Review: Hope Nation, Edited by Rose Brock

Title: Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration
Editor: Rose Brock
Publisher: Philomel Books
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 304 Pages
Published February 2018


Summary: We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and--in some cases--even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it's difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power. Some of today's most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal nonfiction collection of essays, poems, and letters, each a first-hand account that ultimately strives to inspire hope. Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, Hope Nation acknowledges the pain and shines a light on what comes after. Authors include: Marie Lu, David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Renee Ahdieh, Alex London, Julie Murphy, James Dashner, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Sarah Mlynowski, Jeff Zentner, Ally Condie, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Romina Russell, Angie Thomas, Howard Bryant, Aisha Saeed, Margaret Stohl, Ally Carter, Nic Stone, I.W.Gregorio, Kate Hart, Atia Abawi, Libba Bray

My review for this book was originally written for and posted on TeenReads.com

I first heard of this book last year, in the midst of the rocky political climate, and I was looking for something that gave me, well, hope. So I'm glad that I came across HOPE NATION --- this book came at just the perfect time for me. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, this book is an anthology with various essays from some pretty big-name authors, all centered around a theme of hope. Different types of hope show up throughout, and you get some more theoretical pieces, autobiographical stories, and even fictionalized accounts of real-world events that they have experienced. There are stories that will make you laugh, stories that will make you cry, and everything in between. Overall, there is a resounding note of hope throughout the entire anthology. 

What I liked most about this book was the wide variety of stories --- including the authors! I learned so much about them and their lives that I hadn't known before, and it was really fascinating to see. Some of my favorite stories were David Levithan's fictionalized description of his experience at the Women's March (which I attended, so it gave me chills to fall back into that type of atmosphere again, I forgot how much I missed it!), Angie Thomas and her encounter with a reader at her signings, Marie Lu's experience with immigrating to the U.S., and Libba Bray's shocking story that I knew NOTHING about --- and I won't spoil it for you (you should read it on your own!), but what I will say is that it's DEFINITELY something you want to read. Holy crap. I thought it was a fictionalized story until I got to the end and found out that it was all true. All of the stories in this book will shock you and inspire you in the best of ways.

The only thing that I wasn't super crazy about with this book is the fact that some of the stories didn't grip me as much as the others --- I mean this in the sense that some of them were told in a more narrative sense that really hooked me, while others were straight-up essays, which, while still incredibly important, started to feel tedious after awhile. I still read them all, though, because I was really interested in all of the important messages that all of these authors had to say, and I'm glad I did, because I really feel like I learned a lot.

Overall, I enjoyed reading HOPE NATION. I'd definitely recommend it to any readers looking for something to inspire them, both in terms of their creative lives and their personal lives in general. This book contains some stories that will make you want to jump up and keep moving forward in life, work on your writing, confront those prejudiced people your life, and everything in between. This book couldn't have come at a better time, and I think it's incredibly important to both younger and older readers alike. Thank you, Rose Brock, for this incredible gift!




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