Monday, June 10, 2013

Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge (Galley) Book Review

Hi Guys,
I hope you are enjoying your Summer vacation, I know I am. So far I've finished 3 books over this summer vacation, which started Friday for me. On my last post I explained that I was on an amazing book streak. Well, that's not the case anymore, and you guys will see in my next review just which book I didn't enjoy so much. Although, the book I'll be reviewing today is one that I very much enjoyed. Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge by David Lubar is a collection of short-stories that revolve around... well... death, murder, and revenge. I've never really reviewed a short-story compilation, so this is new for me. I will list the title of each story, and under it, I'll explain how I felt about it, and give each story a rating between 1 and 5 stars. Here's the synopsis of the overall collection from Goodreads:

Master of the macabre David Lubar turns his attention to dark and twisted tales for teens with Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge
A group of high school girls takes revenge on their sadistic gym teacher in the most fitting way possible. Two stowaways find themselves on a ship for the dead. An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim. Here are thirteen tales of death, murder, and revenge from the fertile and febrile imagination of master storyteller David Lubar—his first story collection for the teen audience.

My first impression of this book was that it would be decent. I'm not a real fan of the cover, and you guys know how I can't help but judge a book by it's cover. Although, the overall idea of it sounded really neat. I love reading short stories, especially about dark, morbid, and creepy things. This compilation didn't disappoint, either. Let's jump right into the stories!

"Running Out of Air" 
I really enjoyed this story, I'm not a fan of revenge stories, because I end up feeling bad for the original "bad guy". This, however, was a story that I felt could be straight from the local news. Teens always have quarrels with their gym teachers, and this coach went a little too far. I loved that it was quite realistic, and it, of course, made me feel bad for all parties. I give this story 3/5 stars.

"Split Decision"
OH MY GOD, I LOVED THIS STORY! This is definitely one of my favorites from the entire collection. I thought that it was a really neat idea, and I enjoyed reading it. I loved that it was short and to the point, which didn't allow it to drag out in some parts. I also loved the idea of the story, and also the way things tied up at the end. I'm still a little unsure why he chose to run away because of his step-mom's pregnancy, but it's fine, because that part didn't need to be explained for me to understand the story. I give this story 5/5 stars.
"Apparent Motives"
This was a good story. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it... quite frankly, I forgot what it was about, and I just had to skim over it again. Uh-Oh. I did actually think it was a good story, though. It was a lot to take in at first, but once I finally understood exactly what was happening, Lubar through a twist ending that was heart-breaking to say the least. I give the story 3/5 stars. 
 This story seemed to last FOREVER for me. I don't know if it's because the three before it were so short, or because this one was just boring, but I was stuck on this one for a bit. I did like it though, I liked the first couple pages, then it got boring, then I enjoyed it again, then it got boring...again, and it did this up until the end where I was captivated and couldn't turn the page fast enough. This was the first story to feature a paranormal element, and so far I liked the "everyday life" stories better. I  give this one 2/5 stars.

"Every Drop"
This story was very interesting, I was captivated from start to finish, and I loved the idea behind it. It started off like one of the "everyday life" stories, but quickly changed, and I really enjoyed it. I thought the ending was appropriate, and it was an overall enjoyable story about revenge. I give this one 4/5 stars.
"Patterns of Fear"
THIS STORY!!! OH MY GOD! IT WAS AMAZING! I loved everything about it, it was perfect in my eyes. I wanted to read an entire novel about this story, it was THAT good. I'm telling you guys, "Patterns of Fear" and "Split Decision" are tied for first right now. There's nothing else I can say, I don't feel like I could come anywhere close to giving it justice. I give this story, as if it wasn't obvious already, 5/5 stars.
"Free Seas"
This story was probably my least favorite of the entire collection. It wasn't long enough to let a story develop, in my opinion. It also wasn't that great, or original, of a story. One reason I know I didn't like it as much was because it had to follow "Patterns of Fear", and this was definitely a "NO-CONTEST" situation. I give this story 1/5 stars. 

 "Blood Magic"
Uh, can you say creepy? I really enjoyed this story for the first half, and then when someone started bleeding, then it was just creepy. It did have tons of action, and intrigue. I did love learning about this certain someone, but I was so weirded out about it, that I couldn't really enjoy it. I give this story 3/5 stars.

"A Cart Full of Junk"
  This story was really interesting, it sort of reminded me of "Split Decision" because of it's foreshadowing, and the outcome. I really enjoyed this story and I couldn't see anything wrong with this one either. I give this story 5/5 stars.
 This was another long story, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was very original, and entertaining. I loved the characters, the plot, the creatures, and the story all together. I give this story 5/5 stars.
This story was very short, but very enjoyable. I loved this story, coming from a broken family, I could empathize with what the main character felt about his parents' upcoming divorce, and wanting them to fall in love again. But this story had an added twist that made this story awesome. I give this story 4/5 stars.
"The Ex Box"
This was a generally good story. It wasn't creepy, it wasn't scary, but it was interesting. I loved reading about these characters, and even though I thought that one of the characters was a certain supernatural being, I put that thought aside thinking that that would be too mainstream/obvious. But then Lubar shocked me by doing the most obvious thing, which I really liked. I give this story 3/5 stars.
"Evil Twin"
 This story was another very original story. I want to read a novel all about this story... it is so good, and leaves you with a question. "Was she the good twin, or the evil twin? I loved the idea so much. I give this story 5/5 stars.

This compilation was amazing! I really liked it, I give it 4/5 stars overall. I not only loved the stories, I also loved the illustrations that went along with each story. I can't wait for it to release on July 23rd, so you guys can read it. It's so amazing, I NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO ABOUT THE STORIES! I can definitely see myself re-reading these stories. You guys definitely need to buy this book ASAP, and read them, and if you are like me, re-read them.


  1. What an amazingly thorough review! How do you feel short stories compare to traditional novel length stories to readers of YA?

    1. I personally LOVE both short stories, and novels equally, I don't like one more than the other.

      I've recently had an epiphany, realizing that some novels would be better as short stories, and some short stories would be better as novels. I've read countless numbers of novels that I feel were horrible because they were too big for the story. Making the book drag at random parts of the book. I wish that they would have just explained what was happening, and left it as short story. With most of these, I believe that what is now a horrible novel, could've been an amazing short story. However, with short stories, I believe that some of them are amazing, and have so much potential to become an amazing novel and/or series of novels. There was one story in this collection that I feel could've been formed into a novel: "Evil Twin". It's such an original story and has such potential to become an amazing book. If you haven't read it already, once you do, you will understand why I feel this way. It's so original, and unbelievably... AWESOME. I can't even explain my feelings on it.

      Sorry, I know I sort of rambled during the middle, but I've recently realized this, and felt like I had to share it with the blog. I hope the first part answered your question. I answered it to the best of my ability. :D

  2. Great review! I love how you reviewed all of the stories. I thought about that, but then ran out of time. Thanks for stopping by my review of the book as well!

    1. Thanks Lisa, I really liked this book, which you can probably tell, and I really liked your review as well. We have some of the same feelings about the stories. I can't wait to see other people review the book when it's released... I need people to talk to about it! Thanks for stopping by my blog as well.