I liked where Friends 'Til the End was heading. The set-up to the story had promise. (Enough promise for me to round my rating up to 3 stars.)
That ending, though...while the ending implies what happened, it doesn't satisfactorily wrap things up. The story just kind of stops.
Short stories aren't supposed to be long (obviously), and they can have open endings. It's okay to leave enough information for the reader to draw their own conclusions about what happened. But a short story is also supposed to honor the "story" half of its description.
This feels like it was more of a proposal for a book than a fully realized short story.
The characters and the mystery portion of the plot get explained pretty well. Pieces of what happened to Emily start falling into place. And then...
...a flashback shows up in the middle of the narrative out of nowhere. It half-explains what the hell's going on. And then the flashback is over, insert-implications-here, and then Emily vows revenge for something we don't fully understand. The end!
The synopsis makes it sound like Emily's brought back as a ghost to right some epic wrong that will drastically change the world if justice isn't served.
The only problem: her memories are hazy, she doesn’t know who to trust or even why she’s back, but she does know something about how she died broke the course of fate and it’s her ghostly mission to mend it.
I'm pretty sure your death didn't "break the course of fate", Emily.
I guess that's why I'm disappointed with Friends 'Til the End - the synopsis made it sound like something huge was going to happen, like some Odd Thomas-level spiritual catastrophe was going on, and in the end Emily's just pissed because she got murdered.
EDIT: Waaaaait a second. Bethany Neal has a book that came out at the beginning of June ([b:My Last Kiss|21524042|My Last Kiss|Bethany Neal|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1395355676s/21524042.jpg|26123586]) whose premise sounds almost exactly like Friends 'Til the End. Maybe this short was
just a story proposal, or a sort of teaser for My Last Kiss...
But her last kiss--the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died--is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn't a suicide as everyone assumes. She can't remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she's worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend.