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Vacations From Hell [Paperback]

Libba Bray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15 2009

Life's a beach . . . and then you're undead?

in this must-have collection, five of today's hottest writers--Libba Bray ("A Great and Terrible Beauty"), Cassandra Clare ("City of Bones"), Claudia Gray ("Evernight"), Maureen Johnson ("13 Little Blue Envelopes"), and Sarah Mlynowski ("Bras & Broomsticks")--tell supernatural tales of vacations gone awry. Lost luggage is only mildly unpleasant compared to bunking with a witch who holds a grudge. And a sunburn might be embarrassing and painful, but it doesn't last as long as a curse. Of course, even in the most hellish of situations, love can thrive. . . .

From light and funny to dark and creepy, these stories have something for everyone. You definitely won't want to leave this collection at home!

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Frosy from Books Like Fairytales >> [...] Jan. 30 2011
By Effie
Format:Paperback
Vacations From Hell is a book that holds 5 short stories. Stories about vacations, that didn't end up well. And of course each of them had their share of paranormal.

I will review each one of them. It's really hard to give you an idea for each of them without spoiling them because of their short length, the stories start right away.
So I'll try my best.

CRUISIN, by Sarah Mlynowski
My Rating 1 star
This story follows two girls that are cruising when they hear rumours of vampire attacks on cruises. Basically these two girls go on vacation without their parents and the one of them has a goal to achieve. This goal though seems to be interrupted by vampires or maybe not. I can't say much because I will spoil it.
Overall I didn't like it.

I DON'T LIKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND, by Claudia Gray
My Rating 5 stars
This story is about witches and a group of women that practises their magic.

Every summer they gather together in order to practice magic together. For their husbands it's a vacation, because one of the rules says that men are forbidden to know about their magic.
Cecily doesn't want to go because Kathleen will be there. They hate each other.
Cecily though finds out that Kathleen has been messing around with magic, breaking one of the rules. She tries to tell her mother but she doesn't believe her so it's up to her to try to solve it.

I liked this story, it's my favourite of all five stories and I would definitely read it if it was a novel. There was an incident actually that I wanted to share with you. My highest rated stories were actually kind scary and definitely creepy. So when I was reading this story, there was a scene where this Cecily was practising her magic under the light of some candles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magic, Mystery, Myths and legends all in one June 3 2010
By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This year I have found a renewed interest and love for short fiction. I like anthologies for the opportunity to discover or experience different authors in a short time frame. I had encountered two of the authors in this collection in Geektastic, and enjoyed their work, the other authors in this assortment I had heard fabulous things about, so I wanted to give it a try, I was not disappointed. There are five amazing stories by five gifted authors in this collection and it will wet your appetite to read more by these writers. So come and take a journey through 5 vacations from hell. I am also looking forward to the sister volumes from this one, Love is Hell and Prom Nights From Hell. So let's take a look at each of our contributors and their contribution.

Crusin' - Sarah Mlynowski
What would you do if you were on a cruise ship with a close friend and a new friend, and the newspaper has stories about passengers going missing. What About if you started noticing people were missing from your ship. What is the newspaper says 'Vampires Attack Cruise Ships'. Would you be scared, or whould you think it is a joke. In this very interesting twist on vampires, and girls just looking to have fun read and find out. Sarah Mlynowski has written numerous novels, Bras & Broomsticks, Frogs & French Kisses, Spells & Sleeping Bags and more. Originally from Montreal, Sarah now lives and writes live from New York City.

I Don't Like Your Girlfriend - Claudia Gray
Claudia Gray is the author of Evernight, Stargazer and Hourglass. Prior to being a fulltime writer she worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and an extremely poor waitress. She lives in New York City.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Sept. 11 2009
Format:Paperback
Did you ever think you had the worst possible vacation ever? Well, pick up VACATIONS FROM HELL and realize that what you think was horrible is just icing on the cake.

Five of today's most popular paranormal young adult authors combine their talents in this collection of short stories. This is a compilation that is sure to appeal to everyone. I will admit at the beginning that I've only read works by Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson in the past, but will definitely be looking forward to reading works by the other three authors now.

