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25 Jul Short Stories Review: Hauntings Abroad & Rose Petal Lips

Short Story by Anne Michaud, Tessa Gratton
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal
Published by DarkFuse, Lerner Publishing Group Source: ARC from Netgalley, Bought
Buy the Book (Book Depository)Buy the Book (Amazon)


Recently, I’ve developed a deep appreciate and love for short stories. It always amazes me when an author can pack so much emotion, tension, character development, world-building, and magic into so few words. Short Stories Review is a weekly post where I highlight short stories that I have recently read. For better or for worse.

Black Dog

Genre: Dark (Paranormal?) YA
Source Girls & Monsters (Amazon & Goodreads)

Please note: I got this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. And an honest review I will give. For more information refer to my Review Policies & FTC Disclaimer.

This story can be interpreted in a few different ways. It could be a dark paranormal tale of a girl trying to find herself, only to be hindered by the spirit of a black dog that won’t leave her alone. Or it could be the story of a girl battling mental illness, trying to find a way to fix herself. It depends on which you prefer and what you take out of the story, which is something I really like. I love stories that have double meanings, that you can twist to fit what feels right for you.

Scarlet is a protagonist I can really sympathize with. She knows something is wrong with her, that she’s different, and wants to badly to be normal. She’s not one of those girls that keeps thinking: Oh! If only I can be normal! and goes off and laments about it in a quiet corner. Scarlet puts herself out there. She goes, alone, to London for a group tour. That’s a really scare situation to place yourself into, if you’re an introvert like Scarlet (and me, and I know how scary this can be because I’ve done it myself, in London no less).

My favorite part of this story was the voice. It’s third person present tense with some flashbacks in first person past tense. Usually switching up POV like that bothers me, but not in this case. The voice was so dark and vivid in the third person present tense — I was thoroughly impressed with this. I also thought it was really clever for the evil voice to nickname Scarlet Scars.

And the way this story ended? Yeah, that’s how I like ’em.

Ash-Tree Spell To Break Your Heart

Author: Tessa Gratton
Genre: Old School Fantasy
Source The Curiosities (Amazon & Goodreads)

The rose petals that were my lips fell off my wax face and trembled in the air as they sank to the stone floor.”

How could you not want to read a story as beautifully written as that? This is, I think, my favorite story in the Curiosities collection. It’s short, gorgeous, unique, and heartbreaking in a way. Everything that I look for in a good story. I really ca’t say much more about it without ruin it. Just imagine this: a girl’s built by a magician to kill another magician. The girl doesn’t want to, but can she rebel against what she was created for? Or is love not enough?


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Freelance Editor at Wild Things Editing
I'm a designer, a freelance editor, an intern for Bree Ogden at Red Sofa Literary and, most importantly, a book blogger. Reading wise I’m a huge fan of anything creepy, weird, whimsical, or sinister — and zombies. Gotta love zombies. Oh, and I'm a YA writer represented by Prospect Agency.

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