Amazon Original Stories: Out of Line Collection

Halfway to FreeHalfway to Free by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not a big fan of science fiction but I love Emma Donoghue so I thought I'd give this short story a go. Halfway to Free is set in a future where having children is for the rich or "drop outs". Miriam and Ned start to discuss if they should have a child together. I won't give anything away but I will say I enjoyed the plot and the writing style so much I wish it was longer, I could have read a whole novel about this...but...Donoghue really packs a punch in twenty-seven pages.

Sweet VirginiaSweet Virginia by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It seems to me that Shelby hates everything about her life...lack of ability to write, being a mother, her husband and her own mother. I guess that's what the "out of line" reference is. She is also a liar and a lover of Hallmark movies. When someone starts messaging her he sounds too good to be true.

Then one day Shelby goes to check the mail and all hell breaks loose...or does it? You'll have to read it to find out. I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first. Overall this was an okay read and not exactly what I expected from Caroline Kepnes. Three stars.  

Shine, Pamela! Shine!Shine, Pamela! Shine! by Kate Atkinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, could I ever relate to Pamela! I loved reading about her personality and her backstory. I just wish this story was a little longer, I'd like to know what happened after the surprise came. Overall I enjoyed the story but I didn't appreciate or completely understand the abrupt ending.

Graceful BurdensGraceful Burdens by Roxane Gay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting short story about a woman deemed not acceptable to procreate. She then decides to "borrow" a baby from the library which changes everything about her life. And then we have Seraphina who is licensed to have children but doesn't really want or enjoy them. It's always a case of the grass is always greener...

I was really enjoying this story and wished it was a full novel! My first time reading Ms. Gay and I was impressed. 

The ContractorsThe Contractors by Lisa Ko
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This short story is about two women named Sandra Guzman, one in New Jersey and the other in Manila, who work for the same social media company as content moderators. Becoming friends they learn about each others lives and how they do the same job with different rules and different pay. Another example of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence syndrome....then they figure out that the company they work for is the enemy and decide to combine forces and take control of the situation. What I liked most about this story is the fact that I learned something and it made me think. 

Bear WitnessBear Witness by Mary Gaitskill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The author creates urgency and keeps up a steady pace as events unfold, secrets are exposed and characters are left reeling from the aftermath, dealing with it in their own troubled methods. This was a good read that kept me turning the pages. My first by Mary Gaitskill and I really enjoyed the writing style.

View all my reviews This TellingThis Telling by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a beautiful short story about a teenager who was sent away by her parents to an unwed mothers’ home, in 1964, where she gives up her baby for adoption. So well written, painfully real and told with such empathy. I wanted this short story to continue is my favourite of the bunch. 


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