl and her best friend who run into the main character’s crush at a concert and she’s forced to face down her long held secret feelings for him Not only is there some cute lesbian rep on the side with her best friend but the whole scene is really sweet and humorous There are several references to Islamic practices too which I found so interesting and precious ♥Rep Muslim Japanese ff side characters → Tags — Walter Dean Myers ★★★★☆ ← “We got our tags on the wall and people can see we were real and they’re thinking about us But we ain’t resting because we got to stay ahead of people cleaning the walls” This is a uniue piece of the collection as it’s actually a play and man did this one hit me hard It’s a story of a few dead young black men tagging walls in the afterlife as they discuss their memorials how they died and how they keep their own memories alive with their tags There’s a devastating twist at the end and a lot of subtle commentary on the way a corrupted and damaged “justice” system terrifies and warps the psyches of marginalized individuals particularly black men When I finished reading the story and realized where I knew the name from and remembered that this author actually passed away a few years ago it added some sort of extra heartbreak to think that even in his seventies Walter was still having to write about the same injustices and cruelty he’d witnessed his entire lifeRep black → Why I Learned to Cook — Sara Farizan ★★★★★ ← “You never apologize for taking up space Yasaman” Okay this might have been THE cutest sweetest and happiest story so far Yasaman is a young Iranian bi girl who wants to introduce her girlfriend to her immigrant grandmother but has been too scared to do so In hopes of preparing herself for the big event she has her grandmother teach her how to cook vegetarian versions of authentic Persian foods and the entire story is just filled with grandmothergranddaughter bonding and important lessons about never apologizing for who you are and what your culture is With how much I miss my own grandmother I’m such a sucker for grandmotherly figures in stories so this actually brought a few happy tears to my eyes ♥Rep Iranian ff → A Stranger at the Bochinche — Daniel José Older ★★☆☆☆← He let another silent prayer rise inside him the one said to call on one’s warrior spirits before battle and we gathered in the thick air around him Sadly this is the first story I haven’t enjoyed in this collection and I genuinely did not like it at all It’s a sci fi short but it doesn’t feel like a short story; instead it felt like I was just reading a passage taken out of context from a larger novel There’s no explanation to any of the action going on you’re just dumped right into the center of it and I had no chance of connecting with the plot or characters in any way There’s war rival groups guardian spirits and suddenly aliens? It didn’t work for meRep Latinx → A Boy’s Duty — Sharon G Flake ★★★☆☆ ← What’s a boy’s duty to himself? Unfortunately this historical fiction story made two in a row that I just couldn’t uite connect to; while the last one was “too much” this one was just a mixture of boring and plotless A young man sits in a café observing the people around him and thinking about his father’s farm the thieving boys he’s friends with and his dreams of joining the Navy and becoming a sailor during WWII There’s just not much of anything going on the characters are mostly wholly unlikable and I wasn’t a fan sadlyRep black → One Voice A Something in Between Story — Melissa de la Cruz ★★★★★ ← I wanted America to want me because I was already a part of the fabric of the country My god you guys this story is heavy and relevant and so so good The narrator is a Stanford student whose family moved to California from the Philippines when she was a child and she lives in constant fear of deportation She talks about how she didn’t know her documentation wasn’t proper until she applied for college and she had to jump through hoops to be allowed to stay including forfeiting her rights to a scholarship she had worked hard to earn The plot of the story follows her throughout a few days at her college in which racial slurs are spray painted on buildings and vehicles and she laments the fact that her white passing boyfriend isn’t able to understand why she feels so unsafe at their school It’s just a tremendously sad and realistic depiction of something that so many people in the US are going through right now and if there is one story in this collection so far that I find to be the most relevant to 2018’s sociopolitical climate it’s this oneRep Filipinx black latinx → PaladinSamurai — Gene Luen Yang ★★★☆☆ ← This little story is told through a comic strip which is a neat addition to the anthology and a fun break from the standard text formatting It’s about a Japanese American teen who faces erasure from his group of friends while playing Swords and Spells essentially DD While it’s a cute short I wish had taken place to address what legitimately jerks his friends were being instead of it being swept under the rug at the endRep Japanese → Catch Pull Drive — Schuyler Bailar ★★★★★ ← Beneath the surface I am not the girl everyone says I’m supposed to be—in fact I’m not even sure I’m a person I’m just swimming I am a singular action proof that I am alive and powerful Oh my god I love this story so much It’s a first person narrative of a trans teen who is at his first swim meet after coming out to his team and all his friends There are a lot of transphobic terms and homophobic slurs in this one so trigger warnings abound but it’s such a beautiful narrative It meant even to me once I found out that the author is a swimmer himself and than that is the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer ever and the first publicly outed trans men to compete in any NCAA men’s sport He’s kind of my new hero The last thing I want to point out about this story is that it also features some amazing parental love and acceptance regarding his coming out which was so sweet ♥ Side note This is the first story in the collection to not make any reference to the protagonist’s race so I didn’t mention that in the “rep” section below but the author is Korean AmericanRep trans → Super Human — Nicola Yoon ★★★★★ ← Always the wrong place Always the wrong time A country that did not value his life Okay this story I knew Nicola’s story would be good I don’t think her novels are perfect but she has a way of writing that is always capable of hitting me hard and I expected this to be no exception but I didn’t think it would break my heart so much It tells the story of a seventeen year old black girl who is sent to attempt to reason with X nicknamed the “Black Superman” who has decided to forsake his humanity saving tactics in favor of wiping out the population instead When she learns what changed his mind it’s absolutely shattering I’m choking up just writing this review thinking about the society that I live in and how utterly and completely broken this system is I don’t want to spoil the surprise only because this is a story that you need to soak in to allow it to hit you in the chest the way it did for me but I will say that it was the perfect ending to this anthology and I will carry it with meRep blackFINAL AVERAGE RATING 405My star ratings for each individual story averaged out to a perfect 4 out of 5 but honestly this is the best anthology I’ve read in my life It is so poignant and haunting and gorgeous and solidly written that I have to bump it up to 5 stars It deserves nothing less ♥ All uotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release Thank you so much to Crown Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest reviewYou can find this review and on my blog or you can follow me on twitter bookstagram or facebook


