All Out – Arc Review

An anthology of queer stories? Sign me up! How does it compare to other anthologies I’ve read?

35140599Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.

From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten

OH. MY. GOD

This was everything I’ve ever wanted out of an anthology and not just because it was full of queer stories. Each story was beautifully done and was a satisfying length. Although each story was complete, I could see these characters in larger stories or their worlds being expanded upon. I’ve never read an anthology where I loved all of the stories before but this one changed that.

I loved the premise of through the ages because queer people have always existed. It was fun to see classic tales reimagined with queer characters and different twists on them. I was so excited to read the Little Red Riding Hood retelling especially knowing the queen herself, Anna-Marie Mclemore, wrote it. The Robin Hood retelling by Elliot Wake was stunning and I was not expecting the twist but it didn’t feel like it was added for shock value.

This anthology is full of different identities and different levels of confidence. Some had no clue what to label themselves as or which label would fit best while others were unapologetic and confident in what they identified as.

I think this is a must read for everyone and I was so happy with all of the rep in this book. Though I don’t identify as all the labels, I never felt that the stories seemed ingenuine or insensitive. It was a collection of queer stories that made this queer girl’s heart sing.

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