It was a dark and stormy night…

U.S. cover of Pretty Monsters

No really, it was! My friends from graduate school and I kicked off our children’s/YA book group with our first meeting Wednesday, the same night that a tornado touched down in Western Massachusetts killing at least one person. The storm continued all the way across the state and passed right over us as we talked about our May book club pick, Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link, picked by Emily, our glorious hostess. It was an appropriately creepy night for talking about a creepy book.

I’m not usually a big fan of short stories, but I am a fan of books that creep me out, which a few of the stories in this book definitely did. My favorite was “The Specialist’s Hat,” which I found downright scary. All the stories use the unexpected to keep readers off balance while still using elements of classic science fiction and fantasy. Also, I love this book for YA readers. While some stories are reprinted from Link’s previous adult collections, all of them feature young protagonists in challenging situations and are just edgy enough to keep a YA reader’s attention without being too heavy handed or pushing too far content-wise.

And you can see for yourself, the covers rock. I’m more partial to the black-and-white U.S. version myself.

At the next book club meeting Janet will be throw some fairytale retelling knowledge our way. Can’t wait!

Australian cover of Pretty Monsters

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