A scary short story, Majanka Verstraete’s The Crossroads begins with Angela’s shock at finding her boyfriend cheating with her ex-BFF. The language is a little awkward at times, but the words and point of view feel authentically young. Not “one of those timid, socially-awkward girls who did everything their boyfriends told them to,” Angela makes a strong female protagonist, willing to make demands and set rules, but young enough for foolish mistakes and careless trust.
A rapid run through past events leads to Angela walking home alone in the dark, her biggest concern the discomfort of her shoes. Based on popular urban legend, this tale soon gives the hitchhiker more important things to think about, and the author reveals a pleasing sense of timing in both danger and resolution. A short, slightly awkward, horror story with a satisfying twist, this makes for a fun read over supper, with wild wind blowing and teenagers shouting faraway as their cars speed by.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to get a free ecopy of this story and enjoyed it enough to review it.
(review of free book)