• Selena | Beauty's Library

50 States Review

I found this to be an enjoyable collection of short stories. But as for a collection of short stories over the 50 states? It missed the mark.


Rating: 3/5

An Idaho farmer who aches for absolution after a tragedy is given one more chance at redemption. Two runaways cross paths in a Tennessee bus station with only one ticket between them. A family sees looters racing toward their home as they escape an Oregon wildfire. A young couple takes a reckless turn off a state highway in Utah and find themselves in a nightmarish government biohazard area.


These and 46 more shorts make up an anthology that will surprise readers with each new thought-provoking story as they skip across different genres, moods, and states of mind. Together, they provide a character-driven sampling of the American experience over the last 60 years — the kind and the cruel, the heroic and criminal — in unpredictable and suspenseful ways.

 

I received a free book from Black Coffee Book Tours. Thank you for this opportunity!


I think I’ve read enough short story collections to know that I’m not going to love all the stories in a collection. But that doesn’t make me any less excited to pick them up. And going into this one, I felt no different.


A collection of shorts that take place throughout the 50 states? I’m intrigued.


I was captivated by the idea that each of these stories took place in a different state. It’s was drew me to pick this up, to begin with. Though, if I’m being honest, I was a bit disappointed in the execution of some of the stories. There was a handful of shorts that I felt really encompassed the state it was set in, like the story set in Alaska I loved the atmosphere for this state’s story. But there were several others that I felt really had nothing to do with the state they were supposedly set in, like California and New Mexico, these two were very short short stories that I didn’t feel connected with either state that were set in. I just expected more of a connection to each of the states with each of these stories, and while some did just that, the majority didn’t which I felt missed the mark for this collection as a whole.


I was a bit disappointed in the execution of some of the stories... I just expected more of a connection to each of the states with each of these stories...

That being said, I did enjoy more than half of the stories we see. There was a good handful that I loved reading. The ones I loved captured my attention right away and left me going woah.


Though this brings me to another thing, I felt there was no overall theme to these stories. Being the reader I am, who enjoys all sorts of books, this didn’t bother me. But I could see other readers who might not want to read everything that’s in this one. There is a wide range of horror to contemporary stories here. We see stories of traumatic loss, life and death, suicide, murder, love and affairs… So there is a little bit of everything, but depending on what kind of reader you are, you might not enjoy all the stories.


Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable collection of short stories. But as for a collection of short stories over the 50 states? It missed the mark.


If you’re a reader who’s open to reading just about anything, you might enjoy this one too!