  4. says:

    NOW AVAILABLE Sometimes I wonder where I've beenWho I amDo I fit inI may not win But I can't be thrownOut here on my ownOut here on my own Out Here on My Own Irene Cara Songwriters Lesley Gore Michael GoreLamar Giles editor of this YA anthology and in partnership with We Need Diverse Books wanted wants stories about diversity stories where people can see themselves especially for our youth In his youth he says in the Foreword that “book after book adventure after adventure the heroes weren’t like me at all For him as a child that meant stories featuring black boys who were not portrayed as a stereotype of one kind or another Still that didn’t just apply to him and when he or one of his friends found a story that they could find themselves in it reinforced their love of reading With that in mind this collection includes heroes of all kinds for all kinds of young adult readers There are ten short stories one is a graphic short story and a one act play Eraser Tattoo – Jason ReynoldsA story about young love a boy Dante and girl Shay who have grown up or less together in Brooklyn ”alive full of sounds and smells” and they must say goodbye The girl along with her family is moving away Eraser tattoos are exchanged as a reminder of their love Meet Cute Malinda LoAt the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in line for a preview screening of ueen of the East Nic sees a young girl red wig black pantsuit FBI badge get in line behind her looking angrily at her cell phone texting and asks her if Mulder pissed her off The girl scowls asking who she is then as though she’s just realized says ”Gender flipped Sulu?” Cosplay Star Trek X Files and a power failure make for an entertaining story Don’t Pass Me By Eric Gansworth “This color” I said tapping the box of Flesh on his desk “Its name doesn’t cover everyone” A young Native American boy living on a reservation has to attend a Jr High comprised of mostly white students 900 white kids a handful of black kids a few kids who were a blend of races and one other Native American kid He tries to make others understand how their avoiding recognizing who he is makes him feel Be Cool for Once Aminah Mae SafiA Muslim American teen girl and the boy in the band she is crushing on her parents immigrated to the US His grandparents were immigrants A crush School supplies and first kisses Tags Walter Dean Myers 5 starsA one act play with four boys “Big Eddie” Jones aka “SMOKE” 17; Willie Jiminez 16 aka “2 SOON121”; D’Mario Thompson aka “DATRUF”; Frank Watkins 17 aka “J BOY”It’s Willie’s first night in this new state of being their new objective – to keep their tags looking good it is their memorial the way to keep their memories alive to others to be remembered If you only read one story in this anthology make it this one Why I Learned to Cook Sara Farizan 5 StarsYasi is Persian bi sexual and is still in the giddy stages of early love with Hannah when Hannah declares she would like to be invited to Friday night dinner with Yasi’s grandmother Yasi’s been learning to cook the delicious meals her grandmother prepares all the while trying to get up the nerve to share about who she is sexually to her grandmother A lovely message with a sweet ending A Stranger at the Bochinche Daniel José OlderA beautifully written if strange story A stranger in a bar the mysterious appearance of overwhelming smoke and a missing notebook that holds secrets designs for flying machines rising fears that things may become very dire indeed” A Boy’s Duty Sharon G Flake 5 StarsHis father blamed his teachers for giving him dreams that extended beyond the boundaries of their farm ”But it was my father’s binoculars and the almanac that pulled me away from the farm first It’s how I got the notion I wanted to be a mapmaker plotting out every planet and star in the sky Four years later I’m sitting at the Lucky Linda Café homelessLoss homelessness bittersweet and lovely One Voice Melissa de la Cruz It begins with a young Filipina girl’s car being tagged ”A big middle finger and a particularly shocking phrase smack in the middle of my Monday morning reminding me that—even at a prestigious cosmopolitan university the one you had worked so hard to attend—someone will try to make you feel like you’re an imposter”In part this is about the effect this has on this girl how difficult it can be to reclaim that feeling of safety where safety is your normal frame of mind where walking across a parking lot or across a campus doesn’t make your heart leap in fear at each sound In part it is about the differences in relationships with the police or security authority figures that non white people have vs whites In part it tackles the way Asian women are viewed and objectified by men Paladin Samurai Gene Luen YangI’m not much for graphic stories but I know there is an audience for this This is about a young Japanese boy who wants to be a Samurai in his DD campaign but it is not allowed Reading this on my kindle since this is an ARC the font is really tiny about this big so trying to read this was difficult for me Catch Pull Drive Schuyler Bailar 5 StarsIt’s in those few sacred moments before he enters the school as a new person that he hesitates Born female but having just announced to the world via Facebook that from here on he will now be male and his new name is Tommy The first thing he sees walking into the building are two doors marked with words that identify not just the doors but the people who enter them MEN WOMENThis was written by the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer per Wikipedia and thecrimsoncom as well as the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport he also served on the Transgender Visibility Panel to advocate for the “Trans Bill MA” before the Massachusetts State Senate Super Human Nicola Yoon 5 Stars“The Los Angeles Times headline the day after he saved her read BLACK SUPERMAN SAVES GIRL which incites a flurry of commentaries CNN decides he should be referred to as African American another points out that if he was like Superman he was ”from another planet and therefore not human never mind African or American” Meanwhile two years passes and the seventeen year old black girl is convinced that she must be the one to reason with this “Black Superman” as he his vision of saving humanity has become darker and he’s no longer sure they deserve saving Another one I loved just enough superhero fantasy story to appeal to a large group of people with a story that was heartbreaking I’ve read other books by Nicola Yoon and enjoyed her writing before so I expected this to be good and it surpassed my expectationsAltogether a fine collection of stories to enjoy and reflect on and while this is targeted for Teens YA I think it could be enjoyed by almost all ages I haven’t rated all of these individually but I’ve noted the ones I considered 5 Stars but none are really less worthy it’s just a matter of what types of stories you prefer Overall I consider this a 5 star collectionPub Date 14 AUG 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Children’s Crown Books for Young Readers


  5. says:

    I really wish there was of a variety of genres but this was a great collection of short stories featuring diverse characters written by some of the biggest YA contemporary authorsI think I expected than just contemporary fiction stories because in the foreword the science fiction fantasy and horror genres are all specifically called out for their killing off of minority characters However the majority of these stories are contemporary with romance being a key plot point Out of the twelve stories there is one historical fiction one sci fi and one fantasy story Four of the contemporaries have a main focus of romance Maybe I just needed a bit of a mix and romance is my least favorite genre so this was a disappointment Regardless some of these stories are very thought provoking some will make you feel emotional and some are just great relatable storiesI especially appreciate that a one act play and graphic short story were included in this collection It's refreshing to see different formats of writingNow for the breakdownEraser Tattoo by Jason ReynoldsThis was one of the captivating of the contemporaries with a focus on romance Shay is moving from her childhood home in Brooklyn to Wilmington leaving her first love Dante behind She's giving him an eraser tattoo of her initial There are small moments with big meanings behind them like the white family moving into the home Shay's family is moving out of and the lack of respect they showMeet Cute by Malinda LoFans of X Files or Star Trek will love this one It is set at the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and features a girl named Tamia cosplaying as a black Agent Scully and Nic is a gender flipped Sulu The power goes out during a storm and the two go looking for Nic's brother while wondering if the other is gay It's cute Again romance isn't my thing And I never watched X Files or Star Trek so the references weren't that exciting for me This is probably of a personal preference thing I can see other readers really loving this one because again it was cuteDon't Pass Me By by Erik Gansworth “This color” I said tapping the box of Flesh on his desk “Its name doesn’t cover everyone” This was one that was powerful A native American boy has to leave the reservation to attend a predominantly white junior high just beyond the border because the reservation school only goes up to 5th grade The message present here is strongBe Cool For Once by Aminah Mae SafiBack to the contemporary romances This one is set at a concert and features a Muslim American girl who sees the boy she likes and decides to tell him how she feels Meh This is one of my least favorites And that's even with the What fresh hell is this? statement which is a direct line from the tv show Scream ueens Even with that reference on top of the Anne Boleyn ones I still wasn't into this oneTags by Walter Dean MyersThis was definitely one of my favorites In my top 3 for sure No romance involved This is the one act play Four boys are tagging walls We find out they are dead and are tagging to be remembered They discuss how they diedWhy I Learned To Cook by Sara Farizan You don't apologize for who you are I'm an old lady now and perhaps that doesn't mean much in the world we live in but I exist and I shouldn't have to be sorry for that As a woman you have to know that Don't ever apologize for who you are I enjoyed this than the other contemporary romances so far A Persian bi girl is learning to cook Persian food from her grandma and is nervous to introduce her girlfriend to her This one was very sweet with a great message to itA Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José OlderHere is the science fiction of the collection Unfortunately this one was lacking and is probably my least favorite of them all This is merely for the confusion It feels like an excerpt from a much longer book leaving me feeling like I'm missing tons of information about the world and characters Thus I felt like there was no science fiction in this collection at all because I want to forget about this one entirely I was lostA Boy's Duty by Sharon G FlakeSet during WWII Zakary leaves his father's farm to paint becoming homeless He wants to join the Navy He spends his time at Lucky Linda's Cafe a 247 cafe where the owner doesn't uite approve of him being there The owner's wife does what she can to help Zakary out This one is sad but also on the slow moving sideOne Voice by Melissa de la CruzThis is one of the topical of the stories in this collection A girl attending Stanford's whole world shifts when racial slurs are graffitied on walls cars etc She talks about discovering her family wasn't documented in the last year and the fears she faces This one is powerful and is very relevant to today I wasn't aware that this was a short story that takes place after the events of Something in Between but it didn't harm my reading experience If you are planning to read that book maybe wait to read the short story after because it takes place afterwardPaladinSamurai Written by Gene Luen Yang illustrated by Thien PhamThis is the graphic short story of the collection Easy to read and well illustrated This one has a group of friend playing Swords and Spells which is the book's version of Dungeons and Dragons The dungeon master won't let his Japanese friend call himself a samurai because it's not one of the 5 classes of the game The DM insists he call himself a paladin This one is really short and has a storyline involving the girl across the street tied in I liked it for the message it carriedCatch Pull Drive by Schuyler BailarI really love this one Also in my top 3 Set in 1st person it tells the story of Tommy's first day on his swim team as a boy after having just come out as trans on Facebook This was a very moving story It captured Tommy's emotions very wellSuper Human by Nicola YoonThis was my favorite of the collection This is also where the fantasy comes into play X the world's one and only superhero has decided to give up on humanity and destroy it unless someone convinces him otherwise The US sends 17 year old Syrita to do just that I'm going to withhold all other details because you really should read this one It's heartbreaking and not one I'll forget for a long timeSo there you have it A diverse collection of short stories Some were okay some were excellent It's a bit across the board but I did like this overall


