Sonora Taylor is one of the authors I had the pleasure of meeting at Scares That Care weekend this year. Soon afterward, she was gracious enough to send me a copy of her new collection, Little Paranoias: Stories, in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed many aspects of this book. Let’s start with that striking cover, and the artwork on the title page– both caught my eye and drew me in from the beginning. Little Paranoias is a collection that includes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. I really liked how these different formats were interspersed throughout the book.
There were a couple of flash fiction pieces that stood out for me, as they really packed a punch within just 2-3 pages of writing. I loved that several of these stories had rather unexpected or shocking endings.
I have a pattern of selecting my “Top 5” stories from any collection I read, so let me tell you which ones struck a chord with me:
Weary Bones– The first short story in this collection, which left me feeling a bit melancholy (in a good way, as I’m often dwell in this emotion), and made me tear up a bit. This story stuck in my mind all the way through the end of the collection. I thought that this was a beautifully haunting story.
Never Walk Alone– a piece of flash fiction with a surprise ending. Enjoyed this one!
Cranberry– I related a bit to the character’s pain, and enjoyed the themes in this story.
Hearts Are Just “Likes”– In our social media-obsessed age, this one was relatable, and I loved that it’s a modern re-telling of “A Tell-Tale Heart”.
Seed– Love the mix of creeping dread, and the themes of loneliness and longing for connection as the apocalypse is looming. I can also appreciate a bit of lust mixed in with my horror, so I enjoyed that aspect of the story as well (honorable mention to “Salt” for some similar moments). This story and Weary Bones were great bookends to the collection (with a poem prior to the first story and following the last).
I’m so glad that I picked up a copy of Sonora’s novel Without Condition, as I’m looking forward to reading that one next, and I’m excited to see what she writes in the future!