Review for Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology

Review for Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology

“I don’t know if I can put it into words just yet, this feeling like something’s ending and I have to be close to it.”

I just couldn’t resist bringing this book home when I spotted it at a book store, it looked gorgeous and it sounded right up my alley. Plus, I am always happy with books taking place somewhere else than America or the Netherlands.

For each story I have written a small(ish) review + given it a star rating. My two favourites would be: Competition Entry #349 and Oona Underground.

One Small Step by Amie Kaufman: 5 stars
OMG, this is about a girl who was born on Mars! The first one even! OMG, that is totally fabulous. Though I can imagine the pressure, and we see that pop up in the first 2 pages already. Letters from universities, a kind of diary/vlog she must do each night. She is a teen guys, she just wants to have a few moments for herself. Without having to make big decisions or tell everyone about everything in her life.
The book goes back and forth between before and now… In the before we read about Mars and how it all started, how our girl was born, how the world expects things of her, the first Martian girl. We read about Keiko, the girl in the Now parts. With each Before we are getting closer to the Now. It was really awesome how the author connected it all together, I really loved that instead of just giving us the story in the normal way she builds it up until the two click and connect.
And then there is the ending. cries That was just the best and I was just squeeing in happiness at seeing these two finally having THAT talk and doing some other things. Eeeeeee! Cute! I would definitely love more story about these two characters, maybe see them travel Earth together, go to college/university.

I Can See the Ending by Will Kostakis: 5 stars
OMG, this was awesome about a guy who can see the future (though he seems to have trouble controlling it). He is worried about starting something with a girl when he sees their future is going to explode. I really loved Adam, and I loved that this was about physic abilities. Fun that the mom also has the ability (and that she is using it to her advantage at times). The ending? I loved how it all just clicked.

In a Heartbeat by Alice Pung: 5 stars
A sweet story about a teen girl getting pregnant and her decisions + how she met the guy (the father of the child). Very sweet, and I loved the ending, I would have liked some kind of epilogue, cue to 7 months later when she has her child. See how she is doing.

First Casualty by Michael Pryor: 4.5 stars
Road Trip + Politics. Quite an interesting read, and I loved both Tekura and Damien.

Sundays by Melissa Keil: 1 star
So, this is about a group of friends and a party and then some dumb drama because OH NO our star couple has broken up and heaven’s the world is now ending. Dramaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Oh, good grief. I get that these two have been together for years, but really, why is this so dramatic to you when they break up? Come on. There is invested and there is creepy. And it just got boring and boring and boring and I just didn’t like any of the characters. At all. Wow, the first story that I didn’t like. Wow.

Missing Persons by Ellie Marney: 5 stars
Given the title I thought this would be mystery, but instead it is about a girl who moved to the big city and is all lost. Feeling homesick. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like a missing person, an alien. I was happy for her that she found friends (and even someone she likes) so soon. Though Mycroft really needs to learn some tact.
And just like most of the other stories, the ending was fantastic. Yes, I sniffled a bit.

Oona Underground by Lili Wilkinson: 5+ stars
OMG, this was just so beautiful, magical, lyrical. I love the author’s writing style it is so gorgeous. I also loved Meg and Oona, and I was definitely shipping them from the start. I was hoping that Oona’s wish/destiny/whatever the Witch Queen would tell her was entwined with Meg. The ending made me cry many happy tears as it was just beautifully written. I also loved reading about their adventure in the sewers/drains, what they found, what kind people were there, how deep they had to go to find the Witch Queen.

The Feeling from Over Here by Gabrielle Tozer: 4 stars
A bus trip (of 8 hours o.0) to Melbourne gets very interesting when Lucy meets up with Cameron, the guy who broke her heart and burned it all. 8 hours in a bus, with a boy you like(d). Oh boy. It was quite interesting to read, and I am happy that both had the chance to talk about what happened. Plus, that we, thanks to dual POV, could see Cam’s POV as well. Thank you, author to the ending, I am glad you decided to go for that, I was a bit worried that it would end up differently.

Last Night at the Mount Solemn Observatory by Danielle Binks: 4 stars
The last night our MC has with her brother before he leaves town. He and his friends have graduated, and they are all going their own way. I did think it was a bit too much that Bowie followed her brother, I get that this is also her last night with him, but at least grant him this night with his friends. Now it felt to me as if she was intruding. I did like that there was a deaf character in this one, namely Bowie’s brother. It was quite interesting to see him communicate with his friends and his friends with him.

Competition Entry #349 by Jaclyn Moriarty: 5+ stars
This was just so much fun to read. A girl (I thought she was a boy for a big time of the book) goes with her school for a free time travel trial (yes, time travel has been invented though the rules are very different than the ones we normally know). Instead of going with the history lesson as planned she decides to go back 2 weeks in time, when she kissed her crush. What went wrong that day? But she also finds out about her sister, her brother, her parents, and thus can help them all when the time is right. I loved her competition entry, and I loved how she ended it all. I hope she won. She deserves it.

As you can see a fantastic bundle of short stories. I only had one story I absolutely didn’t like, and yes, at that time I was worried that the whole book would spiral downward, but thankfully it was truly only that one story that was just eh.

I had so much fun reading this one and I couldn’t stop reading (though sadly, life called a few times). I would highly recommend it if you want a gorgeously written book with romance, space, realistic situations, some magic, time travel, and fantastic characters.

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