Cover Image: Short Stuff

Short Stuff

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Member Reviews

I had a very love/hate relationship with this book, some of the short stories I loved and others just weren't for me. What that does mean though is that there's definitely something for everybody in here.
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Look, the reality is plenty complicated and sometimes you just want easy-reading, delightful, no/low angst YA. This book delivers!! 

Great collection of short stories by a variety of LGBTQ YA authors. Pick it up for your favorites and read the rest for the fun!!

**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
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This ARC was provided for review, but in no way affects the following impartial and unbiased review:
Pros: A collection of wholesome and cute LGBT+ love short stories. Includes the best meet-cutes. Different types of leads and narratives. Each deals with different issues, such as self-worth, doubts, fear of the unknown, and family pressure. Positive feminist notes and defies gender roles. Features mlm and wlw relationships.
Cons: Not very representative of the wide spectrum of queer relationships. Insta-love everywhere.
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I really enjoyed SHORT STUFF! The entire anthology was light, cute, hopeful, romantic and the PERFECT summer read.

Each of the four stories were so unique! My favourite was definitely the first one, I ATE THE WHOLE WORLD TO FIND YOU -- not only was it incredibly well-written, but the phenomenal descriptions of Will's dishes truly made my mouth water. It was cute, the characters were multi-faceted and FUN to read about, and the enemies-to-friends-to-lovers relationship hit all the right notes.

THE AUGUST SANDS was hopeful, butterfly-inducing and light; the summer beach setting shone perfectly through the pages, and I couldn't keep a smile off my face as I flipped through the pages of Tommy and Chase's ADORABLE flirtations.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF COFFEE was so unique and adorable! Starting each chapter with a different kind of coffee was absolutely BRILLIANT, and I loved watching Gemma and Anya's relationship flourish and develop, from their very first meeting on their first day of school till their feelings finally came to light.

And AUGUST SANDS was innovative and incredibly gripping! I loved Fenn's ferocity, and Bryne's independence. And the ENDING -- I couldn't believe it was just... over, just like that! I need to know what happens next!

If you're looking for something light, enjoyable and easy-to-devour, this LGBTQ+ short story/romance anthology checks all the boxes. It was exactly the breath of fresh air that I needed in the midst of so many... trying times... in the world, and I guarantee, if you pick it up, you'll love it as much as I did.
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Arc provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I am so sad it took me a while to get around to reading these short stories. I enjoyed most of them and even stayed up late reading one night because I was so invested in the stories. I ATE THE WHOLE WORLD TO FIND YOU by Tom Wilinsky & Jen Sternick and THE AUGUST SANDS by Jude Sierra were two of my favorites from this collection followed closely by LOVE IN THE TIME OF COFFEE by Kate Fierro. I Ate the Whole World to Find You was such a fun story that had a premise I couldn't help but enjoy. The August Sands felt perfect for this time of year as I read it during one of the hottest days of this month. Finally, Love in the Time of Coffee had such an interesting way of each little clip of their lives being accompanied by what coffee drink they were having at time. 

Sadly, the one that left me feeling a bit disappointed was GILDED SCALES by Julia Ember. Maybe it was because I had such high hopes considering I love any story that has to do with dragons. I felt like the ending was just a bit too rushed and kept having to go back to see if my kindle had some how lost the pages. I have read a bit from this author in the past and have enjoyed what I have read so maybe that adds to the disappointment a bit too. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this collection and would recommend to others to read it. Even with my disappointments it was still the perfect, light queer read for these summer days.
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Although anthologies aren’t really my thing - I always think some stories are way better than the others - I deeply enjoyed this one. I liked that we not only got contemporary stories but also fantasy ones, I liked the variety. Overall this was a cute and solid queer anthology, one I’d definitely recommend to people who want to try some more queer content.
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Short Stuff is an anthology of four YA LGBTQ short stories... though it's actually just LGB. The stories themselves are nice enough, but when taken as a whole there is very little diversity of representation. Only one of the stories includes actual identity labels (lesbian and bi), but I think it's clear to say there are no trans or non-binary characters, no ace representation, no mention of pansexuality, intersex, polyamory, two-spirit, etc. And I'm almost positive all of these characters are white, along with most of the authors (Jude Sierra is Latinx). So while the stories themselves range from "not bad" to "really enjoyable," the collection as a whole is a bit disappointing. The first three stories are contemporary fiction, while the fourth is historical fantasy.

