Isobelle Carmody’s introduction states: “This fat and juicy collection is like one of those dessert plates where you get to try a little bit of everything, so you can decide what you’ll order next time as a full-sized portion. Like all good collections, it can be dipped into and explored in any order, depending on a reader’s mood. Enjoy your introduction to genre, and to the various contributors in this collection, and use it as the starting point either to pursue further works by the contributors or to seek our more of the genre you enjoy. Trust me, genre is an addictive pleasure . . .”
I agree wholeheartedly with Isobelle’s words. This is an offering of the very best from many of Australia’s top YA authors, poets and illustrators. Almost every fiction genre is represented: from horror to romance, to crime, to fantasy to contemporary “hip”. The tone is as eclectic as the collection: there are some light-hearted works and some truly chilling stories; ones to make you think, laugh, smile and cry.
A favourite?from so many favourites in this anthology—is Leigh Hobbs’ two page artistic commentary on “The Joy of Being an Author”?it will strike a chord with every writer. From the frustrations of slaving over a manuscript, to the “working up to a pitch” where the character is literally chewing at his own leg with frustration (I can empathise with this!) to the final result, “at the book launch”.
Another favourite is “The Leather Jacket” by David Rish?a fast, snappy romantic story with a surprise twist. Another was the haunting “The Babysitter” by Lili Wilkinson?the image of green teeth remains with me days after I read the story . . . Then the chilling “Backup” by Michael Pryor; and Gary Crew’s poignant “The Returning Tree”.
In the space available here, it would be impossible to give each and every work the mention it deserves. Congratulations must go to Paul Collins for his hard work in compiling the entertaining and diverse material in the anthology. An editor’s job is never an easy one.
All I can say is Trust Me!, you will want to buy, read and enjoy this anthology over and over again.