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Extended Audio Sample Boys and Girls like You and Me: Stories, by Aryn Kyle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (481 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aryn Kyle Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9781400186778
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Aryn Kyle turns her gift for storytelling to the lives of girls and women in this spectacular collection.

In “Nine,” a young girl given to exaggeration escapes a humiliating ninth birthday celebration with the help of her father’s new girlfriend.

In the hilarious “Sex Scenes from a Chain Bookstore,” the dubious benefits of sleeping with one’s boss are revealed when a bookstore manager defends an employee from an irate customer.

“Femme” delivers an uncomfortably recognizable portrait of the dark, manipulative side of female friendship.

And in “Boys and Girls like You and Me,” a raid on a neighbor’s meth lab crystallizes the unlikely friendship between a solitary woman and the goth teenage girl who lives in the apartment below her.

In moments electric with sudden harmony or ruthless indifference, the girls and women in this collection provoke, beguile, entertain, and reveal a poignant and searingly accurate portrait of the female heart. With her keen eye for character, her humor, and her uncanny grasp of the loneliness, selfishness, and longing that permeates the female experience, Kyle has secured her reputation as a major young talent.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The rare story collection that inspires a reader to go through it in one sitting. Days after reading them, these stories, in their admirable brevity, complexity, and completeness, have a way of hanging on in the mind.”

    Rumpus

  • “This sure-to-please collection by Kyle probes the frequently wrongheaded choices girls and young women make to feel happy and loved."

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Irresistibly readable…There is an almost perverse artistry at work here…and at least two of the stories—‘Nine’ and ‘A Lot like Fun’—are near-perfect exercises in persuading readers that the hallmark of human nature is imperfectability and that truth is its ultimate falsehood.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melita | 2/19/2014

    " Excellent book of short stories. Very well written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Loraine Agee | 2/13/2014

    " It was okay...a little mediocre for my tastes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 2/13/2014

    " The first book of short stories I have read in a long while. I thought Kyle's voice as clear and distinct through each story. Some will break your heart while others will make you laugh. A wonderful read when you're looking for something short but interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 2/1/2014

    " If I could give this 2.5 stars, I would. I loved the first two stories and began to think that perhaps my idea of myself as someone who doesn't like short stories was wrong. The third story was okay, and then it went downhill from there except for the final paragraph of the final story (Boys and Girls Like You and Me). By this time I was reading impatiently, ready to be done with the book. And then, at the end of a story about loneliness and bad choices and sadness and women who let men control too much of their lives, a teenage Goth girl begs the woman in the apartment upstairs (a woman who is having an affair with a married man, who drinks too much, and who writes papers for a cheater website), to give her a ride to the regional music festival across town, where she is supposed to perform in front of a judge. The woman agrees and is surprised by how beautifully the girl plays the violin. And there was a passage of beauty and hope that I read, surprised, and then read again. The final paragraph was this (the woman talking to the teenager about when she played the violin): And this, this is the part I want you to know: That moment lives in my head, a thing with breath and blood. A present tense. An always--that sudden blossoming of grace and beauty and competence, all of it so unexpected, all of it so undeserved, and the feeling or knowledge or faith that somehow, someday, everything was going to be all right. (p. 224-225) For me, that made it worth finishing the book. I'd read another novel by Aryn Kyle, but not another book of short stories. I read this one because I loved her first novel, The God of Animals, which I would highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzy | 1/27/2014

    " Favorites: "Brides," "Nine," and "Captain's Club." Aryn Kyle's characters stuck with me. These stories are what I wish my fiction pieces could be, really. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriela | 1/26/2014

    " I like Aryn Kyle's writing style but the stories felt incomplete (my dislike of short stories). It was almost as if I were starting several different novels and unable to finish them (extremely frustrating). But, for those who enjoy short stories, I'd definitely recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Burks | 1/21/2014