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Every single one of these short stories is fantastic. Meet cutes? Check. Reluctant romances? Check. Fantasties involving dragon-girls? Somehow also check. Definitely worth stocking for quick, fun reads.
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This is a wonderful LGBTQ+ collection of short stories! Totally full of great new authors I haven't read before (and a couple I have!) and it's just an all-around enjoyable collection to consume. Definitely perfect for Pride, but a great thing to pick up anytime of the year! Looking forward to seeing more from some of these authors.
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A huge thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

An average of 4,5/5 if rating the stories separately; two 5 stars, and two 4 stars. 

This anthology is honestly so good! I am starting to write this review at 3:15am, after having read it in one go and I already kind of want to read it again. It's- I spent 4 hours smiling, or hurting but knowing I would smile soon enough, as the book promises happy endings, because dammit queer people deserve happy endings. (The August Sands has a bittersweet ending, but in my head it ends up happy anyways because that's the kind of trash queen I am, and Gilded Scales promises plenty.)

I don't even really know what to talk about. The stories are diverse, and none of them are like the others.

We have I Ate The Whole World To Find You which is about a swimmer getting ready for the Olympics, and a chef who provides said swimmer with food during his days at the pool. This is pure fanfiction material, and I spent the entire story with a huge smile on my face. They are boys, they are idiots, they are gay, and it is absolutely beautiful. It also made me want all of the food. (and yes there is the asshole coach and asshole sponsors, but they just set off the goodness even more.)

Then there is The August Sands. We follow Tommy, a gay boy on summer holiday with his family, before going off to college, which is something he struggles with. He struggles with his identity a lot and then he meets Chase, a confident boy who has no qualms in expressing interest. This story focuses on Tommy's struggles, and how he comes to terms with himself, while experiencing romance for the first time. Note that him coming to terms with himself is not about his sexuality! It's actually about who he is as a person, and being scared of change.

Next, we have Love in the Time of Coffee which follows Gemma and Anya from the time they were heading to school for the very first time, to them in college. You move through the story by the coffee they drink, which I actually really loved- and I find coffee absolutely gross, haha! I just really loved the set up of it, and I wonder if the book this is inspired by (Love in the time of Cholera) has a similar set up. Gemma is gay, and has been in love with her best friend Anya for ages. Anya, on the other hand, has a boyfriend, which is pretty serious. Lesbian and bi rep, here, y'all! Also, the ending is super cute hdfjksdgalsdf

Last, but certainly not least, we have Gilded Scales. This story is like nothing you would expect. It's the only one that's not contemporary, or even modern. It's fantasy, loud and clear, as there is a dragon. Yep, you read that right: there is a DRAGON! Besides the dragon there is a girl who wants desperately to be a warrior, but whose village won't let her and only wants her to marry and settle down. When a dragon is discovered, she volunteers to help save the girl the dragon is keeping prisoner. SPOILER ALERT (but not really a spoiler it's in the summary): the dragon and the girl are one and the same. This story is very subtle on the romance front, but you just know where they're headed. Safe to say, this story was nothing like I had imagined- I have never read a dragon like this and I loved it!

Add to the that the gorgeous cover and I'm in love. So in love I read this in one sitting and am still writing this review at 3:30am while my laptop is dying. Would wholeheartedly recommend, especially if you're in need of (queer!) feel good stories!
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This was a cute Short Story Collection.

I Ate the Whole World to Find You by Tom wilinsky & Jen Sternick - M/M
This first Story was by far my favourite. 5 Starts
It was just everyhitng I love about a contemporary book. It's perfect on it's on, but I almost wish there was an actuall novel and more to it than just this short story. Purely for just how much fun I think it would be to read. 

The August Sands by Jude Sierra - M/M
This second story was also cute I'll give it that. 3 Stars
This is one I think should actually be a novel. I've read 2 of the 4 books Jude Sierra has published with Interlude Press and I highly enjoy them, I know how he tells a story and I can't help but feel like if this short story was longer it would have been even more enjoyable. 

