We Are Wolves: An Anthology compiled by Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower, and Cynthia Pelayo is an absolutely horrifying and gut-wrenching collection of tales that cover a broad range of topics. But what ties them all together is the power of women who have been pushed too far for too long and what they will do to rise up.
This collection will make you want to hug the special women in your lives extra tight the next time you see them. Post-COVID of course! I cannot wait to see my grandma and my mom (in the photo above!) when it’s safe to do so again.
Proceeds from the sale of this collection will be donated to causes that help survivors of abuse and assault.
Abuse, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse and other harm to children, self-harm, child death, rape, and more.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on We Are Wolves: An Anthology compiled by Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower, and Cynthia Pelayo
Per usual with collections like this, I have added my quick thoughts about each story or poem. In some sections, I have pulled some my favorite lines from the story. Those passages will appear in italics.
Forward by Gemma Amor
This forward is the single most incredible forward I have ever come across. It was honest, it was brutal, it gave readers a heads up with content warnings, and it was also a warrior cry.
Our capacity to minimize the severity of Bad Things is limitless, it seems. I wonder where that comes from, that instinctive need to gloss over the terror or the hurt, to pull up the smile-curtains tight across our faces and upon questioning, lie, endlessly lie: ‘I’m fine!’ We say, over and over, but many of us aren’t.
The Black Wall Paper by Cynthia Pelayo – 5 Stars
Oh my gosh. I related to how this woman felt so much at the beginning. I totally feel the push to always be productive, to do more, to BE more. I loved how this story was set up with the quick little bursts that hinted that all was not well here. The ending was quite a shock.
Everything and everyone demanding more of time than I could ever provide. I was always needed. By someone. By something. And I was very tired.
Though Your Heart is Breaking by Laurel Hightower – 5 Stars
HOLY. What a tale! Anyone who has ever had someone tell them to smile… this one will resonate with you. I absolutely loved the set up and pacing of this one! Such an awesome ending too!
Angel by Gemma Amour – 5 Stars
This one is brutally heartbreaking! My gosh, I can’t even imagine being sent on calls where children are in danger, let alone to this extent.
Trouble With Fate by Sarah Read – 3 Stars
Fate is certainly a fickle thing!
A Key For Any Lock by S.H. Cooper – 5 Stars
It’s so upsetting to see the victim blaming and nastiness that random people spew after sexual assaults. I just can’t wrap my head around it. But this tale… what a beautifully poetic kind of revenge.
The Curse of She, Part 6: The Final Girlfriend by Hailey Piper – 5 Stars
What would happen if film character archetypes could cross decade and jump films? I loved this story and how unique it was! It also made me really sad to see the jealousy and loneliness.
The Mutation of Almost Beautiful Things by Sara Tantlinger – 3 Stars
This was intense!
By the Throat by J. Danielle Dorn – 4 Stars
Yikes! What a tale! And so refreshing for a character that’s potentially in danger to LISTEN and get out of there.
Where A Witch Goes When She Burns by Eve Harms – 4 Stars
Woah, I was not expecting where this one ended up!
Extra Weight by Laurel Hightower – 5/5
Another incredibly powerful tale. I loved how this was written in a format of short bursts of narrative that almost flowed like poetry.
And this line, oofh. Such a gut punch.
She knows now that she is the only thing standing between her students and the possibility of some thing very bad. Today it is disease, but yesterday it was bullets.
The Parrot by Sonora Taylor – 5 Stars
I loved the smart home element of this one! And phew what a nasty man Charles is!
The Silence of Sarah Cross by Beverley Lee – 4 Stars
Yessss! I love the ending of this one. A story that began so proper sure took a fun turn!
Lobster Trap by V. Castro – 4 Stars
I loved the opening of this one with the beautiful description of the coastline and the ocean. It made me so homesick! But then the tale took a turn from peace and beauty to terror!
Doll House by Red Lagoe – 5 Stars
Woah, this one was brutal and so sad. This poor girl… I loved this one! It made me want to go watch House of Wax again!
Ruthie’s Garden by Cassie Daley – 5 Stars
I love how this tale was laid out; starting in the present, flashing back to provide context, then finishing up not by actually taking action, but leading the reader to know exactly what is about to happen. Go Ruthie!
There was nothing that could be done well enough or throughly enough to turn her husband into a better man, and it wasn’t her responsibility to keep trying. She could see that now.
Playing with Gods and Dolls by Erin Al-Mehairi – 3 Stars
Woah! This one was heartbreaking and filled with horrific scenes of a brutal childhood, but what a tale! I loved the ending!
Room Seven by Gemma Amor – 4 Stars
Water Babies by Sadie Hartmann – 3 Stars
That scene by the cross!! So unsettling.
Woman. Mother. Goddess. Death. by Lily’s George – 5 Stars
My goodness. This was horrific and brutal. While my heart broke for this family, I counselor help but want to jump up and cheer as we watched our main character make her way toward her goal.
Poke, Stir, Flesh, Bone by Amanda McHugh – 5 Stars
Brutal! What a pack!
Colors can’t be hidden, but people can blind themselves to what they don’t want to see. Choice is a powerful thing.
A Marriage of Dust and Blood by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason – 4 Stars
Yikes, what an angry man! I loved the setting and the haunting elements of this one!
Welcome Home by Jessica Guess – 4 Stars
I loved tales like this, when you can tell something is up, but you don’t know for sure until it’s all laid out.
The Body You Loved by Gemma Amor – 4 Stars
What a wonderful poem to end this collection.
My Final Thoughts on We Are Wolves
Reading this collection was such a trip! It was a total rollercoaster of emotions. So many of these stories had my blood boiling, while others had me feeling like I could jump up and cheer.
I highly recommend picking this one up!
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Thanks for reading!