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Starlight

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4.65  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  56 reviews
From bestselling author of Little Birds, Hannah Lee Kidder's Starlight touches your heart before taking a bite with twelve pitch-dark fantasy, horror, and contemporary short stories. ...more
Paperback, 102 pages
Published October 11th 2020 by Hannah Lee Kidder
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Average rating 4.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  101 ratings  ·  56 reviews


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Gloria Russell
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Hannah Lee Kidder balances frightening scenes with genuine human moments to create a page-turning, gut-wrenching status quo that keeps you locked in from page one. There's a lot more experimentation with genre here than in Little Birds, but the overall themes keep the pieces cohesive, and playing with genre allows HLK to flex her writing muscles and show off her skills. Overall, this collection is well-rounded and packed wit
...more
Kimberly Swartz
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, 2020-books
I was given an ARC for an honest review.

I loved every story in this book. I don't know much about short stories but I know this was amazing.

My only experience with short stories was last summer when I read twenty of them for my AP English class and a few of these stories have that feel. They are well written and could be used an AP class for analysis.

As I read, I was able to understand the themes and the characterization that pulled me into each story. Not once did I falter with misunderstandin
...more
Mis Hashmi
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
* I received an advance reader's copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

I don't usually read short stories, but when I do, I hope to read something like THIS. I didn't expect to fall in love so strongly with Hannah's writing, but boy did I absolutely love it. If you're into dark themes and short stories, you are in for a treat.
Starlight was not just a read, it was an experience, and I enjoyed every moment of it. There are a couple of stories in there that had me holding my breath,
...more
Sam Dowd
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book made me sob. Like scrunch up your face, make weird noises, can't see the page, sob. I don't remember the last book that's made me do that. These stories really are special. Kidder is one of my favorite authors right now. ...more
Aria
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

***PLEASE look at the end of this review for a list of trigger/content warnings for each story that needs them! Keep yourselves safe while reading***

Hannah Lee Kidder is truly a master of the written word. It's so clear how much care has gone into crafting each of these stories, and that's something wonderful to see and to experience while reading.

While of course some stories stood out to me more than others ("Sliced," "The Swamp W
...more
Charles
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
*I was given an ARC for an honest review and I'm late as heck*

Supernatural stories such as these rarely grab me and, though I don't love them all, Hannah was put together a very intriguing collection of stories (and creatures) here.

Apologies for the cliche, but she has a way with words. Not every analogy landed for me, but her artful prose made the settings and descriptions come off the page in a way poetry typically elicits.

I've only read a handful of short story collections and the variety of
...more
Erin Clements
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Happy Pub Day to this gorgeous little collection of stories! I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Actual rating: 4.8/5 stars.

Starlight is a beautiful collection of supernatural/light horror stories, and I gave it a 4.8/5 because while I liked nearly all of the stories, there were some that just didn't grip me. My favorites in the collection were "The Swamp Witch," "Margrove," "Starlit Shadows," "White Rabbit," and "Passing Ghosts."

As a writer, Hannah packs so much
...more
Zenita Dee
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
Now, I have read Hannah's first collection of short stories and thoroughly enjoyed them. I don't often pay attention to prose, but when it's this good, I have to comment on it.

Now the difference between Starlight and Little Birds is there's a lot more darkness in the tone. It took me a moment to remember that after reading the third story that mentions blood and/or death.

When it comes out I do recommend getting a physical copy as the book comes with some beautiful artwork.

Please stay tuned to my
...more
Brodie Foster
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hannah has this incredible ability to end her stories with such a gut punch that I have to immediately reread the piece even though I'm so excited to get to the next one. I loved Little Birds but this dip into the horror genre just really showcases her talent.

My favorite piece is a toss up between Starlit Shadows and Passing Ghosts. I just really connected with the protagonists and their defining emotion. I was so tense and clenched during Starlit Shadows and Passing Ghosts had such a sweet mela
...more
Krystal Dean
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I believe I called this author's last book a roller coaster. Well, this one is more like a House of Mirrors. Each time you turn a page and think you're out, BAM, you run right into yourself again. Every story in this collection reflects the darkest parts of humanity and, in a beautiful blend, the brightest. It's a twisting journey through swamps, barely-lit city streets, and haunted houses that is definitely more than worth the tickets to get in! ...more
Erelah
Jun 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a delightfully dark short story collection. The last one was definitely my favorite. Kidder is excellent at crafting stories that leave you wanting more.
Digvi Shah
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“…she was like a rat in the way that you’d no idea it was there until it had eaten through your cookie tin and shat on every shelf of the pantry.”

