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I suppose that I am going to have to accept the fact that I am in the minority when it comes to people who thought Katniss made a bad choice in The Hunger Games. To me it just felt like gale Hawthorne was a much better match for Katniss and that she could really be herself around him. The way that the helped each other out and knew the type of hardships the other endured because they came from the same background made it seem like they were destined for each other. Peeta on the other hand hasn't struggled in the same manner as the other two and when he does show kindness to Katniss it is done in a way that makes her feel like she "owes" him something. The whole romance with Peeta felt to me like it was "forced" on Katniss and that he was more manipulative than Gale. I don't want to give away any spoilers (as if there is anyone left that hasn't read the books yet), but the whole thing with Prim also rubbed me the wrong way and felt like an easy out for the author. Oh well, I sppose stories can't always be exactly like we want them to be.
We live in a golden age of short story compilations and it makes sense because of the way reading habits have changed. Think about it, if you see a wall of text on social media you just keep on scrolling, but will happily waste time reading all the comments on a short article because you find them interesting. To me short story compilations are like that. After reading so many books that end in cliffhangers and require me to read the next twenty volumes to get the full story I'm enjoying short stories that are short and to the point. I don't necessarily know if these are the best, but these two are the ones that I have read recently that gave me the most enjoyment.

1. My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. Yes, I'm a sucker for love stories and yes, I love the holidays, so I'm not going to apologize for loving this book. The editor for this book was Stephanie Perkins and I think she did a marvelous job with it. I loved nearly all of the stories in this book apart from, I think, one or two that just did not feel like they were the same quality as the rest. I'm not going to name any names because I know other people might like these authors, but the rest of the good stories more than made up for the couple of duds.

2. Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers - Edited by Judy Blume. If the name Judy Blume doesn't sound familiar you may still recognize her from her book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. You might also know that she achieved infamy for including content in her books that was considered to be highly taboo. Although she hasn't written a short story for this book, it does include plenty of stories by other others who have faced some form of censorship in regards to their books. I thoroughly enjoyed these stories and, as an added extra, the authors actually include their thoughts on the censorship that they faced and how it impacted them after each story.
Short stories is what has kept me reading despite having very little time these days. Since I've become a mother to two very active boys my days of binge reading entire books in one sitting are now sadly a thing of the past. I've been a huge reader since my school days, so it was kind of sad for me to neglect this hobby, but after my husband saw my plight he went and bought me a book that was filled with short stories. These gave me the reading fix that I needed, but I could also put down the book and handle whatever crisis that needed dealing with and come back without having to skip back to chapters just to remember what I was reading. I am now the proud owner of a kindle that is filled to the brim with short story compilations, so if you would like to read a few of my favorites here goes:

1. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd - Confession time, I'm a big nerd at heart and before my boys took over my life I could flaunt my pop culture references and meme knowledge with the best of them. I also loved young adult books when I had the time to read them, so Geektastic is a match made in literary heaven to me. It is a great collection of geeky stories that were written by a nice selection of hotshot young adult authors. I would say that even if you are not much of a geek, these stories are still charming enough to hold your attention. OK, I won't lie, the first couple of stories requires that you at least know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, but on the whole this is such a good compilation. The drawings are delightful as well!

2. After. Once again, it might just be the young adult loving side of me that adores this book, but I think it is really good. If names like Garth Nix, Carry Ryan, Jane Yolen, Susan Beth Pfeeffer and Gregory Maguire mean nothing to you and you don't like post apocalyptic stories, then you will probably not miss anything by skipping this book. BUT, if you like the genre then do not miss your chance to read this book. Instead of focusing on the disasters, the short stories in this book deals with the lives of the teenagers affected by them. Some of the stories take place just after what catastrophe caused the end of the world while others are set far in the future. They all have one thing in common, they are really, really good.

3. Firebirds Rising. It pains me to say it, but even in the best short story collections you are going to find a few that you don't like. It is inevitable and just how these things go. To me it is like buying a big pack of assorted chocolates and then complaining that amongst all the delicious ones there are a few hard toffees. Anyway, back to the book. There are some really, really good science fiction and fantasy stories in this book and then there are also a few that are not so good. That's what’s cool about anthologies though, you can skip the ones you don’t like and get straight back to the good ones. I'm not going to try and describe all the stories in this book, but I will say that I liked the ones by Kelly Link, Ellen Kages and Kara Dalkey a lot.