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Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town

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A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that connects the lives of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American west. Each story is unique, yet universal. In this book, the impact of wildfire, a wayward priest, or a mysterious disappearance ricochet across communities, threading through stories. Here, ordinary actions such as ice skating or A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that connects the lives of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American west. Each story is unique, yet universal. In this book, the impact of wildfire, a wayward priest, or a mysterious disappearance ricochet across communities, threading through stories. Here, ordinary actions such as ice skating or going to church reveal hidden truths. One choice threatens a lifelong friendship. Siblings save each other. Rescue and second chances are possible, and so is revenge. On the surface, it seems that nothing ever happens in these towns. But Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock shows that underneath that surface, teenagers' lives blaze with fury, with secrets, and with love so strong it burns a path to the future.


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A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that connects the lives of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American west. Each story is unique, yet universal. In this book, the impact of wildfire, a wayward priest, or a mysterious disappearance ricochet across communities, threading through stories. Here, ordinary actions such as ice skating or A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that connects the lives of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American west. Each story is unique, yet universal. In this book, the impact of wildfire, a wayward priest, or a mysterious disappearance ricochet across communities, threading through stories. Here, ordinary actions such as ice skating or going to church reveal hidden truths. One choice threatens a lifelong friendship. Siblings save each other. Rescue and second chances are possible, and so is revenge. On the surface, it seems that nothing ever happens in these towns. But Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock shows that underneath that surface, teenagers' lives blaze with fury, with secrets, and with love so strong it burns a path to the future.

30 review for Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's beautifully written short story collection is a revelation, set in American small towns and communities of Alaska and the American west, focusing on young people, with characters and events that connect, and reverberate across the stories. Gina is still grieving the loss of her mother, and enraged at how easily her father seems to have forgotten her with his new girlfriend, Libby and her young daughter, Poppy, with her invisible friend, Elizabeth, a mermaid. Two girls who Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's beautifully written short story collection is a revelation, set in American small towns and communities of Alaska and the American west, focusing on young people, with characters and events that connect, and reverberate across the stories. Gina is still grieving the loss of her mother, and enraged at how easily her father seems to have forgotten her with his new girlfriend, Libby and her young daughter, Poppy, with her invisible friend, Elizabeth, a mermaid. Two girls who grow up together, are 'home schooled', in the Sea-Shaken Houses on a remote coast, wonder about the identity of their fathers, with a Jane dedicated to learning about molluscs, knowledge that helps diagnose the amnesiac Conrad making his way to a Canadian uncle living with a man, to seek advice, to ask whether it is possible to love whoever you want to in this world. These are stories of secrets, memories, betrayal, sexuality, sexual abuse by Catholic priests who never face justice, who just keep being moved, only to perpetrate their crimes on other young people, of families that are more concerned about mixing with the right people rather than addressing a daughter being abused, blaming her instead, a daughter for whom making a chain from gum wrappers becomes a obsessive meditation. Her broken brother becomes a rodeo star, a route to disguising his inner despair. There is rage, retribution, abduction and murder of a 6 year old girl, and wildfires that mean evacuation, small communities that trust their own above any experts, particularly if they are well qualified, a backbone trust that is to unravel in a nightmarish way. Lared in Montana is a town drunk on basketball, with only Lilian as the exception. And sisters should never leave their sisters. Hitchcock's short vibrant stories are impressive and unforgettable, generating a rollercoaster of emotions, with their wide cast of characters, portraying the universal commonalities of young peoples' experiences, the best and the very worst, their families, and the small town American communities in which they live. I found the stories utterly engaging, compulsive and riveting reading, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Many thanks to Faber and Faber for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    It's beautifully BORING. It's beautifully BORING.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Oh my goodness! Traveling between Alaskan woods to isolated, beautiful Pacific beaches and being introduced to vivid, original, quirky characters, diving into interesting, varied topics including wildfires, a mermaid, basketball bears gave me quality time . This was one of the reading experiences I’ve ever had! It’s brilliant, unique, mind numbing! All those stories are missing pieces of the puzzle. You can read and enjoy them separately but as you realize the connections of them by catching th Oh my goodness! Traveling between Alaskan woods to isolated, beautiful Pacific beaches and being introduced to vivid, original, quirky characters, diving into interesting, varied topics including wildfires, a mermaid, basketball bears gave me quality time . This was one of the reading experiences I’ve ever had! It’s brilliant, unique, mind numbing! All those stories are missing pieces of the puzzle. You can read and enjoy them separately but as you realize the connections of them by catching the small details, you feel more satisfied and you adore the witty writing style of the author! I’m telling you my friends, this book is precious gem! You cannot put it down, getting lost in the creative world building and rich characters and after finishing it you feel the ache deeply because you crave more, you need more stories! Best solution is retreading this beautiful journey! I have amazing reading time and proudly grading this book with five creative, impressive, addictive, original stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s / Wendy Lamb Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Althea | themoonwholistens ☾

    for some reason i gravitate towards books set in small towns and they have yet to fail me

  5. 4 out of 5

    Phi

    (Thursday 26th March 2020) OMG OMG OMG!!! Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock is back! I’m going to scream. THE SMELL (as I fondly refer to it) is my favourite book of all time. I love everything about that book and I have been craving more work from this wonderful author. Give me this book now. NOW NOW NOW! AHHHHH! Can you tell how excited I am? Because I AM EXCITED!!! THE TITLE SOUNDS WONDERFUL. I NEED NEED NEED THIS NOW!!! (Thursday 28th May 2020) I’m sorry... the American West??? Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, you’ve (Thursday 26th March 2020) OMG OMG OMG!!! Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock is back! I’m going to scream. THE SMELL (as I fondly refer to it) is my favourite book of all time. I love everything about that book and I have been craving more work from this wonderful author. Give me this book now. NOW NOW NOW! AHHHHH! Can you tell how excited I am? Because I AM EXCITED!!! THE TITLE SOUNDS WONDERFUL. I NEED NEED NEED THIS NOW!!! (Thursday 28th May 2020) I’m sorry... the American West??? Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, you’ve done it again! (Tuesday 1st September 2020) How am I only now seeing this cover?!?!? It’s gorgeous! Oh wow, I love it! And also, considering the publisher is still F&F, it will hopefully be the same height as “The Smell”!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town started off on an interesting note for me. I liked how the stories flowed throughout this as well because it tied all the characters into a nice bow. I wouldn't necessarily say a pretty one because some of the stories were pretty sad. So, yeah, I felt some emotions but there's one story that just really pissed me off and I'm so happy with how it ended too. Other than that, the topics were I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town started off on an interesting note for me. I liked how the stories flowed throughout this as well because it tied all the characters into a nice bow. I wouldn't necessarily say a pretty one because some of the stories were pretty sad. So, yeah, I felt some emotions but there's one story that just really pissed me off and I'm so happy with how it ended too. Other than that, the topics were pretty interesting and it definitely made this book a page turner. I don't think I necessarily had a favorite one out of all of them but I am glad that I finally had the time to dive into this book. Even if I found myself being a bit bored with some of the characters or the story that I was reading. Still interesting though.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin || erins_library

    (Gifted from the publisher via Netgalley) A few years back, I narrated the audiobook for Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s The Smell of Other People’s Houses. So when I saw that she had a new book coming out I was so excited and ready to get my hands on it!! I didn’t read too deeply into the synopsis before diving in. All I knew was that it was a short story collection and the title... which gave me some idea. I was pleasantly surprised that all the stories ended up being connected to each other in some way (Gifted from the publisher via Netgalley) A few years back, I narrated the audiobook for Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s The Smell of Other People’s Houses. So when I saw that she had a new book coming out I was so excited and ready to get my hands on it!! I didn’t read too deeply into the synopsis before diving in. All I knew was that it was a short story collection and the title... which gave me some idea. I was pleasantly surprised that all the stories ended up being connected to each other in some way and built off of each one. It reminded me of Bonnie-Sue’s first book with the multiple perspectives and seeing how they all connected. It’s something I really enjoy about her storytelling style! The stories themselves felt like an ode to small towns and the communities they hold. Small towns get a reputation for being places where nothing happens, life stands still. But these stories are bursting with life, love, heartbreak, tragedy, and more. The characters were great and I especially loved seeing them through new perspectives when they popped up in different stories. I most related to 2 characters in one of the stories who are not outdoorsy camping types, but because they’re Alaskan people expect them to be experts. Very relatable. I flew through the book and think many of you would enjoy it as well. Releases in April! CW: trauma, sexual abuse, pedophilia, child death, murder, grief, drug use, car crash, wildfire, cheating

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was expecting a bit more from this anthology, in the end it was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed how the stories were all connected one way or another, not only because of their setting, but also thanks to some recurring characters that made an appearance in two stories or more. It was definitely a nice touch. Overall the stories were okay, my favourites out of the nine short stories included in An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was expecting a bit more from this anthology, in the end it was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed how the stories were all connected one way or another, not only because of their setting, but also thanks to some recurring characters that made an appearance in two stories or more. It was definitely a nice touch. Overall the stories were okay, my favourites out of the nine short stories included in this anthology were probably Parking-lot Flowers and The Right Kind of People. I really appreciated the fact that the author decided to focus on a variety of different themes, when starting a story I never knew what I was going into, which is something that definitely made the reading experience more interesting. I must say that some of the stories were a bit boring and I didn't really enjoy them. If you're looking for an anthology with a variety of themes, this might be the read for you!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    I picked up this book solely because of the title and I was even more sold when I saw it was short stories. Once I started reading it I was excited when I realized that all the stories are interconnected in one way or another. Living in a small town can be stifling - it's all you've ever known, it's hard to imagine life elsewhere, and you are forever defined by the worst thing that ever happened to you. From wildfires, to cheating boyfriends, to invisible friends, to basketball, to gum wrappers I picked up this book solely because of the title and I was even more sold when I saw it was short stories. Once I started reading it I was excited when I realized that all the stories are interconnected in one way or another. Living in a small town can be stifling - it's all you've ever known, it's hard to imagine life elsewhere, and you are forever defined by the worst thing that ever happened to you. From wildfires, to cheating boyfriends, to invisible friends, to basketball, to gum wrappers and suspect priests - this book covers a variety of issues that plague teens in small Colorado towns, in Alaska, and on the coast. Compelling, dark, and yet ultimately uplifting and emotional - I was very impressed with this short story collection.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    As Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s second novel, I was so incredibly excited to be transported back to Alaska. Hitchcock has such an amazing way with words which doesn’t just paint a picture of the story, it brings the story directly to you; you can touch, taste, smell every part of it. I honestly can’t express how much joy reading more from Hitchcock brought me; both Everyone Does Famous in a Small Town and her debut - The Smell of Other People’s Houses - will be definite rereads for me. The novel, much li As Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s second novel, I was so incredibly excited to be transported back to Alaska. Hitchcock has such an amazing way with words which doesn’t just paint a picture of the story, it brings the story directly to you; you can touch, taste, smell every part of it. I honestly can’t express how much joy reading more from Hitchcock brought me; both Everyone Does Famous in a Small Town and her debut - The Smell of Other People’s Houses - will be definite rereads for me. The novel, much like her first, is written from a multi narrative perspective and maintains a strong sense of mystery throughout. The reader is left to piece to puzzle of the story together, right until the very end. Hitchcock ingeniously creates stand alone stories, which slowly weave themselves into a complete narrative. This book left me feeling like I’d received an all encompassing, warm hug which I never want to be released from. Suffice to say, I am going to wait in eager anticipation for more from Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Honestly, just give me stories about small rural towns during the 90s and I’m a very happy reader. This book made me want to sit down and write a short story, which I don’t think has ever happened before.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Poppy

    'Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town' is my first Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock novel and it took my breath away. Not only has Hitchcock woven an intricate array of characters but she manages to ensure the reader has quick emotional insight formed during each character's short appearance. The structure of the novel is a series of vignettes, the ending of the last character's story leading into the next one, dealing with plots as simple as working at a summer camp and playing basketball to heavy storylin 'Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town' is my first Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock novel and it took my breath away. Not only has Hitchcock woven an intricate array of characters but she manages to ensure the reader has quick emotional insight formed during each character's short appearance. The structure of the novel is a series of vignettes, the ending of the last character's story leading into the next one, dealing with plots as simple as working at a summer camp and playing basketball to heavy storylines such as a raging forest fire, a childhood abduction and a quest for vengeance against childhood abuse. The connections between characters are sometimes subtle but are satisfying when revealed, aptly demonstrating the complex connections from one human being to another (even when small town communities are the primary setting). Hitchcock does not shy away from the characters experiencing some raw and brutal events. The most affecting for me was Delia's storyline. Hitchcock introduces her as a girl from privilege whose parents could buy her anything she wanted. When the true darkness in her life is revealed, it is almost casually dropped in, an absolute gut punch by how normalised such awful childhood experiences became in communities like hers. This is characteristic of each story - the horrors of human nature are laid bare, trustworthy figures' reputations torn down and others built up again. This is a short, dark and heartbreaking read but beautifully written. There are many characters - even if you do not notice every connection instantly, each story acts as an important lesson for the reader. Highly recommended. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    3 Stars Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. This near-contemporary short story cycle falls into the same traps that so many works of short story do. First, the varying quality and content of the stories means that while some of the stories are good, some really don't reach that level. So a middling rating is really the best that any reviewer can do. This particular short story foible comes from the fact 3 Stars Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. This near-contemporary short story cycle falls into the same traps that so many works of short story do. First, the varying quality and content of the stories means that while some of the stories are good, some really don't reach that level. So a middling rating is really the best that any reviewer can do. This particular short story foible comes from the fact that collections tend to be made up of work from various authors. Therefore, writing styles and tones just don't click between different works, even if the editor has collected them thematically. I had some hope coming into this book, as every work in the cycle is written by Hitchcock. Alas, my hopes were dashed. The second trap that this cycle falls into is one specific to contemporary short stories--and, to a lesser extent, to contemporary stories in general. That is, the stories are more or less entirely benign. Though a few have brief moments of poignancy, these contemporary stories are mundane and forgettable for the most part. Which is a shame, as the concept was so strong and the writing itself was generally pretty good. The stories just didn't live up to the promise. That is not to say that there aren't good things about this cycle. The fact that it is a cycle at all--that is, a bunch of interconnected short stories, complete on their own but even better when linked together--is both rare and exciting. There will definitely be fans, and I will personally say that at least one of these stories will stick with me. But if you're looking for something new in short story, this cycle isn't it. A complete review of this book, including what made the great stories really great, will be published on Gateway Reviews on June 18, 2021.

