ARC Review: Fools In Love: A Fresh Twist on Romantic Tales edited by Ashley Herring Blake & Rebecca Podos

Join fifteen bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming authors as they reimagine some of the most popular tropes in the romance genre.

Fake relationships. Enemies to lovers. Love triangles and best friends, mistaken identities and missed connections. This collection of genre-bending and original stories celebrates how love always finds a way, featuring powerful flora, a superhero and his nemesis, a fantastical sled race through snow-capped mountains, a golf tournament, the wrong ride-share, and even the end of the world. With stories written by Rebecca Barrow, Ashley Herring Blake, Gloria Chao, Mason Deaver, Sara Farizan, Claire Kann, Malinda Lo, Hannah Moskowitz, Natasha Ngan, Rebecca Podos, Lilliam Rivera, Laura Silverman, Amy Spalding, Rebecca Kim Wells, and Julian Winters this collection is sure to sweep you off your feet.

Title: Fools In Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales
Authors Include: Rebecca Podos, Laura Silverman, Ashley Herring Blake, Rebecca Barrow, Gloria Chao, Lilliam Rvera, Natasha Ngan,, Hannah Moskowitz, Claire Kann, Amy Spalding, Rebecca Kim Wells, Julian Winters, Mason Deaver
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release Date: December 7th, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Short Stories
Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
Representation: LGBTQ+ characters main characters, Latinx main characters, Black main characters
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of sex, racism and discussions of racism, mentions of prison, mentions of police, injury, mentioned parental death, physical fight, mentions of murder, sexism, implications of homophobia and transphobia, animal injury (not severe), spiders, unintentional outing, mentions of biphobia, absentee parents, mentions of divorce
Rating:  ★★★★☆

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Running Press Kids for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

My favorite thing about anthologies is that they’re such great reads if you find yourself in a reading slump, or if you’re unsure of what kind of story you’re in the mood for. Fools In Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales is a very entertaining collection of stories focused on bringing new light to some beloved romance tropes, such as: fake dating, there’s only one bed, love triangles and second chance romance. This anthology also has something for everyone in that not all of the stories are of the contemporary genre. There’s fantasy, sci-fi, and time travel among the contemporary stories and I really loved that there were variations in the story genres. 

I won’t lie, before I started reading I was a bit worried that the majority of the stories would center around cis-gendered, straight, white couples. While there is nothing wrong with those stories, these tropes have been told time and time again from that lens and the genre could use a revamp. I was so pleased to find out, upon finishing the anthology, that only two of the fifteen stories were about cis-gender, straight couples – and only one of those couples had two white protagonists. The stories in this collection really focused on characters of color, as well as LGBTQ characters and couples, and which I found very refreshing.

I thought all of the stories were well written, and there were lots of interesting and creative ideas! There were many that I enjoyed, but my favorites were: Five Stars (Mistaken Identity) by Amy Spalding, What Makes us Heroes (Hero vs. Villain) by Julian Winters, (Fairy)Like Attracts Like (Mutual Pining) by Claire Kann, The Passover Date (Fake Dating) by Laura Silverman, Teed Up (Oblivious to Lovers) by Gloria Chao and Boys Noise (Only One Bed at the Inn) by Mason Deaver. Each story had well developed characters, a compelling storyline, and left me curious to know what happened next in the story. I also thought that Bloom (Love Transcends Space & Time) by Rebecca Barrow was one of the most interesting stories. 

Fools In Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales really did live up to its title by bringing new takes to tropes that we all know and love. If you’re a fan of romance stories, I would definitely recommend it!

Links for Fools In Love: Goodreads | TheStoryGraph | Bookshop | IndieBound

2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Fools In Love: A Fresh Twist on Romantic Tales edited by Ashley Herring Blake & Rebecca Podos

  1. I’m not really the one for romance, but this one is on my tbr because it sounds so interesting!! I’m so glad this had diverse rep, I know I would have been disappointed if it didn’t. Lovely review, Caitlyn, I’m happy you enjoyed


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