Bearly Breathing by Kit Tunstall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I have this love-hate relationship with short stories. Either I love them or I hate them. In fact, I spent a lot of my earlier years hating them. I would avoid them like the plague, believing I would never find one I enjoyed. When I finally found one I did enjoy, I was shocked. Finding multiple I enjoyed was a real jolt to the system. I quickly realised, however, that I needed certain things to enjoy short stories. There is a very fine line between short stories I enjoy and those I do not enjoy – it can be just a small thing that decides which side of the line a short story falls upon.
Bearly Breathing, unfortunately, falls upon the side of the line where I didn’t really enjoy it. There was the potential there – it involves some of my favourite things in short stories: a shifter and his mate, a couple stuck in the wilderness, and a lot of lust – but it failed to deliver me the story I had hoped to receive.
For me, this felt more like a collection of scenes rather than a story with a start and an end. Although there was a clear start and end to the story, I feel as though the scenes failed to include enough to create an entire story. There was a lot of information dumping rather than showing how things were playing out. We were told our heroine’s backstory, we were told the details of the shifter world, and we have a small bit of drama at the very end of the story to make it seem as though the details were merged together to create something. However, it didn’t feel as though anything happened. It felt like elements of a larger – more interesting – story were plucked and thrown into this little snippet.
In other words, I had wanted more. There was the potential for enjoyment, but as a whole I failed to reach the point where I was truly enjoying myself. A few moments made me think it was possible – moments that have me believing this is closing in on being a two-point-five star read – but the collective wasn’t enough to win me over.
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