Pretty Monsters – part 1

Pretty Monsters is a collection of stories by Kelly Link. It caught my eye in Chapters almost a year ago, with really cool cover and a nice title. I put in a request for purchase with the library and suspended my hold until now because I had such a big TBR list but voila here it is on my desk this week.

The Wrong Grave:

I loved this story, but not because of the pretty monster. I actually strongly prefer the half of the story before she comes out of her grave. I think Link has a good handle on grief, and young love. I thought the way Miles had the urge to go home and tell his girlfriend all about the events of her funeral rang very true. Nothing felt complete before he shared it with her, and he forgot for a moment that her being gone was the reason for the funeral. I think the way Link describes this is beautiful. I wanted to cry (resisted because I was in the break room and weeping at work is generally frowned upon) but at the same time the narration has a light, almost silly tone that keeps it from getting too depressing. I’m not so sure about the second half of the story. I feel like more explanation is needed about why the girl is animate.

The Wizards of Perfil

I love the way Link describes the psychic connection between the cousins. My favourite part of the story is when she’s fishing and he’s on the train, because they flow between one another’s worlds so fluidly. I predicted the end of this story but I still think it’s a great idea.

Magic For Beginners

Despite the fact that the title has pretty much nothing to do with the story this one is awesome. Random as could be, but incredibly entertaining. The mysterious and random show the characters are obsessed with reminds of the video clips in Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.The story was perfect for me because

  • I’m a librarian
  • My parent’s house is currently a pile of mismatched couches
  • I’m a geek

Those things will make sense when you read it, and you should. It is very silly but I love it, it reminds me of what my dreams look like. I kinda wonder if Kelly Link just wrote down a complicated awesome dream she had and filled in the fuzzy blanks.

The Faery Handbag

As a frequent Scrabble player and eccentric lady, I relate to the grandmother in this story 😉 The handbag reminds me a bit of that awesome bag Hermoine had in Harry Potter, that could hold anything, only in this story the girl does not have the “accio” spell to find what goes into it. I find the story of the grandfather familiar, but not sure where I’ve seen something similar.


More stories to come I’m not even half done the collection


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