Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock is a Young Adult Contemporary Interwoven Short Story Collection, published on April 20th 2021.
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town is about a group of teenagers who all live in small towns across the states, but whose stories are woven together in the most unexpected of ways.
Whether they are brought together by the spread of a wildfire, by the priest who is moved from state to state, or by the hunt for a missing child, these tales blaze with secrets, rage and love.
I picked this book up from my local bookstore because the synopsis sounded interesting. I am not the biggest fan of short story collections but I really wanted to give this one a try because I love small town vibes, so this book seemed perfect for that. The mention of all of the stories being interwoven and connected really intrigued me as well.
I expected a collection of stories about teenagers dealing with a variety of teenage issues, with a larger overall story connecting them all together in some way.
“In a small town, you are forever defined by the worst thing that ever happened to you.”Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Well… I got the collection of short stories I expected, and they were all interwoven in some ways, definitely unexpected ways. I just wanted… more.
Each story had at least 1 connection to 1 of the other stories in the book, sometimes there were more connections, sometimes the connection was to multiple other stories. The connections were really fun, it made the book flow really well. Unfortunately there was no larger overall story or plot connecting the characters together in some way, like I had hoped for.
The characters themselves were good. Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock managed to introduce a wide variety of character that all felt unique and fleshed out, which I was very impressed with, seeing as most of the stories are so short. When I finished the first story my reaction was something like: ‘ah, that was sweet, it’ll be great seeing their relationship develop more in future stories’. Well that didn’t happen. Which is my main problem with the book. The stories all felt like great introductions to these characters, characters I really wanted to know more about, but I never got any more. When I finished the book it felt like I had just read half a book, but there is no second half, there is no sequel. And now 24 hours later i’m still stuck with the feeling of a missing part.
When I finished this book I wasn’t sure what to rate it. I didn’t dislike it, but also can’t say I really liked it. I don’t think I’ll remember much about the majority of stories in this collection in a few months.
After I sat down to write this review I decided to rate it 5 out of 10 stars. The main reason for that are the stories ‘There’s Gas in the Tank Louise’ and ‘The Right Kind of People’. Both of those stories managed to make me emotional, 1 of them angry and the other sad. That’s mainly because the characters Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has written felt very real, and so did the situation she has put them in.
Would I recommend this?
Yes, I would. Even though I only rated it 5 out of 10 stars, I can see why people would find it enjoyable. If you don’t mind to only see characters for a short bit of time, and never really get to know more about them, and the small town vibes attract your attention you may really like this. As said in the review, the characters and stories itself were good, just not what I was hoping and looking for.
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