Supporting homeless charity Crisis, this collection of short stories explores the lives of a number of young adults as they venture into very different Christmases.
I have enjoyed reading short stories more and more since having Spike. I don’t have the time to commit to a book in full anymore and short stories give me the ideal reason to pick up a book for 10 minutes. This is why I thought I’ll be Home for Christmas was the ideal thing to read over the Christmas period last year.
It features a number my favourite authors; Cat Clarke, Non Pratt and Juno Dawson. As well as a couple I’ve been meaning to read for some time: Lisa Williamson and Benjamin Zephaniah. I knew that my favourites would make it worth while, but in all honesty its some of the others that made the book for me!
I loved each story. the very first was written in verse and I love book written in verse so it was a fantastic opening for me. My favourites were Non Pratt’s Ghosts of Christmas Past, Juno Dawson’s Homo for Christmas and Lisa Williamson’s Routes and Wings. Close after was Cat Clarkes’s Family You Chose and Sita Brahmachari’s Amir and George, which was heartbreaking.
The theme of Christmas is the one of the only things connecting these stories, and some of them only mention the holidays in passing. Each story is unique to itself and feature completely different characters. It was easy to flit in and out of them and I found the collection really well put together.
There was a secondary theme of home. And many of the stories featured a feeling of unbelonging. Either an unbelonging to the situation the characters were in or a fear of not belonging. It made me think more about the situations people find themselves in which are completely out of their control and reminded me of the amazing work Crisis does while I was reading some of the stories. Amir and George and Routes and Wings in particular.
I loved reading this one and I will definitely be looking out for more Stripes anthologies coming out!
I’ll be Home for Christmas was published by Stripes Publishing in September 2016. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. At least £1 per copy sold will be donated to Crisis.