A collection of original contemporary love stories set during life in lockdown by some of today’s most popular YA authors.
Erin Craig “delivers” on a story about a cute pizza delivery boy, Auriane Desombre captures a girl trying to impress her crush on TikTok, and Bill Konigsberg takes readers along on daily walks where every step brings two boys closer to love. There’s roommates-to-enemies-to-something more from Rachael Lippincott, a tale of a girl with a mask-making business and her potentially famous crush from Erin Hahn, and a music-inspired meet cute from Sajni Patel. Brittney Morris sparks a connection with the help of two balcony herb gardens, Jennifer Yen writes an unconventional romance that starts with a fortune reading and a take-out order, and Natasha Preston steals hearts when a girl meets up with the boy next door in a storybook oak tree.
Romantic, realistic, sweet and uplifting, TOGETHER, APART is a collection of finding love in unexpected places during an unprecedented time… each with the one thing we all want: a guaranteed happy ending.
In support of the book’s publication, a donation will be made to Active Minds, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mental health education, research, and advocacy for young adults ages 14-25.
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What others are saying….
“This realistic fiction anthology features nine romantic stories, all taking place in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Characters in each story are navigating the new normal that teenagers in real life will find relatable: getting used to social distancing, logging into Zoom classes, baking extensively, taking daily walks around the neighborhood, and having prom canceled. The romantic aspects of each also have commonalities, with frequent whimsical thoughts about hoping to soon see their love interest without a mask, the desire to be physically closer together than six feet, and the significant role of technology in bringing them together. From there, however, the stories differ in gratifying ways. One main character is coping with a move to a rural area, while another is dealing with the noise from the musician on the balcony in the neighboring apartment complex. Some stories emphasize mental health and the need to maintain connection to bolster it, while others are more humorous. Some stories have stable families with whom the main character can quarantine, while others do not. The gravity of COVID-19 is consistently maintained, but anticipation for the future with a new partner is a common, satisfying theme. Many of these stories could easily be full novels. The book features LGBTQ and BIPOC perspectives throughout. VERDICT This timely read handles the challenging times readers are in with respect, grace, and hope. Recommended for purchase.” —School Library Journal
“A collection of short stories about teens finding romance during the Covid-19 pandemic. In these nine stories, some teens face the boredom of being home all day with their families while others deal with the stress of having parents who are essential workers or whose jobs cannot be done from home. All find tender romance—some more satisfying than others given that (except for a girl who falls for her roommate) they’re not getting closer than 6 feet apart. Among the most memorable is Erin Hahn’s “Masked,” in which a teen making masks for nursing home employees out of her prom dress discovers that the boy she’s been chatting with online is her favorite contestant on an American Idol–esque reality show. In “The Rules of Comedy” by Auriane Desombre, a lesbian teen tries to get the attention of her crush via TikTok but feels nervous about not being funny enough. Jennifer Yen’s charming tale, “Love With a Side of Fortune,” highlights a girl working at her family’s Chinese restaurant who’s been warned by a fortuneteller about a rocky path to love. The stories impeccably capture the teens’ fears, anger, and anxieties around the pandemic—including very real feelings about screen fatigue and uncertainty about the future—balanced by improbable but no less adorable meet-cutes and the sweetness of early getting-to-know-you attraction. The collection features a range of characters who are queer and people of color. Sweet and comforting.” (Romance. 12-18)–Kirkus Reviews
“How do you fall in love when you have to stay six feet apart and wear a mask? Well, “Love Always Finds a Way” according to the subtitle of this collection of nine agreeable love stories, even when it’s love in the time of COVID (apologies, Gabriel García Márquez). Eight of the stories are lighthearted; only one—Bill Konigsberg’s antically named “The Socially Distant DogWalking Brigade”—is serious, but it is among the best of the bunch. Brittney Morris’ “The Green Thumb War” is about Billie (a girl) and Bastian (short for Sebastian), who keep their social distance, since their apartment buildings are eight feet apart, as are their respective window box gardens. Three of the stories are about kids who detest each other at the outset but find their feelings doing a 180 toward love. As for diversity, three stories feature queer kids, two feature African Americans, one an Indian American, and one a Chinese American. Cleverly plotted, with sympathetic characters, the stories are a ray of sunshine in these dark days.” —Booklist
“From a cute pizza delivery boy to TikTok crushes, daily walks to a homemade mask business, Together, Apart offers a lovely look at what the pandemic experience is like for teens.”–Book Riot