Review: I’ll Be Home for Christmas Anthology

i'll be home for christmas

Title: I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Authors: 
Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon, Cat Clarke, Tracy Darnton, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgewick, Lisa Williamson, Benjamin Zephaniah
Publisher: 
Stripes Publishing
UK Release Date: 
22nd September 2016
Genres: 
Short Stories, Young Adult, Christmas
Pages: 
384
Format: 
Paperback
Source: 
Library

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home.

Contributors include: Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon, Cat Clarke, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah.

£1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity. To find out more about Crisis, see www.crisis.org.uk

I have been so excited to read this book – I’ve been talking about it on my blog a lot, with my anticipated September releases and Christmas recommendations – and so I was very happy when the holidays came around, as it was the right time of year (and I had enough free time!) to finally read it.

I completely devoured I’ll Be Home for Christmas, getting through the whole anthology in maybe three hours, but what I love about it is that you don’t have to read it all in one go. There is of course the option of reading it all at once, but because it’s an anthology, you have far more options than with a regular book. You could take it slowly, reading maybe one story or poem a day, in which case the book would last two weeks. You could read the story by your favourite UKYA author first (unless you’re like me and love the books of too many of the authors to be able to choose just one to start with). You could read at random, picking a story because the title jumps out at you, or opening the book anywhere and reading that story. Have fun with it! You could also play a game while reading of not looking at the author of the story and trying to guess who wrote it based on the genre and style of writing.

The fact that it is an anthology also means it is a book for everyone. The short stories and poetry in I’ll Be Home for Christmas cover such a wide range of genres that there is something for every reader within its pages. If you like horror, look no further than Tom Becker’s chilling short story. If you’re looking to read about some LGBT+ characters, there are two stories you could choose between, the ones by Cat Clarke and Juno Dawson. If you’re a sci-fi lover, then Marcus Sedgewick’s story is set in outer space. No matter what you like, you’ll almost certainly be able to find something in this book for you.

For me, there were a handful of stories which I really loved – obviously I enjoyed them all, but these were the ones still has me thinking about them days later. Tom Becker’s story was terrified, and kept me on edge throughout. Juno Dawson’s tale of coming out had me so emotionally invested in the characters, and I loved the ending. Sita Brahmachari’s story I don’t want to say too much about, as it is one best read without any knowledge of what’s to come, but trust me it will tug at your heart strings. Non Pratt writes the teenage voice utterly authentically, and the characters were so easy to connect with. Lisa Williamson’s story made me want to cry, and was the perfect, heart-wrenching ending to a wonderful, beautiful anthology.

If you are going to read one book this Christmas, make it I’ll Be Home for Christmas. This heart-warming, heart-wrenching anthology of stories has something for everyone, and with £1 from every sale going to the charity Crisis, I think this is the perfect book for the Christmas season.

4-0

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