ANNEthology (short stories)

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

The ANNEthology edited by Judith Graves (Acorn press, May 2024) is a new collection of young adult stories by Canadian young adult authors, subtitled “A Collection of Kindred Spirits Inspired by the Canadian Icon.” I adore Anne of Green Gables, so I was excited to revisit this lovely creature with new stories. I was so disappointed, because the stories in this book were not historical retellings and creative extensions of the Anne Shirley I was so familiar with, but rather supernatural and science fiction approaches to the character of icon in, for the most part, new settings and eras.

For example (including a few spoilers), in one story, Anne becomes a cannibal and eats Diana, who tastes like sugar and spice and everything nice.” In another, Anne is a half human AI robot, and in another, Anne is a trans young man looking for his biological father, Matthew Cuthbert, who cross dresses as Marilla. These dystopian situations and supernatural elements are just not what I was hoping for. There were a few intriguing stories, including a ghost story I enjoyed, but in general, these are not my types of stories.

In defence of the story collection, the cover copy does say that the stories include “futuristic settings, cybernetic beings, ghosts, mysterious books and boxes, and racial and sexual diversity in its cast of characters.” The cover is a bright red with a black silhouette. If I’d paid a little more attention to this description and the design hints, I would not have been so disappointed. Despite this, I had hoped there was a little bit of the Anne I like so much within the stories, but the Anne Shirley characters in these stories seemed foreign to me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviewed on June 17, 2024

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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