  6. says:

    My full review can read at my blog The uiet PondA wonderful and diverse anthology of ownvoices stories I enjoyed this so so much and particularly so as an audiobook and I highly recommend this anthology to everyone Explores a diversity of topic through a variety of genres contemporary slice of life sort of stuff romance science fiction and historical fiction Also explores a variety of themes that are guaranteed to pull you in To name a few what 'humanity' is the power of solidarity how perceptions shape who we are colourism racism sexism and gender Has characters of colour ueer characters a trans character all of the perspectives were wonderful candid and genuine and there's guaranteed to be a story for everyoneNotable stories Meet Cute by Malinda Lo Follows two girls Asian and Black who meet at a con and shenanigans ensue The writing was compelling the romance and chemistry undeniable and with sharp jabs at how women of colour are treating in geek culture Catch Pull Drive by Schuyler Bailar This was brilliant and a highlight of the book follows a trans boy who faces anti trans discrimination shortly after coming out to everyone so the book is based on the author's experiences Super Human by Nicola Yoon This was probably my favourite book of the whole anthology and a perfect way to end the collection It's about a black girl who gets chosen to convince a superhero who has decided to destroy the world


  7. says:

    In the introduction of Fresh Ink it's stated many reasons that we need short stories such as these Even though I did not relate directly to many of the stories I completely agree that we need diversity in all writing especially the young adult genre All the tales had a very genuine feel to the characters and discussed extremely relevant issues facing our society today I recommend this book to adults and young adults alike Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for providing an advanced copy of the book in exchange for this honest review


  8. says:

    Average Rating 358 StarsStories I Was Most Excited For Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds; Super Human By Nicola YoonFavorite stories Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi; Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan; Super Human by Nicola YoonLeast Favorite Stories A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older; PaladinSamuari by Gene Luen YangFresh Ink is a vibrant collection of diverse stories that share personal truths hopes fears and dreams Told in short stories a one act play and a graphic short these stories give voice to characters whose stories are not often given the space to shine But these author craft complex characters in dynamic relationships that draw you inEraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds | ★★★☆☆ 35 StarsJason Reynolds can do no wrong in my eyes Long Way Down is one lf the best books I’ve ever read I loved the sentiment of the story and the rich history you can feel between childhood best friends Shay and Dante Shay is giving Date an ‘eraser tattoo’ of an “S” to remember her by because she’s moving I loved the focus on the importance of their relationship but the story didn’t pull me in Meet Cute by Malinda Lo | ★★★☆☆This was a fun and cute story about a girl named Nic who is cosplaying at a Denver Con when the lights are knocked out by a storm she a fellow cosplayer Tamia go looking for Nic’s brother I loved seeing Nic and Tamia handle the can gatekeepers who suck the fun out of everything But I had some personal preference issues that lowered my overall enjoyment of the story Meta pop culture references always pull me out of stories and the heavy references in the beginning didn’t help I also think I would have liked the story if it was written in first person But again those are personal issues and I still really liked the story overallDon’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth | ★★★★☆This story was much grounded than the first two We follow “Doobie” a Native student who is going to a white school We see Doobie discuss passing because many of the other native kids at school are white passing and not picked on gentrification and the dismantling of native culture and white washing history This was such a powerful and impactful story and I loved itBe Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi| ★★★★★My first five star read and it was so adorably cute I couldn’t handle it Shirin is a Muslim American teen having the time of her life at a concert for one of her favorite bands and she sees her crush Jeffery show up and this is the point I got giddy Shirin is worried about the spotlight and recognition that comes with dating ‘Mr Popular’ This was just so cute and fluffy and perfectTags by Walter Dean Morgan | ★★★☆☆This is a truly uniue story told in a one act play about a group of young black boys who’ve died tagging a wall I loved framing tagging as a way to immortalize themselves and create a lasting legacy where they’re not forgotten But I was confused at parts of the story which is why it got a lower ratingWhy I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan | ★★★★★This was one of the cutest things my eyes have ever witnessed This was such a happy story that put me in the best mood Yas wants to learn to cook Persian food to share with her girlfriend Hannah and gets lessons from her unapologetic grandmotherYas’ grandmother was amazing She is such a fierce lady and I aspire to be her I loved seeing Yas gain an appreciation for her culture and seeing her grandmother love and accept her It was just greatA Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older | ★★☆☆☆This was probably my least favorite story in the anthology because I was so confused reading it Set in Brooklyn this scifi story went over my head I felt like there wasn’t context for what was happening we just see this cult like group that want their god to come down to Earth and try to steal a design notebook that can help them And there’s maybe aliens or demons I wasn’t sure Like I said I was confusedA Boy’s Duty by Sharon G Flake | ★★★☆☆This story follows a young black boy in WWII who ran away from home and wants to join the Navy I liked seeing the life he’s built in New Orleans and the vibrant culture present in the city I really liked seeing his artistic talent displayed and his genuinely good heart This story really was about following your dreams but not putting yourself above other One Voice by Melissa De La Cruz | ★★★★☆Jas is a Sanford college student who’s entire college experience shifts when she sees racists graffiti spray painted across campusJas lives in fear of her family getting deported and this graffitti starts taking over all of her mind space It really shows how harmful and deeply painful discrimination and racism is But I really loved seeing Jas talk with other minority students and finding a power in their shared experiecesPaladinSamuari by Gene Luen Yang and Illustrations by Thien Pham | ★★☆☆☆I’m not really a fan of graphic novels I just haven’t found one that’s clicked with me yet It also didn’t help that this was about a faux Dungeon and Dragons campaign game where a guy wants to play as a samurai instead of the traditional Paladin There was also something about a part at a girl he likes house The story felt disjointed to me and I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of the othersCatch Pull Drive by Schuyler Bailar | ★★★★☆This was an amazing story that featured a trans boys who’s finally come out to his school and is at his first swim practice since coming out We see the challenges he faces a new locker room ignorant comments from teammates but also see his loving parents and a friend on the team who supports him as well This was such an inspirational story that moved meSuper Human by Nicola Yoon | ★★★★★I have never been disappointed by a Nicola Yoon short story and Super Human was definitely a standout for me We follow Syrita as she’s chosen to convince disillusioned superhero “X” to restore his faith in humanity because she was the first person he saved years ago But X a black superhero has lost his faith no longer thinks that humanity is saving The reason he’s changed his mind is a punch to the gut and is best uncovered while reading the story But this story was just so powerful and a perfect way to conclude this anthology Fresh Ink is a can’t miss collection of stories from some of YAs hottest authors that allows these diverse characters to have their truths told in their own way I received a copy og the book from Crown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange fro an honest review


  9. says:

    Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book for review I'm taking the time today to finally sit down and review Fresh Ink I had a lot of fun reading this book which surprised me considering it was a compilation of short stories and frankly me and short stories do not get a long very well see example me and every single Neil Gaiman compilation I've ever read Fresh Ink as I said is a collection of short stories but it goes beyond so much than that Each story was written specifically in mind for representation and diversity It overflows with it but not in a painful forced kind of way We have Indian African American trans LGBT and so many I felt myself smiling at almost every single on of these stories My personal favorite was about a super hero When it comes to my usual reviewing system I feel like it would be a bit convoluted if I tried to review every single story in this novel I will say that I only faintly disliked a couple of the stories however Overall the writing styles for most of them was done so well I hadn't heard of almost any of these authors and I'm excited to have a taste of what I think will become some of my new favorite authorsI think this book provides so much than it's marketed as I think it's a great collection full of diversity as I stated but it's also a great way to get a taste for authors you may not have known about that are also a part of a very important group of authors that need attention I hear all the time about people who wish they knew where to start to find diverse reads and I think this collection will give people a great jumping off point I rated this book essentially on enjoyment alone and I ended up giving it a 4 star review I think that overall most of the stories were written well they flowed well and bonus points for the diversity that didn't feel forced or fake I couldn't give it 5 stars because two of the stories I didn't like at all not because of plot but because of writing 


  10. says:

    Growing up finding stories I could relate to reuire Sherlock Holmes level detection While I enjoyed your typical stories aimed at middle schoolers and teenagers they had something in common that bothered me a bit They excluded meVery few books I read including black girls When they did however they were stereotypical and unbelievable Yes the last sentence is still a problem today in 2019 Mind you I read these books in the eightiesThankfully this generation desires a turnaround With anthologies like Black Enough Stories of Being Young Black in America kids and teens begin to see themselves not as marginalized stereotypes but as young people with voices deserving of hearingFresh Ink is an anthology published August 2018 and unlike Black Enough it's not just about black teens it includes the LGBTA Native Middle Eastern Asian teen community In this review you'll see particular representation in bold parenthesis eg Black TransThe stories discuss poverty same sex crushesrelationships colorism racism and other issues kids of color or disenfranchised voices faceBe mindful that with anthologies you will find stories you enjoy and those you dislike Nevertheless you get a multitude of different voices with one goal of being heard Stories InvolvedEraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds Two teens face uprooted as one moves with her family They create eraser tattoos and face microaggressions from a white couple moving into Shay's former house Sweet funny at times and tender this story's a good start ★★★★★★★★ BlackMeet Cute by Malinda Lo Nic and Tamia are two girls trapped by a power outrage as they discover than a love of cosplay and Sci FiFantasy  While not a big fan of cosplaying I enjoy reading about two girls usually displaced in that world find each other with many possibilities ahead in love and fandom Asian American Black FF ★★★½★★★★★Don't Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth A young seventh grader in the seventies discusses passing along with racial microaggressions and how they affect him and other Native students in a predominantly white school Light skinned Native children receive better treatment than their darker skinned classmates Native American  ★★★★★★★★★ Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi One concert enables a Muslim girl to check out her crush Cute but not a favorite Muslim Japanese FF peripheral characters★★★★★★★★Why I Learned To Cook by Sara Farizan    A young bisexual girl wants to invite her girlfriend over to meet her grandmother They cook vegetarian versions of Persian food as her grandmother shows her support for her granddaughter's life and love Big lesson Never Apologize For Who You Are Adorable tale Iranian FF ★★★★★★★★★ Tags by Walter Dean Myers Devastatingly haunting and real boys tag on walls and relive their stories of their deaths Myers presents this story as a play My heart hurt as I discovered each story within this play This one stayed with me for a while so much so my husband read it too to see why I was emotional Black ★★★★★★★★★★ Best StoryA Stranger at the Bochinche — Daniel José Older Okay so Older tends to write magical realism Don't hate me but I skipped this one No ratingA Boy's Duty by Sharon G Flake A young man chooses between art and doing his duty  Whatever that means to several people in his life in WW2 America while dealing with racism on the homefront Cute and bittersweet at the same time Black ★★★★★★★★One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz A young Stanford student finds out that her family's undocumented and with racial graffiti painted nearby she's anxious and feels like she should not suffer in silence She's angry and I'm glad to read female characters angry at their circumstances without worrying about how some love interest or their parents see them I like seeing them take action Filipinx Black Latinx ★★★★★★★★★PaladinSamurai by Gene Luen Yang illustrations by Thien Pham Written and drawing in comic format we see a group of Dungeons Dragons friends visit a party next door Awkwardness ensues I failed to connect with this story Japanese ★★★★★★★Catch Pull Drive by Schuyler Bailar  A trans boy handles his first swim practice after coming out as trans We feel his struggle with his decision concern about using the boy's bathroom and how he circumnavigates bigotry from team members Trans★★★★★★★★★Super Human by Nicola Yoon A black superhero decides it's time to end the world as his disappointment in humanity crushes him and the only one reaching him is his first save Police brutality racism and other societal ills find themselves discussed If a superhero decides to destroy us because we're not saving any what have we become? Another good Yoon piece I would have preferred a full novel because of the plot's weight Black ★★★★★★★★★Rating ★★★½★★★★★ I gave a half star based on the strength of Tags alone I hope to see this play on stage It's heart wrenching and powerfulWhat I love best about these anthologies is that they make you want to seek out every novel these authors create So do it While varied in style voice too short and not as airtight as Black Enough each story's worthy of a read especially in a time begging for difference