Love in the Time of Coffee by Kate Fierro - F/F
This third story for me was just okay. 2 Stars
The thing with this one is that it is well told and I liked that you got some back story to the characters that presented how they got tot he point they are at the end of story. This short story is told falshes of different points in these 2 girls lives, and it just felt like a short story of short scenes.

Gilded Scales by Julia Ember- F/F
This fourth & final story was surprising. 4 Stars
Fantasy is not my imediate go to so when I got to this one I was a little aprehensive. but I was sureprised I really liked the 2 main characters, but this is another one that I thign would benifit from being an actual novel. I just felt it went by very quickly and it ended with no real conclusion which left me kind of wanting more.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Interlude Press for giving me an advanced copy of Short Stuff, so I could share my review!

Short Stuff is an anthology of four mid-length short stories focusing on queer characters!  Containing two stories focusing on male identifying characters and two centered on female identifying characters, this book is full of sweet tales to delight your heart!  The premise of this anthology is to present happy stories about queer characters, as so often queer narratives are focused around hardships and suffering.  The stories in this book are each full of joy in their own way, from meet-cutes to first kisses, emphasizing the importance of sharing the power of hope.

You can get your copy of Short Stuff on June 9th from Interlude Press!

I really appreciated the slightly longer story length, because it felt like adequate time and page space was spent to really develop each of the characters, ensuring that the stories were extremely engaging!  Of the four stories, my two favorites have to be I Ate The Whole World to Find You, by Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick, and Gilded Scales, by Julia Ember!  I Ate The Whole World to Find You follows a young Olympian-in-training as he begins to fall for the charming chef who runs pool’s the snack bar.  I absolutely *ate* this story up because of how much I loved the premise and the characters!  Gilded Scales is a fantasy story, about a girl who finally gets the chance to prove herself to be a true warrior when a terrible dragon threatens her village.  Little does she know, the dragon may be a cursed girl who’s just as tired of being underestimated as she is.  I would definitely want to read full length books about the characters from both of these stories, because the authors did an amazing job of engaging me in their worlds!

My Recommendation-
If you have been looking for a quick and lighthearted read to take your mind away from the current turmoil of the world, Short Stuff contains several great options for you to escape into!  If you like sweet contemporary or fantasy stories, Short Stuff might be a great pick for your next read!
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I'm a sucker for queer fiction, and short story collections are perfect read-in-a-day books for me. This collection featured four YA stories - two m/m and two f/f - and each were different and delightful in their own way, although of course I had my favorites (as one usually does with anthologies).

The first followed an Olympics-trial-bound swimmer and the chef at the country club where he practices (sports fiction! A favorite of mine!), and was both an interesting look at the life of an athlete and the struggle between their dreams and their realities. Featuring lots of delicious-sounding food and a bit of a slow-burn, this story was simply adorable. The second (my favorite of the collection) featured two high school seniors who meet on their respective family vacations, both on the cusp of starting their new lives in college, but also tentatively exploring their burgeoning feelings for one another.

The third story had the overlying theme of coffee, which added a cute perspective (and a fun name for each of the 'chapters'). Two best friends grow up together, but one is too afraid to tell the other when she realizes her feelings for her are more than platonic. And the last story was set in a vaguely Vikings-ish fantasy world, where a dragon terrorizes a village and a headstrong girl goes off to defeat it, learning surprising new things about herself along the way.

Overall, this collection was a light, fun read, and though I wasn't super impressed by the last two stories, I am glad I read it overall. Queer books like this are important, and teens should be able to see themselves in contemporary and fantasy settings alike (and all the worlds in between).
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I received this ARC from Net Galley and the publisher. Short Stuff is four YA romances featuring LGBTQ characters. From the boy meets boy to best friends to lovers to the retelling of Beowulf LGBTQ style. This Anthology has something for everyone.

Two of them I really loved, one was okay and one I could not get into. My absolute favorite was  I Ate the Whole World to Find You. This is a funny meet-cute romance of a swimming superstar and an aspiring chef that runs the snack bar at his swimming club. At first they do not like each other and then the sparks and fireworks fly.  I would recommend this to anyone looking for diverse reads,
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Like most Anthologies, some stories were a hit, others not so much.  This one only includes 4 stories, 2 of with I liked well enough, and the other two I ended up DNFing.  I would give the two I liked (I ate the whole world to Find You and Love in the Time of Coffee) 3/5, but I won't rate the other two since I didn't enjoy them enough to finish them.  I could see some people loving Gilded Scales, but I'm not a fantasy fan so I couldn't get into it.
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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this anthology!

