Misconception: A NovelMisconception by Ryan Boudinot

I gave this book 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads

This one is a snapshot of struggling families, first loves, hard moral dilemmas, violence and all the other things that go with being an adolescent in the imploding family. The narrative jumped back and forth in time but not in a jarring way. In the end there is no satisfactory resolve, as is usually true in life, and you are left with a snapshot of a domino situation gone horribly wrong.

I feel, as I did with the author’s collection of short stories The Littlest Hitler, that the shock content is a little too forced. I’m thinking that this is just his style and it’s not for me, but the only complaint I have is the wide-eyed showcasing of horror and otherness. The story would be just as full, just as alarming, without the added gesturing.

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The Littlest Hitler: StoriesThe Littlest Hitler by Ryan Boudinot

I gave this one 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads

This collection of short stories by Ryan Boudinot was his first and I think I need to try some of the more recent work before I can fairly say whether I like the writing. The stories were all technically very well written and I did not find myself checking my watch, so to speak. He has a clear love of sci-fi, even in the stories that have not direct connection to the genre. I found the potpourri approach to be a lot of fun, never knowing what might come next.

However, I just kept thinking over and over that it was all trying too hard. The writing was effortless and a pleasure to read, but the story was always a little too hip, a little too cool, a little too “look how shocking.” I didn’t like the feeling of the knee-jerk hipster disregard that the stories made me feel, and it was every one. Hopefully this is tempered in later offerings.