ARC Review: “Three Sides of a Heart” by Natalie C. Parker

I don’t know if I just picked up the wrong anthology, but this definitely wasn’t the book for me. Truthfully, I was actually very excited for it because it had some authors whose books I enjoyed, so I thought it would be great to see else they wrote outside of what they were known for, especially since this is an anthology of short stories.

Boy, was this not at all what I expected.

Three Sides of a HeartTitle: Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles
Author(s): Natalie C. Parker, et al.
Publisher: HarperCollins
Expected release date: December 19, 2017
Genre: Young adult, anthology, romance, short story
Length: 448 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “You may think you know the love triangle, but you’ve never seen love triangles like these.

These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.

This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.

What do all these stories have in common?”

two starsMy Thoughts

Here’s a (short) list of the stories I absolutely loved:

  • Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Contugo – Truth be told, I turned the page not knowing it was the last page and felt like I got the short end of the stick! This was a promising start!
  • Dread South by Justina Ireland – Wow, if this is just a tiny sliver of what Dread Nation is like, I think I’ll swallow my apathy about zombies!
  • Cass, An, and Dra by Natalie C. Parker – While I didn’t initially like this story, it grew on me as I kept reading. I definitely like the supernatural feel to the story.
  • Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy – Takes place in Oklahoma, has a Korean character, and mentioned kimchi pancakes. SOLD!
  • Hurdles by Brandy Colbert – Loved the internal tension in the character. The ending really kept you wanting more, and was a bit of a surprise!
  • Waiting by Sabaa Tahir – Tahir is one of my favorite authors, and I really loved this short story. Let me just say I definitely felt like I drew the short straw when I finished it.
  • Before She Was Bloody by Tessa Gratton – I’m secretly hoping this is what The Queens of Innis Lear is like. Gratton’s short story was sensual, dark, and powerful. I didn’t want to leave!
  • Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen – Vampires! And I didn’t think I would like this one, but it turned out to be really sweet.

I know what you might be thinking: Nicole, you liked so many. Why the low rating? Well, here’s my answer: It was an absolute struggle to finish this book. I started it over two weeks ago and I just finished it. That’s highly unlike me at all. Normally, I devour books, even if I don’t really like them (well, I DNF them sometimes but whatever, haha). But I simply couldn’t sit down and read this.

Maybe it’s because they were short stories and I’m the type of girl who loves an intense backstory. I didn’t feel like I got this when I read the short stories. While I did like all the different authors, it was tough switching so quickly from one writing style to another. It felt as if I were playing musical chairs in a game I couldn’t win.

However, I can say that I liked the concept. Love triangles is a trope that people either adore or abhor (heyyyy, alliteration!), and this anthology explored the trope with an unique approach. I don’t think the execution was horrible, though it definitely failed in some areas for me with the rest of the stories.

You can pre-order this from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, and Indie Bound. I imagine it will be in a variety of major booksellers, too.

I’m also giving away my copy on my Twitter. Check out this Tweet on how to enter and don’t forget to follow the rules. 🙂

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: “Three Sides of a Heart” by Natalie C. Parker

  1. Destiny @ Howling Libraries says:

    This collection was such a big struggle for me, too! Most of the ones I loved were the same as the ones on your list, too! Justina Ireland, Julie Murphy, Tessa Gratton, and Bethany Hagen had my faves. I’m posting my review tomorrow, but like you, it was just really tough for me to finally FINISH this one. :/

    Liked by 1 person

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