ARC Review: Foreshadow Edited by Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma

Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.

What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.

This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.

I’m definitely having a better time reading short fiction these days, so I decided to pick this one up and it blew me away with the breadth of amazing writing in it and the wonderful new voices we get introduced to. The stories are diverse and fun and intense, and I loved the editors mentioning the reasons behind choosing these stories, and the sprinkling of writing advice throughout the anthology was just icing on the cake. There are also prompts for budding writers to try out their own hand at short fiction, and interviews with the editors towards the end which has some great advice for writers on how to approach drafting as well as editing their pieces. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves YA and wants to discover new and upcoming authors, as well as the writers at heart who would love some genuine advice.

Below are my individual reviews and ratings for the stories:

Flight by Tanya S. Aydelott 

I won’t say I understood the mythology behind the creatures that form a part of this story, but it’s very beautifully written and very mysterious and has a very interesting take on women’s relationship with their bodies, as well as how men choose to objectify and represent them in art.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Risk by Rachel Hylton 

A story of a group of girls in high school who are always supportive of each other, despite the circumstances – this was very weirdly fascinating but probably not my kind of story.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sweetmeats by Linda Cheng 

This is a modern day horror retelling of Hansel and Gretel and it was spectacular. It has the scary parts but it also has a beautiful female friendship, the two girls just trying their best to be there for each other, while also having themes of difficult relationships between mothers and daughters. Definitely an author I look forward to read more of.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Glow by Joanna Truman 

A story of two powerful girls with magic, this had all the beautiful yearning and angst of a girl whose heart is full of overwhelming feelings for another which she just wants to express and be loved back. The author really brought the emotion to life with her words.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Escape by Tanvi Berwah 

Wow. This was mysterious, wonderfully written and had family drama, heirlooms and old stories, with a side dish of twisted revenge. Very enjoyable.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Pan Dulce by Flor Salcedo 

This story takes us back to the 90s when teenagers could still drive across the southern border to party, but it also weaves in a little of the dreaded times to come. Both the innocence and invincibility that the teenage girls feel and the ominous nature of their journey are captured perfectly.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Solace by Nora Elghazzawi 

This was such an emotional exploration of loss and grief, but also asks us to grow and nurture and hope despite the darkness and I really enjoyed it.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Princess by Maya Prasad 

I’ve read a good number of short stories about AI/digital immortality, but reading one with similar themes but inspired by Indian mythology is a different kind of joy. I loved the MC Leela who takes the second lease of life that she gets to dream for something bigger than herself and make choices that she believes in. Very interesting story. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Fools by Gina Chen 

This starts off quite sad but it was such a beautiful story of a girl finding where she fits in and what she wants to do with her life. There’s love and humor and wonderful descriptions here alongwith a great ensemble of lovable characters. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monsters by Adriana Marachlian 

This was kind of sad, especially with the backdrop of the situation in Venezuela which the author captures with her words, but it’s also about feeling like the other, being alone and scared and not being believed by anyone, and how that struggle shapes a person’s choices. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Break by Sophie Meridien 

This was such a cute and romantic story of two high school seniors trying to get to know each other in the small moments they get to spend together. It also has some angst and a message, but overall it just made me smile. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Resilient by Mayra Cuevas 

This is a story about resilience set after the events of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and it’s absolutely devastating to read about what happened after through the words of young people who had to give up on their dreams because survival was more important. It ends with a bit of hope, but the it’s definitely more of a bittersweet story. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Belly by Desiree S. Evans 

There is a great sense of place in this story, with the land and river and the character’s relationship to them forming the emotional core of the story. It was both sad as well as inspiring, with hope that it’ll get better. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: Foreshadow Edited by Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma

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