I don’t typically read short stories, horror, or books in one sitting. Starlight by Hannah Lee Kidder is well worth the exception for all three. I received an advanced copy, in exchange for an honest review. And honestly? It’s pretty much amazing.

A collection of 12 short stories, Starlight is designed to unsettle you.

Kidder uses a combination of ima
...more
Jeff
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starlight is a dozen short stories perfectly placed to keep the reader engaged and eager to read just one more story.

You'll eagerly burn through short passages - most of which are so good you'll want to re-read them the moment you finish them - before working up to slightly longer tales, building up to the two longer pieces: Margrove in the middle, and Passing Ghosts at the end. I found myself reading it in two sittings, in exactly that fashion; reading up to and including Margrove first, then t
...more
T Berry
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Ow."

Is what I was tempted to leave as the only review, with 5 stars. But I should get a little more into it than that.

Where Little Birds: a collection of short stories is contemporary, and thus outside my usual taste, Starlight is much more in my wheelhouse for the supernatural aspects of the stories, and the spooky bits.
But Little Birds and Starlight are similar in that the stories in both will tug on your heartstrings.

I think my 3 favorite stories from Starlight are Swamp Witch (which had t
...more
Christian Chacon
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4 or 5 Stars - 12 Strong, Impactful Stories Told in a Short Amount of Space

I really enjoyed this book and I feel as if it is an improvement from her last book which I also really enjoyed. If you enjoy dark, dramatic, prose (which I really like), Starlight has a lot of that. Nearly halfway through, I felt the urge to take a break because of how unsettling one of the stories was. A story that was only a page long.

I also really appreciate how the longer stories build-up to a satisfying pay-off. One
...more
Marina
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in awe

I've read Little Birds before, and I thought that that was gonna be my favourite of the two. I was wrong.

Kidder's writing was always amazing, always good, but theres something about this one. Something awesome about it. The stories are spooky, and do have some elements of horror like ghosts and such, but Starlight is a suckerpunch the heart. Usually I'm stone cold about my feelings toward characters, but I'm dying inside. I can feel my heart shrivelling up, breaking. It's a pain I hav
...more
Cathy
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Starlight is an amazing collection of short stories. It has everything a book needs, exceptional writing, intriguing concepts and ideas, captivating stories that leave you room to think on your own and interpret them however you feel. I had high expectations since I waited so long for it to arrive (2,5 months, thanks Book Depository) but Hannah Lee Kidder delivered. I was chilled to the bone while reading it at the crack of dawn (a questionable choice, but would recommend). I couldn't even look ...more
Slaidey Valheim
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starlight was great, I'm glad I picked it up. As I didn't let my bias in liking Hannah Lee Kidder as a person influence my ratings on her last work, I was a little worried going into this one, but I am happy, surprised, and impressed!

Whatever hadn't worked for me in "Little Birds" is now on-point in Starlight. Where the former collection had felt like a jumble of genres/quality this one hit a consistent vibe of short horror.

I really enjoyed how refined each story felt in its writing. You can tel
...more
Nikki
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The FEELINGS

The joy! The sorrow! The emotional roller coaster of a one-page story!

Mostly I’m emotional over the palpable improvement between Hannah’s writing in this collection versus her previous collection. This isn’t a knock on Little Birds, which was good in its own right—Starlight is something special though. The heart and imagination and care in each story is beautiful.

Though I envy Hannah’s ability to say so much in so few works, I think she’s at her best in the longer works, where she ha
...more
Isobel
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Nabbed an e-copy because it was on sale for 99 cents, and I have seen her editing videos on Youtube, which made me curious about the author's writing. Overall, unfortunately, this collection was not for me. I think the majority of the short stories may be flash fiction, which I hadn't realized, and which, to be honest, don't often feel like a complete story to me. This may be my ignorance, but a lot of the stories felt more like a glimpse, or a character sketch, to me, than a story.