Overall rating: 3.5 stars

1) I Ate the Whole World to Find You by Tom Wilinsky & Jen Sternick (4 stars)
Rep: M/M relationship

A very sweet story about a swimmer and a chef. Basil's ambition is to be an Olympic swimmer, he has a strict diet and a packed routine. When he meets Will, an aspiring chef, they strike up a tentative friendship over Will's love of cooking, especially for other people. 

I really liked the writing style, and while the plot did have some pacing issues during the middle/end, I ended up really enjoying Will and Basil's story! 

2) The August Sands by Jude Sierra (3 stars)
Rep: M/M relationship

This short story is about Tommy, a teenager on the cusp of heading off to college, and his last family holiday, on said holiday he meets a boy called Chase and they begin and short but sweet holiday romance. 

I didn't really mesh with the writing style for this one and I was a little bored in places. But I loved the focus on family and first romance. 

3) Love in the Time of Coffee by Kate Fierro (2.5 stars)
Rep: F/F relationship. Lesbian MC, bisexual love interest. 

"Love in the Time of Coffee" follows Gemma and Anya, who meet as children and grow up as best friends. This is a friends-to-lovers romance.

This one didn't really work for me as I found the constant time skips jarring, especially as this is a short story, and I wasn't a massive fan of the romance element. It was cute in places and I liked the writing style, but overall it wasn't my cup of tea.

4) Gilded Scales by Julia Ember (3 stars)
Rep: F/F relationship

I adore fantasy, especially queer fantasy and dragons, so this seemed perfect for me, and while I did like it, I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied by the ending and the worlding building was confusing in places. However, I really liked the writing style, the plot was hooking and very fast-paced and the main character was great! I would say this is more of a friendship story rather than a romance. 

Overall, a very short and accessible short story collection with LGBTQ+ main characters that I'd recommend to readers looking for diverse anthologies!
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I LOVED THESE STORIES!!! I think they were such fun, light LGBT+ YA romance short stories and would be a quick read for any reader.
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This book might have been the cutest thing I've ever read. This is a collection of four queer romance stories ranging from contemporary to fantasy, and each and every one of them hit me right in the heart. 

"Love in the Time of Coffee" was my favorite out of the collection; it was so sweet and wholesome to read about queer girls coming together throughout their friendship and falling in love. If you're looking for a warm and happy romance read celebrating LGBTQ+ relationships, this one is for you. I appreciated that the stories were in the YA genre but it felt like any age could read them and connect to the story. Honestly, I could have read even more stories in a collection like this but I'll take what I can get!
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This was really heartwarming and nice short "stuff" stories! I think i really like the first one the best, they had such good chemestry! But i liked the others too.
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This is such a deeply enjoyable LGBTQ+ anthology! It features two m/m stories and two f/f stories, and so much queer goodness!!

I Ate the Whole World to Find You - Tom Wilinsky & Jen Sternick 4/5

This was the absolute cutest story, about a professional swimmer training for the Olympics, and a young aspiring chef feeding him truckloads of meals. I absolutely loved this dynamic, and it was a really funny story as well.

Rep: m/m romance

The August Sands - Jude Sierra 3/5

This was a really cute summer romance, about an 18 year old gay boy having his first kiss and his first romance, and about what it feels like to grow up and have your life changing, and you know you're leaving your childhood behind forever. Unfortunately, the writing style didn't really work for me though.

Rep: m/m romance

Love in the Time of Coffee - Kate Fierro 4/5

This was a very quick, slice-of-life kind of story, sharing short scenes from the characters' lives together. I'm a big fan of the childhood friends to lovers trope, so I really enjoyed this story! It also made me crave coffee really badly.

Rep: f/f romance, lesbian MC, bisexual love interest

Gilded Scales - Julia Ember 4/5

As a big fan of dragons and shapeshifters, this fast-paced and easy to follow fantasy story was perfect for me!

Rep: f/f romance
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