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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


The Poison Eaters (Review)

Hardcover Image
Title: The Poison Eaters: and Other Stories
Edition: Paperback, 224 pages
Author(s): Holly Black
Publisher: Big Mouth House (Imprint)
Publication Date: February 23, 2010
Source: NCTE (ARC)
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
In her debut collection, New York Times best-selling author Holly Black returns to the world of Tithe in two darkly exquisite new tales. Then Black takes readers on a tour of a faerie market and introduces a girl poisonous to the touch and another who challenges the devil to a competitive eating match. These stories have been published in anthologies such as 21 Proms, The Faery Reel, and The Restless Dead, and have been reprinted in many “Best of” anthologies. The Poison Eaters is Holly Black’s much-anticipated first collection of stories, and her ability to stare into the void—and to find humanity and humor there—will speak to young adult and adult readers alike. (Goodreads)

Holly Black has created a different world in each of her stories.  And each world oozes with darkness.  Violence waits around every corner, and the fantastical leaves you breathless.  I believe that this anthology highlights what makes Holly Black such an amazing writer: her voice.  The language is beautiful in each story, lyrical and deep, the same strength you see in her Tithe series.

The creatures of lore come to play in each of these stories: vampires, the devil, elves, werewolves, unicorns, Bacchus, faeries,  fictional characters, and poisonous girls.  Love, in all it's forms, plays a part in each; love tempered by obsession, danger, hatred, or truth.  You are immediately transferred to the reality of the story, and while I was reading I could imagine this happening, either in the present or somtime in the past, but always in this world.

I have several favorites in the book, but I'd have to say I really love two in particular: "The Coat of Stars" and "Paper Cuts Scissors".  Both have male protagonist, but neither are your "typical" male stories.  The first revolves around a young man searching for his girlfriend. You see, she's lost in a book.  The second revolves around a young man protecting the people he loves, in particular his childhood love, who was stolen by faeries when they were children.  Both are fantastic love stories that are just as much about loving yourself as they are about loving another person.

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories is a great anthology, and it is a needed addition to any bookshelf, for Holly Black fans and newcomers to her work alike.
Book Cover*: 4/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot**: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending**: 9/10
Overall: 45/50 - A

*The book I have is the ARC paperback and my score is based on that
**This is a combination of all the stories

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