Short stories seem to be on my radar lately. To be honest, they are something that I tend to avoid when I can because they don’t leave me with the same satisfaction that a 300+ pager can. But, I love Theresa Braun and when she asked me to review a short story collection she was involved in I couldn’t say no. Lucky for me because this collection might just have changed my mind about short stories.
Hardened Hearts was edited by Eddie Generous and includes stories from John Boden, Somer Canon, Calvin Demmer and Theresa Braun among others. There is a total of 17 different stories about difficult love, broken hearts, lost hope and discarded truths, to name a few themes. The genres range from horror to science fiction, fantasy and beyond.
What I loved so much about this collection was that, despite the different lengths of the stories and the different writing styles of the authors, it blended together beautifully. I also loved the variety of genres, with the more supernatural based stories coming out the top of my list (Heirloom being my favourite). I have to admit though that some stories just went over my head. These stories were deeper than your average love story. But, while I didn’t really get the full meaning behind them, I appreciated how clever those authors was to produce something so wonderful in such little space.
Some of the other stories I really enjoyed were stories on love that hurts (dealing with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s), love as horror and the things we do for love, and how being lost as a person can lead us to bad love/relationships.
Here is the full list of stories:
It Breaks My Heart to Watch You Rot by Somer Canon
What is Love? by Calvin Demmer
Heirloom by Theresa Braun
The Recluse by John Boden
40 Ways to Leave Your Monster Lover by Gwendolyn Kiste
Dog Tired by Eddie Generous
The Pink Balloon by Tom Deady
It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To by J.L. Knight
Burning Samantha by Scott Hallam
Consumed by Madhvi Ramani
Class of 2000 by Robert Dean
Learning to Love by Jennifer Williams
Brothers by Leo X. Robertson
Porcelain Skin by Laura Blackwell
The Heart of the Orchard by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Meeting the Parents by Sarah L. Johnson
Matchmaker by Meg Elison
Overall, I enjoyed this collection so much. I laughed, I cried and my brain worked in overtime. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for something similar in the future.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.