This book was written as a collaboration between six powerful and important voices in YA fiction, offering an authentic and relatable romance told through a series of interconnected short stories. Set in New York City, each narrative provides a glimpse into the lives of thirteen individual teenagers. ‘The Long Walk’ sets readers off on the first escapade, with every word a step towards the next block, the next story.
This format works to create the atmosphere of a bustling crowd while at the same time establishing and maintaining a sense of connection to the individual. As the stories begin to merge and build, the overarching narrative becomes comparable to the structures of a map.
Meanwhile, there is a city-wide blackout. This event offers an ironic and satisfyingly appropriate metaphor for a book of stories where not only sparks of electricity fly, but sparks of emotion. Walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn, with the city as a physical and emotional backdrop, the characters within these pages come face to face with their fates. Blackout attests to the coming-of-age experience that is akin to fumbling around in the dark, trying to make sense of everything, and brings its complications to light. Ultimate destination? A block party to be remembered. Each of the stories deposits the characters in a communal celebration of food, music and people. This book is brimming with heart. Quite simply, it is a life-affirming and uplifting read.