By Sonora Taylor
4.5 Stars – I initially put this at 4 stars – but after taking the time to actually write this review – I realized that 4 wasn’t enough – so 4.5 is rounded up for the sake of Goodreads and Amazon.
This was an absolutely wonderful collection of short stories and the perfect way to start off 2020 with my #LadiesFirst20 selection.
There were 20 stories in roughly 140 pages. The formatting and flow of the book was nice and felt different than most collections I have read, in that there were five 20+ page stories and the rest were very short stories or pieces of flash fiction. Most of these were two pages or less. So it was really broken up nicely.
I spoke with a couple of Twitter friends upon starting this. Their favorite story was “Weary Bones”, they actually told me this after I had read it, liked it, but kinda moved on and hadn’t thought a ton about it. One friend actually said it was their favorite short story, like ever. So guess what, I went back and read it again. It really is a beautiful story, and while I really liked it, I don’t think I can say that it was my favorite.
Ones that really stood out to me:
“Weary Bones” – We all get a second chance at life when we die, but we come back as skeletons. The second life wears out its welcome with the first lifers, and the skeletons are treated as second class citizens eventually sent to the cemeteries to live. Our lead, Brandon spends his life caring for these second lifers. It’s a very touching, “hit you in the feels” story.
“Always In My Ear” – Two girls/women have a secret. They are bffs, they do everything together, even murder. Their opinions on how to move forward in this technologically advancing world begin to differ.
“Cranberry” – Body image story. Haunting in its own right. That’s all I am gonna say.
“Quadrapocalypse” – Cool rendition of an end of the world apocalypse scenario. One of our characters is trapped in a train tunnel and another is watching it all happen from her high rise apartment. Is this a prequel to “Seed”?
“Hollow” – Creepy little doll story.
“Stick Figure Family” – Super short story based on those car decals you see everywhere, but twisty as hell – freaky in an almost funny sort of way.
“Hearts Are Just “Likes”” – a loose reinterpretation of a Poe story for the modern world. You are reading this yeah? bet you are on other social media, yeah? – We all love those hearts… Some might even kill for them.
“Salt” – I am starving now.
“Seed” – followup to Quad? Great story – delves deep into solitude and loneliness and having the courage to let somebody in again. HOT love scene. Seriously, HOT.
So if I had to say, my favorite short short was “Stick Figure Family”. My favorite longish story was “Seed”, or maybe “Weary Bones”.
Review by Kevin Whitten
Video review on: Well Read Beard’s Youtube Channel
I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration.