A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…
A first meeting.
And maybe the beginning of something new.
When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.
Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.
If you’re looking for swoon-worthy moments, a warm feeling inside and a feel-good book…this is for you.
All these authors knocked every single story out of the park. I adored every short story in this book and I loved how they were all connected in some way. I finished this in one night and it’s safe to say that I’ll probably read this collection often.
Aside from the front cover of the UK edition being absolutely stunning, the stories inside surrender to all the popular romance tropes. We have:
- Bitter exes turn to lovers
- Best friends to lovers
- Love triangles
- The one where two people are trapped together and realise they have alot in common
Every single author really came to show why they’re considered the best in Young Adult literature currently. And as per usual, I’ll pick out my favourite stories and discuss them.
Mask Off – Nic Stone
These two were incredibly sweet to read about. JJ’s internal battle to understand his sexuality was carefully articulated. You could tell it was something that he had accepted inside but didn’t know how to translate that part of himself to the rest of the world.
I loved how the author talked about sports stereotypes, especially in regards to men. There’s a embellished belief that men who play sports are alpha males, love women and expensive things. This is pushed throughout the media outlets.
In particular, when men are young and just coming up into their respective leagues. There’s a sense that they are excited to be thrown into the unknown – much like young people when they enter college. Accept, they’ll have all types of people throwing themselves at these sports personalities because they allude to rich alpha males.
It was groundbreaking in sport when the NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay. It changed that whole narrative. Albeit the reaction, as expected, in some places were horrific and disturbing. But this author shows how it gave young boys like JJ the courage to come out and be themselves.
The Long Walk – Tiffany D Jackson
I liked this story for the simple fact that it was enemies to lovers. Exes who hate each other that were now forced to work together.
I think we’re all a sucker for this trope.
I know I am.
Their story spanned over three chapters and I loved seeing Tam explore her trust issues and the reasoning behind they broke up in the first place.
Trust issues can be source and real root of a break up. Something small can escalate into a mountain and more often than not, lead to the downfall of a relationship.
Now, I do feel that trust issues is a difficult one to discuss. Simply as the most common answer to trust issues is to separate yourself/end the relationship and work on your issues. But that’s easier said than done. It’s something I wholeheartedly agree with. But I also feel sometimes your partner is just looking for reassurance.
Never underestimate the power of reassurance. It goes such a long way.
No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Angie Thomas
I loved Angie Thomas’ story because this was a clear example of something that’s different. She explored romantic love differently with an outcome I wasn’t expecting.
Being able to choose yourself in relationships isn’t as easy as it sounds. More often than not, when you’ve been in a long relationship, you’re so used to thinking about the other person that your own feelings become secondary.
So for Thomas to write about a young girl choosing herself when she had romantic interests was such an eye opener. It could have ended so many different ways but I’m so glad it didn’t.
Choosing yourself is romantic itself. You’re telling yourself that you deserve the most purest and romantic of love.
It was great getting to read so many different authors and see their individual styles. It was also lovely to read the way they explore romance. Authors like Tiffany D Jackson, who are known for their mysteries, horrors and thrillers, are suddenly painted in a new light.
And I’m so here for them showing off their range.
All these stories explore so many great themes and I love how they talked about teenage issues. They didn’t shy away from them and I’m sure this collection will be a source of joy amongst so many Black children. Seeing themselves in stories without any trauma is incredibly important and one that is overlooked.
You get a sense that every character is still figuring things out for themselves. And most importantly that’s okay. You’re never going to have things figured out…especially as a teenager.
These authors validate so many normal mundane experiences for Black teens and I, for one, am grateful for this collection.