A Single Drop of Perfect & Other Stories by Jesskah Hope Stenson
Publisher: Excalibur Press NI
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (45 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
A Single Drop Of Perfect
Carla’s on the cusp of adulthood. As her final weeks in the family home draw to a close she struggles to keep a grip on her true self. With her boyfriend hundreds of miles away, Carla battles with loneliness, finding comfort in unexpected places and experiencing moments of perfection that can never be replicated.
What Isla Did
Isla was young, brave and creative. She is remembered as a golden girl and their beloved daughter, but no one can be perfect.
The Lemon And The Lake
June and Max are exploring the gorgeous countryside of Granada. However, where there’s perfection, there’s horror.
Helen’s new husband Steven brings his dog Wilf into the family home. When Helen’s eight year old daughter Maisie finds herself in hospital, suffering from a vicious dog attack, Steven has a lot to answer for. Moral and ethical questions arise when Helen is determined to have Wilf put down in spite of Steven’s desire to keep is beloved pet alive.
The Edge Of A Smile
Walking home at night, university student Heidi is accompanied by a stranger named Bryony. Both of them have secrets which will destroy the other.
Everything can change in a moment.
In “A Single Drop of Perfect”, what I liked about Carla the most was how easy she was to get to know. She shared all of her thoughts and feelings freely, so I felt like I’d learned almost everything there was to know about her by the time her adventures ended. With that being said, I would have liked to see more time spent on her love interest. I never felt like I got to know him well at all, and that made it hard for me to decide if I wanted them to end up together.
In “What Isla Did,” a family faced a series of bizarre events after their oldest daughter, Isla, died suddenly. The plot gave the audience a lot of space to come up with our own theories about what was going on with these characters because of how young the narrator, Isla’s sister, was when everything happened and how subtle some of the hints were. I appreciated the fact that I was free to make my own conclusions based on how I interpreted certain scenes. That was a great choice on the author’s part. It made the ending even more powerful than it would have been otherwise.
June and Kyle explore a mysterious lemon grove in “The Lemon & The Lake.” The descriptions of the setting were absolutely beautiful, but I had trouble figuring out what was going on with the plot. There were so many unanswered questions about it that I was never sure if my interpretation was actually the correct one. It would have been helpful to have more hints about what June and Kyle were experiencing as I did like the characters and setting quite a bit.
A young girl was seriously injured by a family pet in “Wounds.” Helen, the girl’s mother, immediately decided to protect her daughter from ever being bitten by that dog again. The rest of the details were revealed later on in the storyline. Even though I was eager to know more, I enjoyed slowly discovering them because it gave me many opportunities to think of my own explanations for why the girl was injured and what her mother would do next.
“The Edge of a Smile” followed Heidi on a cold and uncomfortable walk home with a girl she’d just met. While I very quickly had a good idea of why their walk home was so awkward, I was still curious to know if my guess was correct. Seeing how everything unfolded was fascinating because of how much foreshadowing the author used. Ms. Stenson transformed what should have been an innocuous walk home into something that made me shiver.
A Single Drop of Perfect & Other Stories should be read by anyone who likes having a lot of chances to come up with their own theories about what really happened in a scene.