Kara Olecki didn’t mean to kill her boyfriend Matt. But she did—and she’s paying the price. As she waits for the jury’s decision, she has nothing but time to recap all the important moments, both good and bad, that led up to her sentencing. Told in dual timelines, experience Kara’s thoughts in the courtroom and musings from the previous two years: From the first time she laid eyes on Matt and their ski trip to Colorado, to their squabbles and individual tribulations. It was the kind of first relationship that Kara had imagined. Right up until the end.
Thank you to the author, Sean Fesko, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a short story and Let’s Be Legends was an enjoyable one. Right from the start, we learn that Kara is on trial for the death of her boyfriend Matt. The chapters alternate between the present day and flashbacks of the past, as Kara awaits her fate in the courtroom.
The focus of the story is Kara’s past and she reflects on the events that led to this moment. A self-described Army brat, Kara has moved to a new town with her mother. Once she settles in to her surroundings, she catches the eye of Matt. The pair develop a friendship and Matt soon becomes Kara’s first proper boyfriend. Unfortunately, things don’t end well for Matt.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Kara. Outwardly, she appears to be a good person and helps out to save the local animal shelter. On the other hand, there is a different side to her which she keeps hidden. She refers to these versions of herself as “External Kara” and “Internal Kara”. Her two personalities reminded me of Jekyll and Hyde. That might sound extreme, but there is definitely a constant battle between the way she expresses herself and how she actually feels.
Matt is a basketball player and comes across as a nice guy. I would have preferred a little more character development from him. It’s strange because while I did feel sympathetic towards Matt, I found Kara to be a more interesting character. Perhaps it’s because she’s flawed.
Although the reader knows from the beginning that Matt is going to die, there is still a sense of unease as the chilling events unfold. I found the ending shocking because of Matt’s untimely demise. It plays out like a horror movie when you know that something terrible is going to happen, but are powerless to stop it. Matt’s death is needless and made all the more tragic because his whole life was ahead of him.
A solid short story with a good use of suspense.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