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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Better Off Here is a collection of dystopian short stories by Melissa R. Mendelson. The book begins with the story "In Jellyfish, We Trust," where a young student must pay a hefty price to stay alive. A person fights to live out their numbered days while a deadly pandemic ravages the world in "November Snow." In "The Quiet Room," a staff member of a peculiar facility experimenting on humans is hit with a pang of conscience after becoming obsessed with the new arrival. "The Thunder of Chaos" follows a teenager struggling to cope with her brother's death who finds an unexpected message from beyond. A group of revolutionaries get the truth out to the world in "The Silent Will Speak Their Words." "When The Stars Fall Quiet" follows an old woman and her android protector trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
If dystopian stories are your jam, don't miss out on Better Off Here -- a short collection of dystopian stories that showcase the various aspects of humanity under trying circumstances. Author Melissa R. Mendelson adds a lot of heart and emotional weight to the narrative, with stories full of heartbreak, tragedy, and bittersweet endings that are bound to leave a mark on you. Within a few pages, she somehow crafts well-developed characters whose plights you can sympathize with. You connect with every single one of her characters despite the short length of the stories. Overall, I found the book riveting to read and one that I will highly recommend.