This collection has something for everyone. For fans of The Blair Witch Project, check out Nowhere is Safe by Libba Bray. Four thrill-seeking teenagers on a trip around Europe stumble across scary things in a dark and dangerous forest. For anyone that hated that other girl for one reason or another and wanted to get even, check out I Don't Like Your Girlfriend by Claudia Gray. If you like those twisted ghost stories that are handed down from person to person, then The Law of Suspects by Maureen Johnson is for you. Got a hankering for a bit of dark witchcraft? The Mirror House will make you think twice about looking in mirrors again. And my personal favorite was Cruisin' by Sarah Mlynowski. It was one of those stories where I totally didn't expect the ending. You have to love when a story can do that!

The stories are all well-written and blend together perfectly. Each story is the perfect length to sit down and read in a sitting. After reading VACATIONS FROM HELL you will never again complain of a bad holiday!

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great YA fantasy/horror! 4.5 stars July 7 2009
By Layla Bing - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Vacations from Hell is the third in a series of YA fantasy and horror anthologies. With stories by such YA bestsellers as Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Libba Bray, this most recent installment of the Hell series does not disappoint. All of the stories are interesting and well written, though Libba Bray's is by far the best of the group. They range from heart-warming and inspired to incredibly chilling and horrific. Of the three anthologies, this one falls most squarely into the horror category, with less romance than the others had led me to expect. So if you're looking for paranormal romance, I'd check out the Love is Hell anthology first. Whatever Vacations from Hell lacks in steamy make-outs though, it more than makes up for in grade-A horror and general creepiness. There is some real top-notch YA fantasy happening here, with vampires, and witches, and Satan (oh my!). My advice? Definitely check it out.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fantastical Stories Will Appeal to Fans with their Suspense and Surprises July 22 2009
By Teen Reads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
VACATIONS FROM HELL is a win-win. Popular authors with dark and twisting fantasy stories have produced a collection that benefits College Summit, a nonprofit organization that helps students, especially from low-income areas, go to college. This is the latest in a series of anthologies, which include PROM NIGHTS FROM HELL and LOVE IS HELL, to support that cause.

Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Magic in Manhattan series, opens the book with "Crusin,'" the story of Liz and Kristin on a cruise. Kristin is determined to lose her virginity and envies the ease with which her friend and roomie picks up dates so quickly. Liz is always disappearing with hot guys or off for meetings. They meet fun girl Hailey and enjoy food, sun and dancing on the ship while Kristin keeps choosing the wrong guys. Rumors abound about people who have recently gone missing on cruises and the supernatural creatures that may have caused those disappearances. By the end of the cruise, readers will find multiple layers in the quests of the girls in this mysterious and very surprising story.

EVERNIGHT author Claudia Gray takes readers to the Outer Banks for a gathering of witches. Cecily Harper's mother has been training her for her powers for years in a coven at home, but each summer their family gets together with her mother's college friends. The fathers and brothers are told nothing, and sent to sporting events and activities. All the men think it's just a vacation where the female friends gather. But Cecily is no friend of Kathleen Pruitt. Kathleen is about her age and each year finds some way to torture Cecily. This year Kathleen brings a boyfriend who is gorgeous, interested in being a chef like Cecily, and seems to be the only male she's ever met who really gets her. What does he see in a brat like Kathleen? Kathleen avoids the women's witch trainings, and spends her time hanging on the ever-doting Scott. Cecily begins to think it is all too good to be true. Humor and powers mix here to let both girls know that they need to be careful what they wish for. Clare taps into the dreaded family friend many parents of teens want them to like and the claustrophobic family vacation, and mixes it with powers and imagination. Fantasy readers will enjoy this tale and its justice.

