A teenage vampire who takes on evil and wants nothing more than to change her ill younger sister. A young woman from the streets who tries to do the right thing, but must struggle to find a balance. A half elf and human get mixed up in gang troubles as they try to find their own place. These are only a few examples of the wonderful stories that you will find in Charles De Lint’s Waifs and Strays, a book of short fantasy stories geared toward young adults.
I’m honestly not sure why I hadn’t read anything by Charles De Lint before this. I was utterly captivated by the worlds and places he created; each place had a sense of wonder about it–whether or not the fantasy elements were inherent in the setting. I always felt like I was going to come upon something interesting I was reading it. I also genuinely enjoyed the characters he created; De Lint’s young characters frequently have unhappy childhoods or difficult situations, yet they still have an overall positive quality to them. All of them are survivors, and I found myself hoping that they would figure things out. Between the settings and characterizations, De Lint weaved some delightfully charming and captivating plots that were a treat to read.