The story "Wh
...more
Rosalyn Briar
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

I loved every moment of Starlight! I thought the writing was fantastic. Each story was either delightfully creepy or emotionally moving.

I flew through the collection and plan to go back and reread all of the stories. My favorite was "Passing Ghosts" because it was so moving.

Sometimes, reading works by those who offer advice about writing can be a let down...but Starlight PROVES that Hannah Lee Kidder knows her craft! I highl
...more
July
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 stars.


A lovely short story collection without a single miss. Kidder manages the delicate balance of creating variety while maintaining a cohesive theme and mood and does it beautifully. The atmosphere Kidder creates with just a few words is just stunning.
It's a little sad, and a lot heartbreaking, and a little spooky, and a little hopeful, and so very very human. I won't claim I've already understood all the stories, especially some of the tiny ones, but they were engaging and beautifully cra
...more
William Pettersson
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(I received an ARC for free, although was not forced to review this book.)

Starlight contains a number of short stories, each of which does an amazing job of setting the scene and making you feel those shivers. The stories are not completely gruesome, but rather just twisted enough to make you re-think everything. The writing is impeccable, the descriptions eerily beautiful, and the dialogue just right. Definitely one for the coffee table, although make sure you have someone to hug if you are goi
...more
R.L. Davennor
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Starlight will keep you up at night, but not just because of it's spooky flavor. There's so much tragedy and hope masterfully woven into tales so well-crafted I couldn't tear my eyes away even when they were brimming with tears. The Swamp Witch and Margrove were my personal favorites, but even the shortest pieces of flash fiction left me thinking about them for hours, and sometimes days.

Hannah Lee Kidder is a master of her craft, and whether you came here to feel something or learn, you will fin
...more
Nancy Anne
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic spooky read

Hannah Lee Kidder is absolutely the master of written word. It's so exciting to see such a wonderfully written collection of spooky fiction. There is such a care to detail that is refreshing to read. 

I loved every story in this book. My favorites were “Margrove” and “Passing Ghosts.” I felt every second of their lives. The unexpected twists and turns blew me away. 

This was the first spooky story I have read in a very long time and it was beyond worth it. 

The darkness in th
...more
Sasha Zeiger
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Each story is unlike anything I've ever read. It's truly refreshing to read a collection of stories crafted to perfection. Even if I didn't particularly like one of the chronicles, the story itself is written so well and vividly narrated. Nothing is predictable, cliché, or cookie-cutter. Nothing feels repetitive. The prose is enticing. I re-read some of the metaphors over & over because of their excellence. Can't recommend Starlight enough. This whole time I thought Poe was the king of short hor ...more
Dwayne
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Honestly I am a true fan of this young artist. She masters crisp, solid prose and moves with pace of an old soul songwriter. Her pieces snap into place for a ride like all great albums carry. There is blood and many good deaths. Easy to commit to her Big cat characters & release them promptly. Ya know, pretty to study, dangerous to pet. Except Caroline in the closing piece. She's my kinda peeps. By the last story she dropped me off on the curb where those good swells come as the vehicle leaves. ...more
Bella Rose Pope
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This short story collection is so beautiful. As someone who typically only reads novels, it's so refreshing to have these bite-sized stories that make me just as invested as any novel. The author has such a WAY with imagery and tugging at your emotions. SO SO GOOD!! solid 5/5, absolutely. Just like her other short story collection Little Birds, i'll likely read this a few times over the course of a year+.


(I got an ARC for this review, but it's all 100% honest--the writing is breathtaking)
...more
Dave
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories had everything I was anticipating and more! I loved Hannah's writing and storytelling in Little Birds, but Starlight blew me away. I wasn't expecting to devour this collection all in one night and certainly didn't expect to be left in tears!

Hannah's ability to hook you into a story, either to be spooked out, have your heart broken, or anywhere in between, in just a few hundred words is second to none. 5 stars is nowhere near high enough for this one!
...more
K A
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
10/10 loved it!

A collection of dark and spooky short stories that are chilling and moving. Some stories are paranormal (with tear-jerking or chilling stories of ghosts and monsters) and some are composed of the more real-world horrors that leave you with a feeling of dread that don't come off easy.

(Contains very dark themes, so go forth with caution, but really an astounding series of short stories!)
...more
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