Friday, December 9, 2022

‘Eternally Yours’ Review: An Anthology to Get You in the Spooky Mood

BOOKSBOOK REVIEWS‘Eternally Yours’ Review: An Anthology to Get You in the Spooky Mood

The spookiest time of year is upon us once again, and editor Patrice Caldwell is bringing readers the perfect anthology to get into the spirit. Eternally Yours brings together the voices of bestselling authors within the YA space to explore love through a paranormal lens. Authors include Kalynn Bayron, Kendare Blake, Kat Cho, Melissa de la Cruz, Hafsah Faizal, Sarah Gailey, Chloe Gong, Alexis Henderson, Adib Khorram, Anna-Marie McLemore, Casey McQuiston, Sandhya Menon, Akshaya Raman, Marie Rutkoski, and Julian Winters.

A girl in a graveyard goes on an unexpected date, a shipwrecked sailor makes a connection on a forbidden island, a piano melody summons a soul mate. Creatures of folktales and legend, of land and sea, of centuries past and life after life, all wrapped into one spellbinding compendium. Once you sink into its pages, it’ll never let you go.

Something I really admired about this anthology is that the authors weren’t afraid to shy away from tough subjects. Many characters have faced some sort of difficulties in their lives, some small and others more traumatic. However, no author ever relied on that trauma to tell a good story. It is an inevitable part of the characters but never defined them. Queer characters didn’t suffer because of who they loved or how they presented; non-white characters didn’t suffer because of their race. Every author brought their lived experiences to the page to highlight struggles but did so in a way that refused to let their characters face unnecessary obstacles; They simply get to live.

Another way in which this anthology thrives is how each author found humanity in their characters. As the stories all deal with the supernatural in some way, they introduce what many people would be inclined to think of as “monsters.” In the most basic sense, this is true; some characters even acknowledge it. But even monsters can have human struggles, and every author emphasizes that through their stories. They each bring a deep humanity to their protagonists and love interests. Readers will be able to sympathize (maybe even empathize) with each protagonist. It’s easy to root for them even if their choices initially seem questionable. The anthology deals with love, and each author ensures that comes through with their characters.

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Across the board, Eternally Yours is a solid anthology with a little bit of everything for readers who revel in all things supernatural. It’s a diverse collection of stories with a space carved out for any reader. Each author brings their own inventive and gripping stories to the table with compelling characters to match. They find love in unlikely places that’s new and exciting, established and deep, and altogether tender. Every story will leave readers wanting for more in the best way.

Eternally Yours is available now online and in stores.

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