All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 27, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Goodreads avg: 4.12 (as of 2018-04-13)
Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.
From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.
This was one of my most-anticipated books of 2018 and while it was great, it did fall a little shy of expectations. There were all kinds of queer characters (including ace rep!) and I loved reading about them all. It was great how the stories spanned so many different time periods. Even if you’re not big on historical fiction (like myself), you’ll still find things to enjoy in this collection.
Sometimes sight is a more powerful way of hearing than sound.
My rating for each story:
Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Sweet Trade by Natalie C. Parker ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
And They Don’t Kiss at the End by Nilah Magruder ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Burnt Umber by Mackenzi Lee ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Dresser & the Chambermaid by Robin Talley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
New Year by Malinda Lo ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (cw racism)
Molly’s Lips by Dahlia Adler ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (cw off-page suicide)
The Coven by Kate Scelsa ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Every Shade of Red by Elliot Wake ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (cw deadnaming)
Willows by Scott Tracey ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Girl with the Blue Lantern by Tess Sharpe ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Secret Life of a Teenage Boy by Alex Sanchez ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Walking After Midnight by Kody Keplinger ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The End of the World As We Know It by Sara Farizan ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Three Witches by Tessa Gratton ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Inferno & the Butterfly by Shaun David Hutchinson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Healing Rosa by Tehlor Kay Mejia ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
That is the secret to survival. Teach fear to those who taught you to be afraid.
My average rating was 3.58 stars, rounded down to 3.5. My biggest problem with the lower-rated stories were mostly that they felt too rushed to me. There were several where I didn’t feel like enough time had been spent developing characters and their relationships and things felt rushed to me. There were also some stories where either the fantastical elements or the lack of directness by the authors caused me some confusion about what was actually happening. It was for these reasons that I marked some things down.
Regardless, this was a really nice read and I think anyone interested should pick it up.