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One Hot Second:Stories About Desire
by Cathy Young (Editor)

Category: Fiction / General
218 pages; ISBN: 0375812032

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Norman Goldman


The following review was contributed by
LILIANE AZERAD-GOLDMAN in collaboration with Norm Goldman

“How’s school today?

- Fine!

What did you do today?

- Stuff!”

How often have “annoying” parents encountered this frustrating exchange of dialogue with their adolescents?

One Hot Second: Stories About Desire Edited by Cathy Young has some penetrating answers to these innocent questions.

Cathy Young has carefully chosen eleven award-winning authors to explore the angst and uncertainties of adolescent desire. Every short story is a little gem!

The all-embracing theme of the book is desire. Each individual essay illustrates how desire influences the fragile blossoming of love.

The eleven authors brilliantly describe a gripping synopsis of the microcosm of adolescent turmoil.

Every chapter touches upon a very special subject. Some are heart wrenching, while others are funny, visceral and downright uncomfortable. Stealing, dysfunctional families, crushes, straight, lesbian or homosexual love, rejection, first kiss, drug addiction, sports, poetry and more, are all covered in a direct down to earth style.

For example, in Rachel Vail’s essay, “One Hot Second”, Mallory discovers the weird impressions of her first kiss, utterly “wheew! disgusting!”

Or, Nancy Garden’s heroin Penny, as depicted in “Loving Meagan,” is not worried that she is a lesbian, but that she is attracted to the wrong girl!

“Who Hears The Fish Cry” by Norma Fox Mazer, captures the healing power of music.

Victor Martinez’s “The County Fair”, introduces us to Roybal who is in love with Carol. And Carol? Well?.

Written in the first or the third person, the dialogues run the gamut from quick, gritty, witty, to profound. Characters are so well developed they come alive.

As an added bonus, Cathy Young writes about her own experience and has asked the authors for their personal involvement with love. Their interesting answers are yours to discover.

After reading these precious gems, you would have to agree with Young’s description: “Each of the fine writers in this collection honors the power of desire to push us forward into the unknown, to help us grow. Desire aches, Desire burns, And, thankfully it blooms.”

One Hot Second:Stories About Desire is a must read collection for parents and adolescents alike.


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