I noticed it. I almost thought I was the one in the wrong. I'm not sure if that demonstrates the writing is powerful, or how easily enchantment can be broken, or... what.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS - BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MUCH TO SAY THAT WILL SPOILER - BUT I WOULD SUGGEST READING IT FIRST AT
Falling Leaves by Liz Argall
This is really close to having no SFFH element at all. If you challenged me I'd have to admit that I'm assuming the refugee situation isn't a description in another country of a situation that already exists. It could.
It's a story about two girls who are what would once have been called 'troubled'. One is suicidal, the other cuts, and the story is a dark one of finding a friendship that helps, or maybe that only just about holds the despair at bay. Well written and convincing -- all too convincing -- it takes me from a) to e) but don't go looking for too much of a beginning, middle, and end... it's more of a last month, this month, and next month.
I... need a word that means I appreciated the story and engaged with it but isn't 'liked'... to like this is the same as 'liking' someone giving terrible climate change figures on twitter.
It worked for me but I'm not sure it WORKED as well for me as it might well for others.
It's a hard, harrowing story where you don't feel either girl is going to make adulthood with only the traumas they've already gathered.
And I think that it suffers from being in a string of readable to excellent stories that are all hopeful endings at best, and mostly more sad than hopeful. I fell a little like yelling at the editors that there are good stories with brighter endings.
There have to be, don't there? I've read them in the past so surely there must be now...
Contrast is a thing in art. A good thing very often.