As she did with My True Love Gave to Me (2014), Perkins once again collects 12 romances from a bevy of best-selling YA authors. This time, though, she switches seasons. Cozy fireplace tales begone: these stories are all about summer loving. The shared theme might seem limiting, but this is a far cry from formulaic, as the stories range widely in genre and tone, often with surprising depth. From the truly fantastical (Leigh Bardugo’s “Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail”) to sci-fi (Veronica Roth’s “Inertia”) to the requisite summer-camp story (Jennifer E. Smith’s “A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong”), love in its many forms — straight and gay, beginning, rekindled, and ending — is examined here. Other notables include Libba Bray’s “Last Stand at the Cinegore,” where, on the closing night of a movie theater where Kevin works with his crush, a horror movie becomes startlingly real; Tim Federle’s “Souvenirs,” where two boys who met working at an amusement park for the summer approach their previously designated breakup day; and Jon Skovron’s contemporary Regency spoof, “Love Is the Last Resort,” where workers at an upscale resort meddle in their patrons’ love lives. Really, though, there’s not a false note in the whole thing. These big-name authors deliver a collection that scorches as surely as any day in the sun.
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