Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Short Stories

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, which the theme for today is our favourite short stories/novellas. Onto the post!


Night at the Frost Fair– this is by Emma Carroll, so obviously I love it and think it’s a brilliant opening to the super lovely MG anthology, themed around winter. It’s about a girl called Maya, whose grandmother is about to go into a nursing home, as she is pulled into an adventure in the past at a frost fair. The writing is brilliant, I love the plot, and I’d have read a full book about this world and these characters.

Casse-Noisette – this is set in Russia, and it’s about the first performance of the Nutcracker, and a girl called Stana who is to dance in it. I found Stana likeable and relatable, adired the love for ballet that shines throughout it and loved the ending. Katherine Woodfine’s writing is also divine, which is an added bonus.

The Snow Dragon– this is the final story of this anthology, written by its curator Abi Elphinstone, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s about a girl called Phoebe who lives ina horrible orphanage, and the story of her meeting a snow dragon on Christmas Eve. Phoebe is so brave, the snow dragon and dancing dog Herbie are delights and add such joy to Phoebe’s rather dark life and the ending was indeed magical.


Marionette Girl– this is by one of the new voices this anthology introduced, Aisha Bushby, and it was an incredibly moving opening. We spend a weekend with Amani, who has OCD, as things around her are changing. It made me cry more than once, and I also loved the Harry Potter references throughout. I’m desperate to read Aisha’s upcoming debut novel, which is out in May next year.

Hackney Moon– this is about a love story between two girls, Esther and Alesha, and I thought it was fabulous. The unusual narration style was so engaging and clever, and I really enjoyed the romance and was impressed that it didn’t feel like instalove despite it being a short story. I’d really like to read one of Tanya’s novels


The Otter Path- this is another story by Emma Carroll (can you tell I love her writing?) and it’s about a girl as land girls come to work on her family’s farm, and her mission to save otters living nearby. It was fascinating to learn more about land girls and what they did, Emma’s writing was as exquisite as ever and I liked the message the story portrays that people aren’t always the way they initially seem.


The Mystery of Room 12- the Murder Most Unladylike series is one of my favourites, and Robin Stevens’s short story for this anthology is superb. It’s the story ofJamie, who lives in the hotel his father runs, and what happens when a woman checks in one night when he’s there alone, but is gone without a single trace the next morning. Jamie was such a likeable character, he has an excellent dog and the mystery is well plotted and satisfying.

The Mystery of the Pineapple Plot- Helen Moss is one of my favourite mystery writers too, and this one is her first set in a historical setting, in contrast to the Mystery of Room 12 being Robin’s first work set in the present day. It’s set in a Georgian country house and is about the family servant and youngest daughter working out who poisoned the pineapple served at dinner. I loved Quality Fruit, Catherine and their friendship, learning about such a specific element of Georgian culture, and of course the excellent, surprising conclusion to the mystery itself.


The Case of the Blue Violet– I have a feeling this may not be my favourite Murder Most Unladylike mini mystery once I’ve read the Case of the Missing Treasure, because that sounds incredible, but it’s my favourite of the five included in the Cream Buns and Crime collection (which also features other articles and features related to the series). I think the mystery is really interesting and well developed, especially considering the short page count, and it was SO fun to see things from Daisy’s point of view. She’s so delightfully confident and clever, and absolutely knows it too!


Chocolates and Flowers- I can’t really remember a huge deal about this as I read Life is Sweet years ago, but it’s about Alfie planning a special Valentine’s day surprise for hia girlfriend Summer. They’re by far my favourite couple of the series, mainly because I think Alfie is adorable and thoughtful and perfect for Summer, whose desperation for perfection causes her to develop an eating disorder, so it was natural it was my favourite of this collection.

What are your favourite short stories? Are you a fan of any I’ve mentioned, or the authors who write them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!

Amy x


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Short Stories”

  1. Some great choices here! Mystery and Mayhem has such neat and well-planned plots. ‘Iridescent Adolescent’ was a stand-out for me in A Change Is Gonna Come, but ‘Hackney Moon’ was up there too. I really like seeing short stories in YA – I’d like to see even more collections!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mystery and Mayhem is so underrated; I loved it! I really enjoyed Iridescent Adolescent too, it was so interesting and unusual ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ
      I’d love to see more anthologies too!


  2. I love the sound of The Snow Dragon, and maybe Flora would like it too. My go-to authors for short stories are Saki, Roald Dahl and Oscar Wilde. I can re-read them quite happily and usually find new things I hadn’t noticed or remember things that made me smile. xx

    Lisa |


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