The Awakening & Other Stories - Emma Meade I received this e-book via Read It & Reap feature at Shut Up & Read Goodreads group. I think this is the first short story collection that I’ve read and I’m glad to say I discovered the appeal of anthologies. Here’s my opinion on each story:

Ghost Story - Two friends, Jessica and Michelle go to abandoned house, after Jessica’s grandma warned them not to go. This house is known for it’s ghost, who dwells on the window...and Jessica finds him. This was one of the creepiest stories in this collection. I liked it very much, but I found the ending a bit too rushed. 4/5

The Awakening - A story about girl Sabrina who is dying and is lost in another girl’s dream. This was a haunting story, with only thin line between reality and dreams. 4/5

End of the Line - My favorite. Amazing story about depression, chilling and sad. Cassie wants to die and stands on the tracks waiting for the train. Instead of an instant death, she finds herself on a “Death Train” along with it’s other passengers. I have no words to express how much I loved this story. It was heartbreaking to this point that I cried. 5/5

Milsa Loris - Milsa Loris is a city that’s been ravaged by war and death. Upcoming annual festivities will bring it’s people back together even if for one night only to offer some hope for better times. But King’s witch Noraleen wants to save them all. And for that, she brewed up a special potion. I loved the idea behind this story. It also had a touch of high fantasy in it, which I loved. It would be great to see this story set in a novel, I would happily read more about Milsa Loris and it’s inhabitants. 5/5

The Old Vampire - Hailey has been a fan of paranormal creatures from her childhood to an old age. She daydreams about ghosts, vampires and monsters to the point where she finds herself old and alone. And then finally He comes. But it's a bit late for Hailey. This was a really depressing story. It chilled me to the bone. 3/5

The Knocking - Teenager Alison is looking after her depressed grandfather Paddy. He doesn’t care much for the world anymore, only waits for his end. Somebody’s knocking at the door but Alison doesn’t see anyone, only Paddy seems to know who it is. I liked this story, but disliked the cliffhanger at the end. 3/5

The Boy on the Beach - Grandmother warned Kate not to listen to the boy in the sea with green eyes. Over the years Kate forgot about her gradma’s warning and returns to the beach. He tricks her just like grandma knew he would. I liked this one and I wouldn’t mind reading more about it. 3/5

Snowglobes - Cabin works at his cabin and he collects all kinds of snowglobes. Then a young couple arrives for vacation, trying to mend their relationship. Cabin will make sure their love never end... The end took me by surprise and kind of freaked me out. It was really scary. 4/5

The main strength these stories have over normal-length novels is the constant anticipation what’s going to happen next. You know the story will end in only few pages, so something big can occur at any moment. The main character could very easily die, which you know in novels can’t happen. When you add paranormal elements in this constant uneasiness, you can have intense and scary experience. Short stories have a difficult task to make readers feel for the characters in only few pages. I think Emma Meade managed to accomplish this. When an author makes me care for a character to this point that I cry a few tears - in a short story! - I know I’ll be reading more of his/her books. I think Meade is a very talented author with that amazing power to break your heart.

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