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I finished Kelly Link’s book Magic for Beginners today. The short stories in the book are rich with detail and oddity. Sometimes I had to set the book down to get a break between the stories and clear my palate for the next one. Each of the stories dealt with unique “What if’s” and led to some wonderfully imaginative stories. I was initially surprised at some of the language and adult situations in the book because the friend that asked me to read it presented it as being a YA book. There wasn’t a lot of that though.

There are some of the stories I found particularly compelling, like “The Faery handbag” and “Magic for Beginners.” I was amazed by the variety of voices each short story was written in. There were some stories, however, like “Stone Animals” that seemed to drag with the pacing. It sometimes felt like the author was throwing in a lot of weird stuff just because it was weird, but didn’t have a satisfying direction for it. There were a few stories where I found the endings unsatisfying, with too much unresolved by the end. Overall, though, I did enjoy the book.

The friend who recommended it to me did so after hearing me do oral storytelling on a short story I wrote about ‘how Fiscassia got her name’, so I view it as a pretty big compliment that my story made her think of Kelly Link’s work. *Happy Dance*

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