I've enjoyed reading short stories since my childhood. I see short stories as microcosms of what a world created by an author is. We know characters for a brief time and we get to know them during a specific time on their lives.This time I read about Ryann. She is a character created by author Jammie Kern using Orion's myth as inspiration.
Ryann is a teen of the overachiever kind. She draws attention to herself by excelling at school and sports and also, because of her unusually tall figure (which I see as a plus for sports!). She is the leader on her school's volleyball team and her goal is to win and to be recognized. Her goal is her north, that way her father will be proud. She is experiencing a lot of pressure at school and at home while trying to cope with her father's death. Her father wanted her to be the best. Ryann was brought up with a sense of ethics where anything less than be a winner was unacceptable. Being the best is her only way to honor her father.
Her attention is divided between school, her leadership role in sports and her time helping her mother on the family's restaurant. Ryann is juggling many responsibilities and we see she gets overwhelmed by it all. After an incident with a classmate her role on her team is impacted. This scene drew empathy from me towards this girl. I think she felt betrayed and confused. This will make her reconsider her priorities. Ryann will struggle but soon will find all her answers within herself. There is an old man on the story who will give her words of wisdom. Like Orion was shown the way to the sun, this man will give her words of guidance. Ryann decides to approach her life in a different way, who knows she could also make her father proud in her own terms. She is empowered.
Do you want to know more about her? Look for this Mythology High short story. Mythology High is a series that will take the myths we all have read about into a modern setting.
About the story:
The story is inspired in Orion's myth. The myth goes like this: Orion, son of Poseidon was a giant who excelled in hunting skills. He loses his sight and recovers it by receiving the light of the sun on his eyes. Finally he dies by a scorpion sting. After all the circumstances he confronted he and the scorpion become constellations.
We see how Ryann' s father is her role model to follow. She demanded the best from herself. She lost sight of her goals and decided that the best way to achieve her goals was to be her own person. Here, the scorpion sting is how she felt after her position on her team was affected. This story has a moral about how sometimes you have to be a teamplayer to be successful and achieve a common goal.
Kern reimagining of this myth is a smart one. She draws the story to a modern setting. The character has situations any teen could encounter. Ryann could be any young girl or boy.
One of my favorite things of this short is its cover. The girl in the cover seems like she is looking towards the horizon, towards her future. It is well written and easily read. It grabbed my attention from the first sentence.
I recommend this story for middle school & up.
* I reviewed this ARC according to its merits. Thanks to Buzz Books USA for providing me with this short story for review purposes