Blackout by D.Clayton, T. D. Jackson, N. Stone, A. Thomas, A. Woodfolk, & N. Yoon
A Blackout Descends Over New York City
New York City is stifling during the summer, and it only gets worse when the power goes out and a blackout falls over the city. In Blackout, six pairs of teenagers navigate this darkness together. One is a pair of exes trying to make their way from Harlem to Brooklyn, another is two boys who are stuck underground as the subway grinds to a halt, and yet another is two girls searching for a lost photo in a brownstone. As we move to Midtown, there are two friends trying to find the best book ever written and a couple stuck on a tour bus in traffic. In Brooklyn, one girl’s Ryde driver contemplates a philosophy podcast. Will these friends and couples end up where they want to go? And what truths will be shared along the way?
Love Blossoms Under a Sweltering and Starry Sky
This collection is a masterclass of precise and concise stories of hope and love. Blackout is a collection of six short stories, but it reads like a novel as the characters are all connected. One of the stories is divided into parts and weaves through the other stories, which only helps the strong sense of connection. While each story was well written, one of the best parts of Blackout was the characters. Short stories don’t usually have enough time to dive deep into characterization, but nearly all of these main characters felt real and whole. Actually, I’d love to read full-length novels about each of the pairs, no matter how their story ended! Also, there are big NYC vibes in this one. And while those vibes rise and fall, they never lower than the perpetual din of never-ending stop-and-go traffic.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
Blackout is a celebration of teenage love and Black joy. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to re-read it, because I think there’s more to gain from a second read (deciphering exactly how the characters connect, for one). If you love the real New York City, need a large dose of love, and want something that’s well written but won’t take long to read, this one’s for you.
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Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.
Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse