Book Review: Blackout

I usually find anthology style books a bit disappointing but Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon have come together to write a really adorable collection of love stories all set in New York City during a blackout. Each character is connected somehow with another and I really loved the way it was tied together. If you like YA romance, definitely pick up this book written by these stellar authors.

Star rating: 5 stars

Blackout is tied together by the story of Tammi and Kareem, with Tammi’s perspective written by Tiffany D. Jackson being the only one that re-occurs. When the blackout hits, they decide to walk back to Brooklyn together, despite being exes with a lot of bitterness between them. Connected stories from the other authors follow – starting with Nic Stone’s romance between two boys, one a basketball star player and one a photographer. I loved this one, J.J. and his love interest, Tremaine have a cute story of mutual pining. Next is Ashley Woodfolk’s adorable romance between Nella and Joss, two girls who are at a retirement home when the blackout hits. I think this was my favourite of all the stories because the old people were such great characters and I love how they were rooting for Nella and Joss to get to know each other. There’s also an adorable dog, which had me sold. Dhonielle Clayton writes about Lana and Tristan in a hiding in the library friends to lovers story which was just too cute to be completely honest! Then comes a story that’s a little different – Angie Thomas writes about Kayla, a girl with two love interests she can’t decide between, but a conversation with the bus driver changes her perspective. We end with the finale as our characters unite at the party that connects them all. Nicola Yoon tells the story of Grace, hoping to re-unite with her ex at the party until a discussion with her Ryde driver Seymour confuses things.

I love the way all of these stories tied together to give different perspectives on over the course of one night. There characters are diverse – Grace is from Jamaica, Tammi suffers from anxiety, Tremaine has claustrophobia. The characters, though connected, all have different backgrounds. I think this book was really successful in giving us just enough about the characters to be engaged, giving them enough page time to tell their individual stories effectively. I honestly loved every single one.

Overall, I am very impressed with this book. I love how each author has their own unique voice and that differentiates the points of view from one another. It’s really well executed which can be difficult with this kind of book. If you want to give short stories a go then this anthology might be the one for you! How could it not be an impressive result when this collection of Black women come together to write a book about love?

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