Maureen Johnson, author of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and other well-known young adult dramatic novels, sends Charlotte and Marylou to rural France for their vacation gone wrong in "The Law of Suspects." Charlie, as Charlotte is known, is trying to stop her lifelong habit of telling whoppers. So what if she likes to exaggerate? Her sister is now driving her crazy with her intro Psychology book, trying to diagnose all of Charlie's supposed neuroses. Through a series of odd occurrences, the girls find themselves in a cabin with no neighbors in sight and only a man who comes occasionally with food for company. Charlie breaks her cabin fever with a walk, only to find a strange man in a cabin who tells her horrific tales of the Revolution. Then she meets handsome Gerard, who warns her about Henri, the man in the cabin, telling her that people who heard the story will be unable to stop performing violent acts. He even shows her a severed hand found in Henri's garden. Things happen very quickly after that as Marylou and Charlie try to sort out who is telling the truth here while running for their lives. This one combines history, horror and suspense for a chilling page turner.

Cassandra Clare, author of CITY OF BONES and other notable young adult fantasies, brings evil to Jamaica in "The Mirror House." Violet's mother just married Phillip, and Violet feels anything but brotherly about her new stepbrother Evan. It doesn't help that she has to watch her mother be mistreated by Phillip and hurt every day in increasingly bad injuries. Evan escapes his confusing feelings for Violet and his father's temper by helping neighbor Anne Palmer around her house. Some native people warn Violet that Anne is evil and does things to young men in her clutches, but Evan won't listen. So while her mother is beaten, Evan becomes ghostlike and weaker every day. Violet finds some magic to help both of the people she loves.

Finally, A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY author Libba Bray reminds readers that "Nowhere is Safe" in this deliciously haunting story of four bored friends going through Europe after high school graduation. Poe Yamamoto doesn't know why in particular he and his friends decided to stop in the European town of Necuratul, but their rumored history of evil rituals and upcoming village festival on August 13th seemed too weird to ignore. They meet other young people there who grew up in the town, and they all have fun drinking and swapping stories. Poe does wonder about the children he observes peeking from the forest, and why other people don't seem to see them. Necuratul is going to be erased by a power plant soon, and Poe and his friends learn just how desperate some natives are to keep it.

While set with varied creatures and in different time periods, these fantastical stories will appeal to fans with their suspense and surprises.

--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised!!! March 4 2010
By L. Klimah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had bought this originally because I loved the Mortal Instruments series. I did not know the other authors, but I figured it was worth a shot. I was beyond pleasantly surprised! It is a compilation of short stories about supernatural and weird events that all take place with the characters on vacation. What is so great about this book is now I have knowledge of a handful of other authors to check out now! The first story is a little cheesy, still not bad, and they get better as they go along! I read the whole book in one day, and am now going to try out the rest of the Hell books! Happy reading :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Sept. 11 2009
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Did you ever think you had the worst possible vacation ever? Well, pick up VACATIONS FROM HELL and realize that what you think was horrible is just icing on the cake.

Five of today's most popular paranormal young adult authors combine their talents in this collection of short stories. This is a compilation that is sure to appeal to everyone. I will admit at the beginning that I've only read works by Sarah Mlynowski and Maureen Johnson in the past, but will definitely be looking forward to reading works by the other three authors now.

This collection has something for everyone. For fans of The Blair Witch Project, check out Nowhere is Safe by Libba Bray. Four thrill-seeking teenagers on a trip around Europe stumble across scary things in a dark and dangerous forest. For anyone that hated that other girl for one reason or another and wanted to get even, check out I Don't Like Your Girlfriend by Claudia Gray. If you like those twisted ghost stories that are handed down from person to person, then The Law of Suspects by Maureen Johnson is for you. Got a hankering for a bit of dark witchcraft? The Mirror House will make you think twice about looking in mirrors again. And my personal favorite was Cruisin' by Sarah Mlynowski. It was one of those stories where I totally didn't expect the ending. You have to love when a story can do that!

The stories are all well-written and blend together perfectly. Each story is the perfect length to sit down and read in a sitting. After reading VACATIONS FROM HELL you will never again complain of a bad holiday!

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
1.0 out of 5 stars only one good story June 11 2014
By Amanda C Dreyfuss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The rest were so dumb I can't believe I wasted $8 on this! Horrible really bad and boring!!!! Enough said
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