The opening story of this collection involves in the complicated mess of modern friendships which can be as impactful and hurtful as romantic relationships, but are missing the defining boundaries of those so a ghosting between friends is harder to process. And I think this becomes a model through which most of these stories find their defining shape and quality. A short, snappy collection of stories that both flows and reads really quickly and interestingly, and almost instantly fades as quickly. This book reminds me a lot of a lot of other recent story collections, but it avoids some of the pitfalls (for me as a reader) by avoiding being too much of “contemporary takes on fairy tales” — which I generally dislike. It still has a little of those. So while it’s not exactly those — and by those, I mean Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s The Merry Spinster, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, and Michael Cunningham’s The Snow Queen, it is SOMETHING like those. Instead, it’s more like Samanath Hunt’s The Dark Dark and Jac Jemc’s False Bingo. So I think that if you liked all of these collections you’d like this one too, but if you didn’t like the first half, you still might enjoy this one.
My issue with these comes down to substance, which while the writing is energetic and timely and speaks to a lot of curious little moments of modern life, I feel like there’s very little depth here. So I am missing the more substantive elements.