Author: Natalie C. Parker et al
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Now this might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t really have a problem with love triangles. Knowing a book has a love triangle doesn’t immediately turn me off the book, so I came into this anthology excited to see how these authors executed this divisive trope, but I wasn’t necessarily looking for a complete reinvention or trope subversion. That said, some of the stories in Three Sides of a Heart bring a fresh new take to the love triangle that was a lot of fun to see.
Average rating: 3.77 Stars
Stories I was most excited for: Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno; Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy; Hurdles by Brandy Colbert; Waiting by Sabaa Tahir
Favorite Stories: La Revanacha del Tango by Renée Ahdieh; Cass, An, and Dra by Natalie C. Parker; The Historian, the Garrison, and the Cantankerous Catwoman by Lamar Giles; Waiting by Sabaa Tahir; Vega by Brenna Yovanoff; & Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen
Least Favorite Stories: Triangle Solo by Garth Nix; Work in Progress by E.K. Johnston; & A Hundred Thousand Threads by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno | 3.5 Stars
This story is all about the recently out Rowan, who loves designing costumes for the theatre department and her brother’s best friend Taylor. Made complicated by the fact that everyone thinks Steven and Taylor are dating. I like that the anthology starts out with an LGBT relationship, and we get to see a girl and a guy be platonic friends. I also thought Ro’s dad was supportive of her, which was nice, but her mom was not, and that kinda sucked. Overall this was a nice start, good characters but it felt pretty surface level to me.
Dread South by Justine Ireland | 4 Stars
This story made me really excited to read Dread Nation (this short story is set in the same universe). Dread South is all about a badass Zombie slaying black girl, Juliet, and the Southern Deb she is charged to protect. Juliet was an awesome character and I liked her a lot. Unfortunately. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Louisa or Everett, the other two legs of the triangle. I did like seeing Louisa and Juliet grow closer and training together, but I wasn’t really invested in the relationship.
Omega Ship by Rae Carson | 3 Stars
This was pretty weird scifi story where 3 (naked) teens are the sole survivors of their space ship, and must repopulate a new planet. This was honestly so outrageous and bizarre that it was supremely entertaining for me. I get the deeper commentary of the story, but what was happening was so ridiculous that the commentary kinda got lost and it made me laugh.
La Revancha del Tango by Renée Ahdieh | 5 Stars
My first 5 star read of the anthology, and I just really loved this story so much. The writing was immersive and beautiful. This is a story about a girl who is on a trip to Buenos Aires, where she meets a couple of cute boys at the hostile she’s staying at. But this really was a story about love of dancing and the freedom that the girl felt through the tango. There was also some nice banter.
Cass, An, and Dra by Natalie C. Parker | 5 Stars
This was a story all about choices and the legacy and power in a choice. It’s a sort-of urban fantasy, where Cass has the ability to see the outcome of her choices, and she’s torn between her best friend/girlfriend An and Dra, someone she’s just met . This story is really all about exploring possibilities and experiences are more important that the what-ifs.
Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy | 3 Stars
Ruby is a kissing coach who falls for childhood friend Annie, when she gives her and her boyfriend kissing lessons. I actually really loved this to start out with, but then we got some cheating – which I always hate. It honestly brought the story down a bit for me.
Triangle Solo by Garth Nix | 2 Stars
Two best friends hate the triangle (the instrument) and both have a crush on a girl who recently moved back. This just felt really flat and was super obvious. There wasn’t really anything that grabbed me.
Vim & Vigor by Veronica Roth | 4 Stars
Friendship stories about superheroes and healing. The only reason this wasn’t 5 stars is because I didn’t really like Edie as much as I wanted too, but I’m always here for stories about girl friendship!
Work in Progress by E.K. Johnston | 2 Stars
This was just so confusing? It’s more like 3 mini-stories within this story, all about 3 friends who all love each other in some way. I actually liked the first mini story, but then it just ended and we switched to a different mini story, with a different character as the narrator. I would have liked this more if it was just one of the stories, developed more.
Hurdles by Brandy Colbert | 3 Stars
This is another one where I really liked the beginning, I thought Mavis, the main character torn between two boys, was nice and easy to connect to. But there was definitely some emotional cheating going on that I didn’t love, and the story overall was just pretty basic.
The Historian, the Garrison, and the Cantankerous Catwoman by Lamar Giles | 5 Stars
I need this to be a full length novel asap. So many great characters and such an intricate and well thought out plot. I don’t want to say too much, because I feel like you should just go into this one, but it was incredible!
Waiting by Sabaa Tahir | 5 Stars
Before reading the last story, this was the one that hooked me emotionally. There isn’t really anything revolutionary or new about the story: Girl torn between a new friend who’s going to same college as her and her longtime crush and friend who’s recently gone to jail, but I just really loved it. I connected to the characters, and I cared about the relationships. It was so heartwarming and had a bunch of feel-good fuzzies!
Vega by Brenna Yovanoff | 5 Stars
Pure beauty and magic! This is about a girl torn between her love of Vegas, her home, and her best friend Alex. I loved seeing the spirit of Vegas personified, it was stunning. And really getting to see what’s right for you vs what’s right for the people you love explored. This was just beautifully captivating.
A Hundred Thousand Threads by Alaya Dawn Johnson | 2 Stars
This is another one where I was pretty confused. I really loved the world and the rebellion that was happening, but the characters were a miss for me and I immediately knew what the big twist was, so there wasn’t really any suspense for me.
Before She Was Bloody by Tessa Gratton | 3.75 Stars
This was the first high fantasy story in the anthology, and while I really liked it, wow is it hard to establish a high fantasy world in such a short time. Because the pacing was so fast, some things felt a little rushed for me.
Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen | 5 Stars
I was so emotional after reading this, I actually teared up. This is a great gothic vampire story with lots of emotions and beautiful characters.
This was such a great collection of stories and most of them really worked for me. Like I said above, I’m not anti-love triangles so I had pretty high expectation going in, and Three Sides of a Heart is a beautiful and diverse collection that showcases many kinds of love and the beauty that exists in all of them.
I received a copy of the book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Do you hate love triangles? Is Three Sides of a Heart on your TBR? Share below!