    " First of all, this book is not for everyone...since it's about women making mistakes/bad decisions/reacting (poorly) to life's challenges, it comes across a little dark (some stories more than others) and as such, is a bit of downer. But since it's short stories, you luckily don't have to live with each character's drama for long. Like some other reviewers said...this book is so hard to rate!! As a collection of short stories, there was reason throughout the book for ratings all the way from 1 to 5. But, I went w/ a 4 for the following reasons: I found it @ Dollar General for $1, so it was a great read for the price! The author did a great job developing the stories and characters in such short period of time. I couldn't put it down - each short story led me to the next, and then the next. Maybe I also wanted to get through it to a more uplifting book as well...? It bothered me that most of the down-and-out(and sometimes unlikable) characters smoked and/or abused alcohol and/or sex - even the underaged ones. This made for a sometimes depressing window into their lives. However, the one story which centered around a boy (The Captain's Club) was really sweet, and involved an innocent, supportive relationship between a father's kind, wide-eyed girlfriend and a coming-of-age teenage boy (even though the tone of the other stories had me expecting a darker motive for their friendship at every turn). The stories were provocative, as intended, and took the reader to places they (hopefully!) never need go themselves. It also reminds us that although the characters are a bit exaggerated and sometimes seemingly two-dimensional, everyone loses it sometimes and need to take a brief detour before getting back on track... "This is how you ended up here. You were poor or unlucky or unwise. You told a lie or broke a rule or wanted something you weren't supposed to have. You ended up here because you didn't care where you ended up, because you were selfish or impulsive or naive, because you made a bad decision, not once, but again and again and again and again. You ended up here because you could not see what any idiot could see. This is not a place where people come to build a life -- this is a place where people fall apart." The last story ends beautifully with this.... "That apartment, that town, it wasn't a place where anyone stayed. One way or another we would both be gone soon. Neither of us would ever go back. And so I wish now that I could have that day to live again, that golden walk to the car. I should have told you how the light fell on you in that classroom, the way the atmosphere softened and brightened around you as you played. And -- how had I never seen it before? -- you were so beautiful and elegant and beloved. In the moment you played the last note, your bow still quivering over the string, that hot, crowded room drew a collective breath and I cannot recall a fuller, more radiant moment in my life. And this, this is the part I want you to know. That moment lives in my head, a thing with breath and blood. A present tense. An always -- that sudden blossoming of grace and beauty and competence, all of it so unexpected, all of it so undeserved, and the feeling or knowledge or faith that somehow, everything was going to be all right." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emiline | 1/19/2014

    " I loved this book of short "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/4/2014

    " This was an enjoyable collections of short stories and found that I wanted many of these stories to continue "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen O'Neill Conlan | 12/25/2013

    " Loved this. This author has such an authentic voice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Geller | 12/23/2013

    " Quick read. Good writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 11/13/2013

    " A compliation of short stories about adolescent boys and girls making bad decisions and trying to be accepted. Some of the stories were very good; in others, I wasn't sure what the point was. Overall, enjoyable, fast read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Khinna | 10/5/2013

    " After the fourth story, I was done. I was bored. If you want to read riveting stories about adolescence and growing up, I recommend Julie Orringer's How to Swim Underwater. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 8/23/2013

    " I enjoyed these stories about young people in different, but believable situations. Not always uplifting, but realistic. A good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph | 1/21/2013

    " A really wonderful set of short stories. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth | 9/17/2012

    " Didn't get this book at all. Couldn't connect to any of the female characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberly Stelly | 5/12/2012

    " Most of the stories were just barely amusing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leila Cohan-Miccio | 8/25/2011

    " Liked it, but didn't love it. Between The Adults and Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, the bar has been set pretty pretty high for me in terms of fiction about young women. Nonetheless, this was very good and I will probably read her novel now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alli Miller | 7/28/2011

    " A collection of short stories. Some I found very poignant and lovely and others less-so. Overall an easy read both because of format and subject matter. Great for traveling when you just read in snippets and need something simple. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fuschia | 6/5/2011

    " 5/10, mildly entertaining, wouldn't recommend "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peacegal | 5/29/2011

    " I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

    I voraciously snapped up the short stories within this book, all of which had an undercurrent of melancholy threading through them. Applause-worthy.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 5/25/2011

    " I enjoyed these stories about young people in different, but believable situations. Not always uplifting, but realistic. A good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Khinna | 5/11/2011

    " After the fourth story, I was done. I was bored. If you want to read riveting stories about adolescence and growing up, I recommend Julie Orringer's How to Swim Underwater. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa | 5/10/2011

    " I won this book through First Reads. I found the stories to be intense. They leave you with an ache in your chest. Kyle's writing is powerful enough to keep you thinking about her characters as if they are real people; you care about their welfare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 4/13/2011

    " I loved these stories: narrators who are a little dark and twisty, a
    little weird, but vulnerable and recognizable. And there's a story titled
    "Sex Scenes from a Chain Bookstore." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 3/29/2011

    " So good. I especially love the short "Sex scenes in a chain bookstore." Theme throughout the stories seem to be May-December relationships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 2/23/2011

    " After "The Imperfectionists" I'm suddenly all about short stories- who knew? Also I'm kind of obsessed with the cover! "

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