Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: Easy for You

I don't read short stories nearly enough.

I realize that every single time I finish reading a short story collection, yet, I still read so few.

So, when my fellow editor and friend, Kate, told me about Easy for You by Shannan Rouss (one of her beloved authors) I jumped at the chance to snag a copy. And I am very glad I did. I devoured it.

Rouss's debut collection is smart, witty, and unforgettable. Each of the 10 stories in Easy for You take place in a different version of Los Angeles, a city that sparkles with glitz and glamour but also reeks of poverty and homelessness, while still housing the down-to-earth folks that you'd more likely imagine setting up camp in the midwest. Rouss transports readers into whatever LA-scape applies, and she tackles her dark subjectmatter--death, prejudice, anorexia, homosexuality, pretension, etc.--with vivid detail and sharp intelligence.

My favorite thing about Rouss's stories, however, is how flawed and remarkably realistic her characters are. They're people you might walk by on the street without a second glance, and they are all people that a reader can relate to in one way or another. Their stories moved me in a variety of different ways and even made me laugh out loud at times. They are just so inherently human.

The Last Word: A stunning and refreshming collection of stories you won't want to miss. Easy for You will stick with you long after your done reading. ("Neither Here Nor There" is my fave story of the bunch.)


  1. I can lend you my copy if you'd like :) It's a super fast read!