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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Odd Voices, edited by K.C. Finn and Kell Cowley, is a collection of short stories like no other. For too long protagonists have been cut from the same cloth, but not here. Gone are the cookie-cutter leads, replaced with beautifully diverse characters, and they take you through their own tales from poverty and love to survival and magic. You will be whisked away on stories that are impossible but for the authors' common desire to break away from normality and challenge themselves into writing something unique, magical in its own way, and perhaps even daring as they dig into part of themselves that the young adult literary world is still at the very start of embracing.
There is so much to like about Odd Voices. Being a compilation of different authors' works, the reader is presented with a great diversity in writing styles and plots, but all have a common theme; a protagonist who would normally be left in the shadows. The stories not only bring these people into the spotlight, breaking away from cookie-cutter characters, but address things often overlooked, such as how people beyond the scope of society's 'normal' not only face the same daily issues, but have an entirely different area of consideration - whether it be fear of rejection due to sexual preferences, belittlement due to differences, or how far someone would go to survive or live. These tales really help to put you, the reader, in the center of thought processes you may not have even considered. My personal favorites were Oblivisci and A Last Meal of Magic, but with such a wide variety of styles and tales, there really is something for everyone. Thought-provoking, inspiring, and a breath of fresh air from run-of-the-mill characters.