Earlier this year, my Los Angeles neighborhood experienced a blackout. It wasn’t an emergency but there was no power for several hours. As we watched nighttime fall over the city we were struck by the strangeness of the situation. The power outage gave us an opportunity to connect with our neighbors online and in real life, on the street and in our lobby, in ways that we never would have under normal circumstances. That experience, plus an enduring love of Broadway’s IN THE HEIGHTS, has permanently romanticized blackouts in my imagination. So when I discovered that a collection of short stories was published this year, set in a contemporary New York blackout, written by authors I adore, I immediately bought BLACKOUT and loved every minute of reading it.
Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon lit up my nights with their sweet young adult love stories and their amazing cast of Black teen characters. The stories on their own are mini works of art but the genius of the collection is the intentional interweaving that brings them all together into a masterful tapestry. As a reader it was such a delight to discover how each story connected with the next, even as each author’s distinct voice shaped a new mini-world to dive into; a subway car, a vacant library, a senior living facility, a tour bus, and even a long trek across the city.
This phenomenal book glows with love, both among the characters and from the authors themselves. I hope you get the chance to let it light up your imagination as well.
Buy it HERE.