Titles and Authors:
The Prince and the Troll by Rainbow Rowell
Hazel and Gray by Nic Stone
The Princess Game by Soman Chainani
The Cleaners by Ken Liu
The Wickeds by Gayle Forman
Genre: fairy tale-ish
I love these short story collections that Amazon puts out. I’ve read the Forward collection (ratings: The Last Conversation 5 stars, Ark 4 stars, Summer Frost 4, Emergency Skin 3, You Have Arrived at Your Destination 3, Randomize 3). I loved the first Nameless collection by Dean Koontz and will dig into the second set shortly. I read the Hush collection (ratings: Treasure 3 stars, Slow Burner 3 stars, The Gift 4 stars, Snowflakes 4, Buried 4, Let Her Be 4). The Out of Line stories are all about women who don’t/won’t fit into a box (ratings: This Telling 4 stars, Graceful Burdens 4 stars, Sweet Virginia 5, The Contractors 4, Halfway to Free 5, Bear Witness 4, Shine, Pamela! Shine 4). This collection was really great. And I’m currently reading the Black Stars collection.
From Goodreads: The Prince and the Troll: It’s fate when a man accidentally drops his phone off the bridge. It’s fortune when it’s retrieved by a friendly shape sloshing in the muck underneath. From that day forward, as they share a coffee every morning, an unlikely friendship blooms. Considering the reality for the man above, where life seems perfect, and that of the sharp-witted creature below, how forever after can a happy ending be?
Hazel and Gray: It’s bad enough that Hazel and Gray have defied the demands of Hazel’s foul stepfather. The Monster has forbidden their romance. Now they’ve awakened in the forest, phones dead, hours past curfew. But not far away is a grand estate in the middle of nowhere. The door is open. In this short story about choosing your own path, the fury of the Monster that awaits them back home may be nothing compared to what lies ahead.
The Princess Game: The victims are the most popular girls in school, each murdered and arranged in a grim fairy-tale tableau. To find the killer, rookie detective Callum Pederson has gone undercover where the Princes hold court. He’s found enough secrets among the bros to bring them in for questioning—but he could very well get lost in the games the Princes play.
The Wickeds: Envious queen? Evil stepmother? Kidnapping hag? Elsinora, Gwendolyn, and Marguerite are through with warts-and-all tabloids, ugly lies, and the three ungrateful brats who pitted them against each other and the world. But maybe there’s more to the stories than even the Wickeds know. Is it time to finally get revenge? After all, they’re due for a happily-enough-ever-after. Even if they have to write it themselves.
The Cleaners: Gui is a professional cleaner at A Fresh Start, scrubbing away the unpleasant layers of memory that build up on the personal objects of his customers. Memory-blind himself, he can’t feel those wounds. Clara can, and she prefers them irretrievable. Until her sister, Beatrice, ultrasensitive to memory, raises one that could change Clara’s mind. For Gui, the past is gone. For Clara and Beatrice, deciding what to remember reaches to the heart of their shared history.
I loved The Cleaners. Hands down the best of the bunch for me. The Wickeds was my least favorite. It was just a little too happily ever after for me. The rest were all four stars, and I really enjoyed them. You could breeze through this collection in a day for sure. Most took me less than 30 minutes to read. If you have Prime and a Kindle (or the app) don’t miss these stories.