Review: Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good
Edited by Octavia Cade
Publisher:Upper Rubber Boot Books
Publication date: March 26, 2019
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good is a horror anthology of dark fiction and darker appetites, edited by Octavia Cade. Containing 22 stories of “bad” women, and “good” women who just haven’t been caught yet, it features 22 fearless writers who identify as female, non-binary, or a marginalized sex or gender identity. It’s the third in the Women Up To No Good series, and is forthcoming at the end of 2018.
When I was offered the opportunity to read and review this anthology, I was quite excited by the premise of the collection of short stories. There are twenty-two stories in this collection and they each made an impression on me. Itried to list my favorites and the list ended up including most of the stories - for varying reasons. The stories include dark fairy tales, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and a few stories I'm not sure how to categorize.
I find that short story collections take me longer to read and longer to review -- and this particular book even more so. I found that after each story I had to put the book aside so that I could process and ponder what I had just read. Even after a few weeks, I find my mind wandering back to an idea, a character, a situation from the stories and I just sit and think. Sometimes its because it was shocking, sometimes because the situation was heart-breaking, other times its the particular twist of a well-known idea or theme that strikes me. There wasn't a single story that I hated -- and most I really liked. Sharp & Sugar Tooth is definitely a book that I am recommending to my friends - it is a very worthwhile read.
It is hard to pick favorites, but some of the stories that really stick with me are:
"Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong. - this is such an amazing story - It is a dark supernatural/horror tale that really sticks with me. Loved it.
"A Lie You Give, and Thus I Take" by Damien Angelica Walters - a different twist on fairy tales. It has layers to the tale - could be about many things, but seems to be a view of abuse told through the words of fairy tales - and I would say it is true to the real purpose of fairy tales.
"A Fish Tale" by Sabrina Vourvoulias - a fish tale -- a great story. This is one that I will read again for sure.
"Strong Meat" by A. R. Henle - such a thought provoking story. I can't say much or risk giving too much away.
"Alice Underground" by Rachael Sterling. Alice in Wonderland - but out of Wonderland - real? mental illness? So good!
"The Lily and the Horn" by Catherynne M. Valente - a very good tale.
"A Year Without the Taste of Meat" by Erin Horakova - Science Fiction story that takes on different species/cultures. I really liked this one.
Honestly, I could list every story in this collection and tell you something that made an impression on me. However, I would be giving too much away -- these stories deserve to be discovered. Go read Sharp & Sugar Tooth - you won't be disappointed!
Publisher/book website: http://www.upperrubberboot.com/sharp-sugar-tooth/