I really thought that this story was going to have a much, much happier ending. I thought that Melanie would be able to find a new family, a world beyond her restraints. It didn’t end like that. And it didn’t make me think that she had a happily ever after. But I still completely loved this story. In a way, the not-so-happy ending made me love the story even more than I would have if Melanie got her happily-ever-after.
This was an easy and enjoyable short story. The teacher kind of reminded me of Umbridge (Harry Potter for those of you who aren’t quite educated on her evilness). This teacher was judgemental, power hungry and kind of a pain. Something that we’ve all had experience with at some point in our lives. And the judging looks from her peers… well, that was a little bit too familiar. Which, in all lead to a completely relatable, and kind of funny storyline that I was sad to see end.
I thought at the beginning of this story that it was nothing more than a nightmare. After all, we’ve all had that dream where we can’t make it to an exam, that everyone has turned on us and we just don’t quite fit in. Alright, I’ve never dreamed that I’m wearing some weirdly disgusting clothing… but I can imagine how that would fit into the whole school-nightmare theme that is obviously going on here.
I haven’t read many stories about voodoo or hoodoo (I know there’s a difference, I just don’t know what that difference is…). Yet, it’s something that fascinates me. Which of course immediately drew me into this short story. Especially when the lead female voice was so strong and obviously unhappy with her trainer. Unhappy with the atrocities that she is committing over and over again because the elderly woman is asking her to.
It was surprising to read a cop story in this collection. Mostly because it’s a collection that is surrounded by ideas of school and teaching. And well, cops aren’t normally what I would associate with such a topic. Having said that, it was still a thoroughly fun and exciting journey to be taken on. And probably a little more enjoyable because it was such a surprise…
I understand the pressure and stress of trying to get a ridiculously ambitious project done in a much shorter amount of time than desirable. After all, like the characters in this short story, I too am a PhD student. The fact that this tale of the pressures of being a postgrad student intertwines with murder, mayhem and magic just made me connect all the quicker with the characters and the storyline.
I both thoroughly enjoyed this story and felt kind of concerned by it. This is the first short story in a collection of short stories based on our experiences in school. And it has a shooter entering the school grounds. Granted, this was written and published quite a few years ago and may not have been such a hot issue… but considering the constant gunning down of children happening in America at the moment… it was more than a little concerning that the story starts with a tale about a gunman.
Julie is probably the cutest and sassiest of the Kate Daniels characters, which is saying something – most of the women in the Kate Daniels universe are sassy and have an attitude problem. Her cheekiness and contrary attitude translate beautifully into the narrative’s voice and left me giggling quietly throughout the story.