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Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

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Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

Post Number:#1 by pyb
» 27 Aug 2016, 06:54

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "You. I. Us." by Annalisa Crawford.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by pyb
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If you have always shied away from collections of short stories, take a chance on You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford. Filled with poignant expressions of grief, insecurity, loss, longing and hope, these skillfully written vignettes, each comprised of only a few pages, are rather remarkable for what they are able to accomplish with such an economy of words.

All of these stories are written in the first person to someone in the second person, hence the “You” and “I” in the title of the book. The intimate relationship formed within each of these couplings forms the “Us.” I see them almost as odes. They embody a sense of urgency for the narrator’s feelings to be expressed, even though “You” may never read them.

While we come to know many different characters throughout the collection, they all share a sense longing. I was immediately drawn into the melancholy of Motherhood and This Is My Love Story, dealing with a premature birth and a premature death, respectively. The sadness of The Person Walking Toward Me and the intensity of Insomnia elicited something visceral; in both stories the narrator can’t have what she wants most. The Love of a Good Woman is about a connection made while speed-dating, and although it was sweet my eyes still welled up. Crawford has a way of plopping you right into someone’s heart, making you feel like you really know them, then leaving you rather quickly, but not abruptly. You somehow have enough to be able to let go.

For me, the less successful stories were Ode to River, On Waking, Missing, and How to Be a Facebook Friend. They didn’t make me feel part of the story, as the others did. Still, in a collection of thirty short stories there are bound to be a few you don’t connect with.

I rate You. I. Us. 3 out of 4 stars. These narratives are surprisingly satisfying and many are just two pages long! I did not give it a 4 because I am not sure they are for everyone. Also, there was a flaw in editing after the story When It Rains. There seems to be another story tucked in before the next title (Ode to River) but it has no title and does not appear in the table of contents. Overall, however, this was a very pleasant read.

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You. I. Us.
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Re: Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

Post Number:#2 by Silvermoon
» 27 Aug 2016, 16:10

Not my cup of tea, but you did a good review.
Silvermoon's Latest Review: "Clueless 101" by J. Ronald Adair
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Re: Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

Post Number:#3 by Amh73090
» 28 Aug 2016, 16:01

I have read some books like this. While I'm not really a fan I do however like how it splits up longer books. Great review thank you.
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Re: Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

Post Number:#4 by pyb
» 29 Aug 2016, 06:19

I think what was noteworthy about this one was the brevity of the stories. One was only one page long! I would say the average length was a mere 2.5 pages. I found that to be both remarkable and unique.
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Re: Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

Post Number:#5 by Kia
» 30 Aug 2016, 16:26

Short story collections can certainly be a challenge to review. I'm glad you found so many individual stories in the collection that you enjoyed.
"Yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it, or learn from it."- Rafiki
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Re: Official Review: You. I. Us. by Annalisa Crawford

Post Number:#6 by pyb
» 30 Aug 2016, 16:43

I totally agree Kia. I usually find short stories end without resolution, but these very brief narratives somehow felt "finished."
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