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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Short Story Review: Two from Yuri Alkin, and You Can Read Them for Free!

For today’s Book Review Tuesday post, you are going to get double the value – two reviews of short stories by Yuri Alkin for the price of one AND the reviews are of stories you can download for free on Smashwords!  (What a generous girl that Jill-Elizabeth is…)

The first, Table for Four, was just plain fun.  It is the tale of a double-date between old flames with new partners – with a bit of a twist.  They say that living well being the best revenge.  Who is this mysterious “they”, by the way?  If you know, either tell me or contact them yourself, because “they” need to get a load of Alkin’s take on their adage.

I must admit that I figured out the twist part-way through, but that didn’t matter – it was still good fun to read.  The writing was engaging and easy-going and the characters were likeable.  There were some stereotypical elements to the characters and their dinner conversation, but in an intentional manner that fit with the overall tone and direction of the story.  All in all this was a fun, light-hearted story.

The second, The Lollipop Paper, was not quite as appealing to me early on, but grew on me as the story developed.  I quite enjoyed the premise – the intertwined lives of twin brothers, one of whom has received all of “it”, that magical intangible quality that makes people likeable and charismatic, while the other has literally received none.  The writing style was also easy-going, although I did not find this one quite as engaging.  It’s entirely possible that this was due to the characters – not that they were not well thought-out, but that they were not really likeable as people.

The twin with all the “it” (Jack – I pictured Jack Kennedy) was a classic golden-boy – everything fell into his lap his whole life, and I tend to find that kind of fortuitous luck irritating by definition.  The twin without the “it” (Andy) should have been sympathetic because he never got a break, but somehow I found him equally irritating.  Not because he was sad-sack about his luck – far from it.  Because he was quite busy throughout the story feeling superior to his brother because of his luck.  Their tale of life from childhood to the presidency/vice-presidency was interesting, even though it felt a little flat in the middle.  It picked up toward the end though, with a nice spin on the relative merits of that magical “it” quality and intelligence.   The story was different in tone – a little heavier, with some thought-provoking moments on what it means to be a twin, a brother, and even a ruler – and while I didn’t find it “fun”, I did find it interesting.

For more information on Yuri Alkin, or to download the free eBook versions of these stories, check out his Smashwords page or his Google+ page.


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