Renee Marie Philomena Therese Kray’s collection of short stories, “Think Again” Kray’s first collection of short stories were wonderfully unique, mysterious, and playful. She mixed realism, magic, and mystery flawlessly to create a “Tim Burton” like collection of stories. Every story had me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened next.
“First Love” is a flash fiction piece tells the story of a woman’s love for the young man she meets at the coffee shop. However, the love she feels for this man is different from the average love story, and Kray uses this twist to amp up the emotion in the piece.
“The Ghost in the Walls” is the tale of a haunted house and the past events that lead to its ghostly fame. It’s easy to get absorbed in the tale, just as young James does. Kray blends the sense of lightheartedness with eerie suspense in this fantastic urban legend.
“Love is Blind” twists what you would expect completely on its head. A tale of infatuation and love that is not at all what it seems. Kray plays with your mind in this piece, and just when you think you have it figured out, she gives another twist!
“Employee of the Month” follows a greedy store owner and the demise of his store after his best friend doesn’t show up for work. This was by far one of the most confusing stories in the collection. While others may be easy for some readers to figure out, this one is a mystery until the very end.
“Dreams for Maria” is tragic and heartbreaking. This flash fiction tells the story of a mother, her daughter, and the dreams of owning a pet. Be warned, just when you think a happy ending is coming, Kray makes you “think again”, and instead subjects you to a much different range of emotions.
“The Dollhouse” is a perfect example of having a moral. Having this story directly after “Dreams for Maria” was a brilliant choice. The symbolism weaved through the tale is phenomenal and teaches a wonderful lesson about realizing what you’ve got, and not taking anything for granted.
“Faerie” is probably the weakest of the pieces, but it is not at all bad. This flash fiction describes human nature, the magic that people carry within them, and how every simple action can affect another person. Though it can be built upon, the structure of this story is great.
“Ring Around” is, in my opinion, Kray’s strongest piece. Having it as the final story was a great choice. The story follows a simple ring, and how its presence changes the lives of many people as it gets passed around from person to person. Once again, Kray mixes the fantastic with real life perfectly.
Overall, Kray’s first ever collection of short stories is a strong piece of work in itself, and I would highly recommend this to my friends and family to read. I would suggest this book for ages 13+, due to some mild language in some of the stories.