by Talia Haven
This is very short, maybe eight pages, so I can't say much without spoiling, like, everything.
It's told from the point of a view of a child. the innocence and simplicity of the speech plays a dual role in both keeping the whole thing from being too heavy and also, somehow, make the events that lead to the story seem really, really heartbreaking.
However, it feels a bit like Haven is wrestling with how deep into the darkness she wants to go with it. Like a movie that's rated PG-13 when it really ought to be R, I tend not to like it when a story's theme is watered down to avoid being offensive, or whatever. But by the grace of brevity, it kind of works here. Though, I think it's pretty clear that she primarily writes children's books.
I do wish she had gone into more detail on some things. Like the puppies. Okay, mostly just the puppies, actually. But I love the playground and how she played with the capriciousness of children to keep the reader uncertain in the beginning.
I'm not, like, a huge fan of the cover. If the story had not been offered to me, I honestly don't think I would have picked it up on my own.
All in all, it's a short read and good if you maybe don't want to be happy for the rest of the day.
*Received a free review copy