Juliet Was a Surprise

Well, in my last Evergreen post I said my third book would be a surprise, and it certainly was.

I have to be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for Bill Gaston’s Juliet Was a Surprise. Working in a library I’ve had the chance to discuss the Evergreen nominees with other book lovers, and no one I talked to liked this book. I was tempted to skip it, but I said I’d read all ten books, so I picked it up with some trepidation. And I hated it … at first.

I think a major issue with this book is that it’s a collection of short stories and, quite frankly, short stories can be really weird. In my experience short stories are designed to get under your skin and make you a little uncomfortable.  That being said, two of the first three stories in this collection really turned me off. It was the kind of situation where I could appreciate Gaston’s talent as a writer but I just didn’t like what he was saying. And then came the fourth story, Tumpadabump. Oh my, was that ever glorious. The rest of the stories fell somewhere between the two, they weren’t as amazing as the fourth but they were nowhere near those first two. Overall I’m glad I stuck it out because I ended up quite enjoying this collection.

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