A Review of “March for Justice: An ATA Anthology (ATA Anthologies)” by A.K. Hughey (Author), K. McCoy (Author), P. A. Duncan (Author), Summer Zoris (Author), Allison K. Garcia (Author)

March for Justice: An ATA Anthology (ATA Anthologies) by [A.K. Hughey, K. McCoy, P. A. Duncan, Summer Zoris, Allison K. Garcia]

A timely collection of stories tackling societal issues

March For Justice, by the Author Transformation Alliance (or ATA) is a series of five short stories written with a focus of bringing light to certain situations going on in our world today. Covering a variety of issues and topics, this anthology is as timely as it is interesting. Using their combined talents, the participating authors have created a compilation that will leave the reader thinking about the stories and the issues long after the last word is read.

Contained within this second anthology that has been released by the ATA are the following:

“Best Served Cold” by author P.A.Duncan explores what can happen when the murder of an innocent man due to inherent racism can ruin more than just the lives of those immediately involved. The phrases “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and “You never know what people are going through” also came to mind as I read this entry.  This short story, which initially had me shaking my head incredulously at Nathan’s attitude and language ended with my heart literally breaking for him after learning the “why” behind the words and actions.

“Out of Time” by author Allison K. Garcia tells the tale of Jacob Owens, a young man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in a strictly evangelical setting. In a situation where his family, teachers, and clergy only seek to “fix” him instead of loving him Jacob sees no way out. Garcia’s story, while fiction, still most likely resembles the lives of countless LGBT youth and sheds some light on why the suicide rates are so staggeringly high within this community. Garcia’s story seeks to not only educate and raise awareness but also offer support for those who may be going through Jacob’s same situation by providing various support resources at the end of the story.

“Fighting the Odds” by Summer Zoris seeks to tackle the inherent misogyny rampant in the male dominated corporate world. This particular offering had me seething at the depths people will sink to in order to elevate themselves off of the hard work and accomplishments of others.

“Protect Them at All Costs” by K. McCoy explores the lengths one woman will go to rise to a position of influence to seek retribution for a childhood friend. McCoy’s short reminded me of old vigilante movies where the bad guy and good guys are not always easily defined. Honestly as I think back to this story, I am reminded of the movie “Boondock Saints” as the premises are remarkably similar.

“Together Against Darkness” by A.K. Hughey, was multifaceted, including elements of issues of homelessness, and human trafficking, bullying, and police bias. For me, this was probably the most well-developed story in the entire book due to its complexity, and it felt like I was reading a much larger work, not a short story. Except for Ginger, Hughey did not go into detail regarding the descriptions of the other characters. Because of that, the reader was able to form their own visualizations of the characters and for me, Lee was a young Asian man.

Overall, I felt that the anthology was very well done. I ended up reading through this over the course of several days as my schedule allowed, but that only served to provide more time to process the material. While not a hard book to read, the subject matter presented may be hard for some to swallow as they find themselves presented with situations that they may not want to believe occur daily for millions of people. Do I think this anthology with “solve” all the problems that have been illustrated? No, but I sincerely do hope it will serve to raise awareness and compassion for those who are living with these issues. If that can be accomplished, then the purpose of this book was served.  

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