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No Such Thing as the Real World: Stories…

No Such Thing as the Real World: Stories about Growing Up and Getting a…

by Jill Santopolo (Editor)

Other authors: M. T. Anderson (Contributor), K. L. Going (Contributor), Beth Kephart (Contributor), Chris Lynch (Contributor), An Na (Contributor)2 more, Jill Santopolo (Introduction), Jacqueline Woodson (Contributor)

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This collection of short stories follows teens to the threshold that is adulthood, and how they deal with it. Though some of the stories are realistic and may resonate well with teens, there are a few that seem like they should be more for adult readers. In general I would say that any reader may find at least one story enjoyable, I question whether or not the entire collection would appeal to everyone. I think that this is mostly for older teens, 17-19, as there are some gritty topics. ( )
  sexy_librarian | May 3, 2011 |
I enjoyed this collection of short stories, but I'm not sure how it would resonate with the targeted teen audience. ( )
  ewyatt | Mar 27, 2011 |
Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com

This is a collection of stories all about the jump that one takes from being a child into the real world. While the line is thin, each has their own unique story about the crossing and these authors share the tales of six different individuals.

One character deals with the loss of a parent, who was special to the entire community, and how to uphold his business, which so many people relied on. Another has to write her senior thesis, but it becomes more of a necessity than a requirement when her best friend commits suicide. There is a graduation speech to be given, just after seeing your crush make out with your sister. Then there is the monologue of two actors, who would normally never have crossed paths, who seem to be married until one forgets. Finally, the stories about growing up wouldn't be complete without a case of teen parenting.

I am quite new to reading anthologies, but I have to say they are quite fun. You get a brief view into another's world, and while sometimes you wish there was more, more often then not it's just the right amount. All the stories in this particular anthology were okay, nothing spectacular, and I felt like they still needed some more work, especially since they were so short.

Beth Kephart's story was by far the best. While all the stories dealt with a tough issue that really defines one's coming of age, Kephart made her story so much more believable and real. Her writing was absolutely superb and she dealt with the whole issue of suicide in such a way that didn't make it seem so horrible. She made the main character relatable in the fact that she took out her sadness in writing and didn't really want to think about what had happened. I definitely think that Kephart was able to fully capture the essence of a short story and leave a lingering thought in the reader's brain on how they would react to the situation.

Overall, NO SUCH THING AS THE REAL WORLD twas decent and I recommend it to all of you looking for a good dose of reality. Appropriate for all teenagers and older readers, I think this is a good book to help you see the "real world." ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
What is the “Real World’? For each of us, it is different. For Hannah, it is her best friend, Joelle’s suicide. How could Hannah have been blind to Joelle’s sadness? For Charlie Waters, Jr. it is taking over the pawnbroker business of his father, Charlie Sr., the gov’nor of Lundy Lee by virtue of him being a ‘nice guy’. Can Charlie Jr. live up to the reputation? For Rachel it is following in the footsteps of her self-centered but smart and talented older sister, Sarah? Can Rachel ever feel grown up when dealing with Sarah?

Six talented young adult authors (M.T. Anderson, K.L.Going, Beth Kephart, Chris Lynch, An Na and Jaqueline Woodson) have written different real world (and maybe not so real world) stories about growing up. Readers will be able to relate to at least one story in the book and those they can’t relate to they can enjoy for the storyline and the writing.

There is the poignant (The Longest Distance), the funny, but sad (Arrangements), the odd (The Projection: A Two-Part Invention), the artistic (The Company), the familial (Survival) and the plotting (Complication). Each story is told from a teenager’s point of view. The writing is crisp, descriptive, and flowing. The stories are engaging, emotional, funny. The characters are real, everyday folk.

No Such Thing as the Real World is a good rainy day read (it’s been raining here for days). Curl up with it and get carried away. It is a fine example of great young adult literature. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Jun 18, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Santopolo, JillEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, M. T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Going, K. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kephart, BethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lynch, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Na, AnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santopolo, JillIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woodson, JacquelineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Six award-winning young adult authors present short stories featuring teens who have to face the "real world" for the first time.

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