Short story collections are quickly becoming a favorite. I appreciated reading more contemporary takes on college experiences, especially when I feel so far away from it at this stage in my life. Highly recommend for reading outside of. your own experience.
I'm not always a huge anthology person, but I really enjoyed this one and I think it will resonate with YA readers. I loved that all of the stories were set on the same campus--it gave the collection a real cohesion to it. This book simultaneously made me so nostalgic for my undergrad years and energized to enjoy that last little bit of "college life" I can afford as a graduate student. Sometimes in a collection, there's a mix of stories I loved and stories that didn't land with me, but in this one, I must say I enjoyed them all! If I had to choose my favorites, they would be Fall Once More by Aashna Avachat (October), Sophomore Slump by Raquel Marie (December), Ruby by Camryn Garrett (March), and Begin Again but Christina Li (May). That said, I truly thoroughly enjoyed them all and I had such a fun time reading and savoring this collection.
A good anthology premise will always get me. I love that 1) this is an anthology all about the messiness of college 2) the interconnected stories. This is the only college anthology I can think of and for that reason I knew I had to pick it up. Don't even get me started on some of my favorite authors in here.
This was a super quick but satisfying anthology that did exactly what the authors were intending: to create a place for YA fiction set in college. I loved how diverse the stories were; as a very recent college grad, this immediately threw me back to the past four years. I really hope to see more YA-style writing set in college. New adult is definitely a thing, but this still was more YA than new adult—which is something we need! You’re still a teen at 18 and 19 years old, and this was a refreshing reminder of that :)
Study Break is an anthology edited by Aashna Avachat consisting of 11 stories written by authors who were in college or recent graduates when writing them. It is reminiscent of films like New Year’s Eve or New York, I Love You consisting of individual stories that have some commonality or connecting thread. Taking place on one campus and within a single academic year, each story provides insight into the college experience.
While written by Gen-Z authors, the themes transcend generations: identity, belonging, fear of failure, living up to expectations, falling in love, and much more. There was something about every story that resonated with me. Some stories hit harder than others. I could even identify some of my friends in these characters.
The book offers something for nearly everyone but will more likely be enjoyed by those whose college experience is more recent, whether they just graduated or will be starting their first year. (3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars)
*The Ultimate Guide to Orientation by Ananya Devarajan
*Fall Once More by Aashna Avachat
*Rani’s Resolutions by Arushi Avachat
*Momo’s Epic Rescue by Boon Carmen
*Begin Again by Christina Li
I loved this collection. It is always fun to add stories set in college, and a short story collection seems perfect for this setting. It was great to see so many different experiences tied together.
A Massive Thank You to the Author, the Publisher and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this book prior to its release date.
A solid YA anthology!
I loved that all of these stories were interconnected in some way, that we learned about this college campus through so many different pairs of eyes. Watching the concept of this book come to fruition from it being conceived on Twitter has been a delight.
It’s so clearly a labor of love between all of these authors. Each one brings a unique and diverse perspective. And they’re all Gen Z! That’s so cool! As a millennial who graduated from college at 2010, I forget how much has changed in the past thirteen years, but what stays the same is this: college can be so overwhelming as you’re searching to find your people.
This anthology captures that so well. Definitely recommended!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me access to the free advanced digital copy of this book.
This book is a collection of interconnected contemporary YA short stories, written by multiple Gen Z authors. They explore the different parts of "the college experience," from questioning your major to questioning your identity.
College... the best time, the worst time, and something in between. What do you do when orientation isn't going according to your (sister's) detailed plans? Where do you go when you're searching for community in faith? How do you figure out what it means that you're suddenly attracted to your RA? What happens when your partner for your last film project is also your crush and graduation is quickly approaching?
This YA book was set up differently than most books I read! it had multiple authors for the short stories, yet the stories all took place on the same fictional campus and seemed to be integrated really well. Some main characters popped up as side characters in other stories to help keep the flow of the book and some consistency throughout the stories. There was also a lot of different pronoun usage (he/she/they/them) and LGBTQ themes throughout the book, along with a look at how some religions and cultural impact
Although I enjoyed the book, I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to read this in high school or college. As an adult looking back at my time on college, I see what could have been, what I did with my time, and how things have/can change so much in a short amount of time. I look forward to seeing more from these writers in the future!
I rate this book 3.5 🌟
I'd like to say a huge thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited about Study Break because I love this premise. This is an anthology of eleven short stories and three poems, all of which take place at a college campus over the course of an academic year. Its a great concept and it works really well. I loved seeing characters that had been mentioned before have their own moments, and I really liked the diversity of the characters in this. I do think a lot of these were really similar thematically, but this makes sense considering the setting. Ultimately, it was really fun, and I really enjoyed a lot of the stories. Here are my individual ratings for each one.
The Ultimate Guide to Orientation by Ananya Devarajan - 4/5 stars. Super fun, great introduction, and definitely gave me butterflies.
Shofar, So Good by Jake Maia Arlow - 5/5 stars. One of my favorites. A great story of finding yourself and your space, with some great discussions about Jewish culture and Palestine.
Fall Once More by Aashna Avachat - 5/5 stars. Maybe my favorite. A great story about loneliness and putting yourself out there, with a lovely little romance. Just very sweet.
Powder by Michael Waters - 3.5/5 stars. I liked this because it felt authentic to experiences I had as a queer person at college, but I wish it had a little more to it. Still made me tear up.
Sophomore Slump by Racquel Marie - 4/5 stars. The mental health representation in this is great and relatable, I just wanted a little more from the characters. Loved the music references and the friendship subplot.
The Final Countdown by Laila Sabreen - 3.5/5 stars. This was super fun and sweet but needed a little more to dive into. Still really enjoyed it.
Rani's Resolutions by Arushi Avachat - 3/5 stars. This was a little out of place. It was more family-centric than college centric, which I didn't love and it needed more romance.
Heavy Rotation by Joelle Wellington - 4/5 stars. I loved this one and the way it talked about how friendships change. I also loved how the main character was so passionate about radio, and I adored the love interest.
Ruby by Camryn Garrett - 3.5/5 stars. Too short but super sweet and relatable. Really great ending.
Momo's Epic Rescue by Boon Carmen- 4.5/5 stars. I had the most fun with this one. I love an impromptu road trip and I love how over the top this got.
Begin Again by Christina Li - 4/5 stars. This was a great ending to this anthology. It was sweet and hopeful, and I liked the dual POV.
I'm not going to rate the poetry but I did enjoy it! Ultimately this was a fun reading experience and I think its great for all teens who are curious about the college experience.
Study break is an anthology of stories, all about college, split by semesters and months.
I had a great time reading this. i enjoyed this anthology so much. Of course, I liked some stories more than others but overall, it was really really good. I can't not mention Racquel Marie's story as well as Jake Maia Arlow's that were my very favorites.
I really did like them all though. i liked how they interacted with one another too and I felt like the characters were very well defined and had depth which is not so easy in short stories.
Basically, I really loved this book and I loved reading more by some of those authors and I enjoyed discovering the rest.
“‘It’s like our time at UMB. There will be days when we wonder if we’d have been better off elsewhere, but I’ve heard that the potential this place holds makes all the sacrifice worth it. And that’s how I view love too. High risk, even higher reward.’”
College is hard. From trying to find friends to figuring out who you might have feelings for to deciding what you’re going to do after graduation—not to mention the academics—there’s a lot on a young adult’s dining hall plate! Luckily, this collection of stories about college is here for you! STUDY BREAK: 11 COLLEGE TALES FROM ORIENTATION TO GRADUATION follows eleven students attending the University of Milbridge over the course of one academic year. The diverse, interconnected stories combine to create a masterpiece of students exploring the many facets of university life. With romance, misadventures, and lots of heartwarming moments, this anthology is perfect for anyone who is about to go to college, in college, or has recently graduated from college. To sum it all up in just a few words, I loved it!
Content Warnings: Anxiety, strong language, gender dysphoria, mentioned bullying, alcohol, car-related incident
STUDY BREAK: 11 COLLEGE TALES FROM ORIENTATION TO GRADUATION edited by Aashna Avachat is out now from Feiwel & Friends. Contributors include: Ananya Devarajan, Jake Maia Arlow, Aashna Avachat, Michael Waters, Racquel Marie, Laila Sabreen, Arushi Avachat, Joelle Wellington, Camryn Garrett, Boon Carmen, Christina Li, and Oyin.
(Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)
I enjoyed reading Study Break, written by multiple diverse authors who recently went through college. I felt the author experiences made this book meaningful and I would recommend to any young adult readers/ those heading off or continuing on their collegiate journey.
These were adorable and extremely fun short stories. I loved how fluffy yet emotional they were. Racquel Marie's story and Jake Maia Arlow's story were two of my favourites in this book!
This is a fun anthology for teens, by a group of diverse young (Gen Z) YA writers, exploring many of the new experiences they’ll have through fiction and verse, as well as little nuggets of advice at the end. As a millennial and very much NOT the target age group, I wish I had had something like this when I was heading off to college! I love how it’s structured to not only reflect different identities based on the authors, but the different months of the year, and Fall vs. Spring semester.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC.
Study Break is a collection of contemporary YA short stories from eleven different Gen Z authors that follow young adult characters at various times in their college experience.
I love the way this book grappled with identity, particularly in the ways your identity is shaped and altered when attending a college campus. More than anything, I felt the whole time that these stories were astonishingly good at seeing their readers, truly seeing them, in a way that books about teens tend to struggle to achieve. I chalk this up a lot to the authors being closer in age to their characters than is standard in the genre, but it was also evident that these authors took the time to know their characters well before putting pen to paper. Overall, this was an excellent anthology, and it had the added bonus of introducing me to some excellent authors I hadn't previously read from who I'll definitely be picking up titles from in the future.
Study Break: 11 College Tales from Orientation to Graduation was a cool YA anthology that was unlike any I'd read before. Just like it says in the title, these interconnected stories explore the experiences of different college student throughout their time at one university. Whether it be growing friendships or relationships, questioning majors or sexuality, these stories cover it all.
I really appreciate what this book is doing and I think college-age readers or high schoolers anticipating college will really appreciate having this available to them. I hope that college stories continue to find a place in publishing. I enjoyed reading this collection and the only reason I'm not rating it higher is personal preference -- I don't particularly enjoy the experience of reading short story collections.
4.5. Having authors who recently graduated from or are still getting their undergraduate degrees makes this anthology feel so authentic to the college experience and how differently students go through their four-year journey. My one criticism is how every story had romance thrown in--I love romance, but it should make sense and develop well alongside the rest of the plot, which isn't always the case here. Otherwise, I think readers who are in college or contemplating college will find this collection relatable and worth reading!