Tor Teen, 2013
Genre: Horror, Short Stories
Description: Extremities features 13 horror stories by David Lubar who is famously known for his Weenies short story collections. Some of the stories’ plots include an asthmatic teen getting revenge of her evil gym teacher, an attractive classmate who sucks the living feelings out of her victims, vengeance for a wrongful death coming from beyond the grave, a haunted house story where the evil is what no one would except (this is the best story—“Patterns of Fear”), an old homeless man whose junk items in his cart predict awful ends for a bunch of rowdy, rude teens, and a traditional “evil twin” story.
Opinion: This was a quick read. Unfortunately, in my experience teens don’t like reading short story collections. So far none of my teens have jumped on wanting to read this one for the YA Galley Group project. I even had some teens go, “Oh, what’s this. Stories. Nah.” It says it is Lubar’s first short story collection for teens, however, most of the stories really aren’t that scary and I see it still as more of a tween read even though Lubar, in an introduction, promises some scary chills. The stories are a mixed bunch in terms of quality. Some are really fun, such as “Patterns of Fear” as I love stories that make the everyday horrific. Other stories read like the short stories of 1990s teen horror fiction I grew up on (which might make sense if Lubar wrote these that long ago). So some are very clichéd stories that offer up nothing new to the horror genre. The stories also vary in length. Some are a few pages (5-10), some are literally a few (2-3) and some are quite long (20-30). While this collection isn’t a must-have unless short stories work well in your community I would recommend it to tweens who are graduating from reading Goosebumps and the like as it works as a transition to scarier stuff.