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The Kissing List - Stephanie Reents This is marketed as a set of interconnected short stories, but that's a little misleading. The stories are interconnected only in that the characters all know each other and a few are the subject of more than one story. For the most part, the stories have little to do with one another. Just a warning, if that kind of thing is going to irk you.

So, you are probably only going to like this if you're a twentysomething who loves rich metaphors. The stories are all pretty heavily focused on the turbulent post-college, figuring-out-what-you-want years, with a heavy emphasis -- as the title suggests -- on relationships. Each story focuses on different types of relationships and each one is narrated in a different way. You can see Reents playing with different styles -- one story is structured as a memo between characters, for example, another narrated in second-person.

I didn't love all the stories, and there were a couple that I abandoned halfway through. But I love Reents' writing style, full of lovely metaphors and beautiful thoughts. Her characters are all very introspective and there were definitely times I felt like I was peeking into Reents' journal. It could be a little difficult to immediately jump from one story to the next, especially the stories with more experimental structures, and so I kind of wish that Reents had taken more care to connect her stories more thoughtfully. I don't know if a stronger sense of chronology would have helped, or maybe a more consistent pattern among the characters. I'm not sure. As individual stories, though, most of them shined. I'm lloking forward to reading more Stephanie Reents.