Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this anthology. I decided to read one a day and this made the experience really fun, so I would definitely recommend reading it that way. This book is a collection of short stories by various young adult authors. There is commentary at the end of each story by a BookTuber that gave the author a prompt. The prompts all have something to do with villains.
Rebecca is a strange yet fascinating and surprising read. I expected less from it, but was pleased with the quality of writing and plot that the novel gave me. It is a story about a young, unnamed girl who unexpectedly marries a wealthy older man. She arrives at his house and is confronted by the impact that his dead wife has had on the employees of the Manderley mansion.
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Emily Duran is the only survivor of a plane crash that left her stranded in the Amazon jungle. Along with five other of her classmates, she spent her days struggling against the harsh conditions and dealing with their different views on how to survive. In their unique predicament, a new way of living is discovered filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. When Emily is rescued, she must explain to everyone why she is the last left alive.
I don't read short stories very often, but when I do they often leave an impactful message with me. Short stories are very simple yet creative, and are a very useful form of practice for writers. If you ever have an idea for a novel, but don't want to write it yet, then you can test it out as a short story and see if it works out for you.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera follows Mateo and Rufus as they find out that they both only have one day left to live. After receiving a call from Death-Cast, they seek each other out through the Last Friend app and have one last day of adventure.
Hush Little Baby by Joanna Barnard follows three people part of the same family: Sally, Richard and Martha. After Sally and Richard's baby boy, Oliver, breaks his arm, doctors believe it has to have been caused by one of the family members. Secrets from the mother, father and sister quickly come out.