School is back in session, which means so is procrastination (that is, study breaks...yeah). Here are some short(ish) books and short story collections that will give you those moments of brief respite while studying. Click on the titles to place a copy on hold.
Lips Touch, Three Times by Laini Taylor
Are you a fan of sweeping fantasy shot through with romance, like Taylor’s epic "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" series? Well, here are three short stories about three different girls who’ve never been kissed, told in Taylor’s distinct, dramatic style, with brief page counts (but high pulse rates). A 2010 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults book.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This is an I’m-too-busy-to-read jackpot of a book; short chapters in graphic format, thematically connected to make one creepy wave of foreboding descend over the reader. Gorgeous colors, stick-with-you-after-dark frames, and spare, haunting prose combine to make this 2015 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens pick a fast – but memorable – escape into the murky depths of the woods.
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang
This is another short story/graphic novel hybrid, with three distinct tales showcasing Yang’s mastery of the form. For stories so short, these reach serious emotional heights, exploring big, sticky ideas with compassion and humor. A 2010 Best Books for Young Adults pick.
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Certainly one of the most entertaining questions of our time, answered in alternately amusing, creepy, horrifying, and moving stories by an, ahem, veritable stable of YA’s most celebrated authors: Alaya Dawn Johnson, Maureen Johnson, Carrie Ryan, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, Garth Nix, Diana Peterfreund, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, and more. A 2011 Teens Top Ten nominee, and, as an audiobook, a 2012 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults pick.
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
Margo Lanagan builds strange, vaguely sinister worlds peopled with slightly off-kilter characters. If you like your fairy tales more Grimm than not, she’s definitely an author you should be reading, and this is one of her most celebrated collections. A 2006 Printz Honor book, and a 2006 Best Books for Young Adults pick.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
This origin story is a great mash-up of tried and true comic tropes and some much-need new angles.