Saturday, June 12, 2010

Boys and Girls Like You and Me: Stories by Aryn Kyle

Anyone who has been reading my blog has probably realized that I don't really read story collections. I'm not sure why, but the few times I have tried them I quickly quit reading. Mostly I like reading a full length book, something where characters and plots are developed over many pages. Yet, a few years ago I had a good experience with Jhumpa Lahiri's story collection, Unaccustomed Earth. I loved these stories. In fact, I loved them enough that I even listed Lahiri's book as one of my top ten reads of the year. Now, I haven't rushed out to read any story collections since then, but I don't necessarily avoid them, either. And when Aryn Kyle's story collection Boys and Girls Like You and Me came out I was instantly intrigued. Kyle's debut novel The God of Animals was a book that made my top ten list the year it came out, and I absolutely loved her writing. I checked out her story collection from the library but wasn't prompted to read it until I realized it is due back by Monday. And once I started Boys and Girls I realized how much I really enjoyed these stories and Kyles' writing. There are eleven stories in this collection chronicling the universal feelings of loneliness, desire, and relationships experienced by girls. One story narrated by a boy, "Captains' Club," allows us to see the loneliness also experienced by young males when Teddy is sent on a cruise with a friend and ends up spending his vacation with his friend's stepmother.

While I didn't have one favorite story, I enjoyed them all. Kyle's story collection was every bit as good as The God of Animals, giving me another opportunity to enjoy her fine writing.

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