  14. 5 out of 5

    daphnereads

    To start off this review, I wanna let you know that if your interested in reading this book, please look up the trigger warnings, I don’t have the best memory and I don’t want to accidentally leave something out, but the TW’s that I can remember are sexual @ssault, p*dophilia, religious trauma, and homoph*bia. Now onto my review. This is a collection of short stories about people who live in small towns, and sadly there were some amazing stories, and some not so amazing ones. Out of the whole coll To start off this review, I wanna let you know that if your interested in reading this book, please look up the trigger warnings, I don’t have the best memory and I don’t want to accidentally leave something out, but the TW’s that I can remember are sexual @ssault, p*dophilia, religious trauma, and homoph*bia. Now onto my review. This is a collection of short stories about people who live in small towns, and sadly there were some amazing stories, and some not so amazing ones. Out of the whole collection, my favorite short story was by far The Right Kind of People, where we follow Delia. This is the most heartbreaking, and most difficult one to read, but I think that’s what made it stand out. I hate to say it, but a lot of these stories are forgettable, but what happened to Delia was awful, and I can’t speak on if it was handled well, but what I can say is that Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock wrote it beautifully. What she brought to the story is something that many people have gone through, and many more people need to be aware of, following Delia was hands down the best part of this novel. Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children’s for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. I had read Hitchcock's earlier work (The Smell of Other People's Houses ) and enjoyed the premise, but didn't feel like I was "literary" enough to appreciate the minutiae of what she was doing. With this book, a collection of interconnected vignettes that look at sexual abuse, grief, and the weight we give to girl's voices, she knocked it out of the park. This is a book I woul Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. I had read Hitchcock's earlier work (The Smell of Other People's Houses ) and enjoyed the premise, but didn't feel like I was "literary" enough to appreciate the minutiae of what she was doing. With this book, a collection of interconnected vignettes that look at sexual abuse, grief, and the weight we give to girl's voices, she knocked it out of the park. This is a book I would gladly read again, just to enjoy the cadence of the words and to redraw the lines between all of the characters. It is also a book I would be ITCHING to get my hands on to put into a HS Language Arts curriculum, because to pair these vignettes about grief with O'Brien's The Things They Carried would be incredibly powerful. There is no way to summarize this book. Each chapter gives you a glimpse into someone's life, and then, in the next, it's as if the image has been shifted just slightly, so now a person who was merely in the background, or half cut off by the edges, is now front and center. And by the end, you've started to understand these people and the universal truths of growing up and small towns: everyone and everything is connected. And while you might "know" everyone in your small town, you eventually realize you didn't actually know them at all. Highly recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gina Adams

    Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early copy. This book is kinda an anthology/vignette collection - it episodically tells little slice of life stories from different kids’ lives, spanning different people, states, and experiences. They’re all a little bit connected, and the connection goes a little deeper with every story. There’s not a huge storyline, nothing super pressing to get to the end quick about, but instead every story kind of wraps up nicely enough. It’s kind of just a book Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early copy. This book is kinda an anthology/vignette collection - it episodically tells little slice of life stories from different kids’ lives, spanning different people, states, and experiences. They’re all a little bit connected, and the connection goes a little deeper with every story. There’s not a huge storyline, nothing super pressing to get to the end quick about, but instead every story kind of wraps up nicely enough. It’s kind of just a book about the human experience. There’s a summer camp, a town obsessed with basketball, a town evacuated by a wildfire, a new girl who threatens a long term relationship... just stuff that could be happening any old day. But it was just really well-done and easy to read. I recommend it just because it was a cool reading experience.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town in exchange for an honest review. Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town has the unique ability to feel small and intimate and larger than life at the same time. Following a plethora of interlocking characters through love, loss, coming of ages, grief, abuse, and friendships, it's such a uniquely well done story. Normally with interlocking anthologies at least one of the stories feels at least slightly out of plac Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town in exchange for an honest review. Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town has the unique ability to feel small and intimate and larger than life at the same time. Following a plethora of interlocking characters through love, loss, coming of ages, grief, abuse, and friendships, it's such a uniquely well done story. Normally with interlocking anthologies at least one of the stories feels at least slightly out of place, but every word here felt necessary.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Priyal Inani

    Reading this book was like being known to new extraordinary places and God this book is so underrated. It really was a good book. All the small towns, all the different peoples. Everything was bizarre and nice altogether. And in the end, all the stories made sense and broke my heart quite a bit. But it was worth reading, as it isn't so long but covers much experience and was worth reading. Many stories in a short book are quite good enough. Reading this book was like being known to new extraordinary places and God this book is so underrated. It really was a good book. All the small towns, all the different peoples. Everything was bizarre and nice altogether. And in the end, all the stories made sense and broke my heart quite a bit. But it was worth reading, as it isn't so long but covers much experience and was worth reading. Many stories in a short book are quite good enough.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Everyone Dies Famous In Small Town is an intimate multi faceted portrait piece, a series of interconnected stories and characters where the mundane actions of day to day life unveils deeper and darker personalities and actions. The author is an insightful writer with an eye for building a story within a story, all of the people you meet within this novel will stay with you for different reasons and in different ways. Their commonality is within their differences and the backdrop of small town lif Everyone Dies Famous In Small Town is an intimate multi faceted portrait piece, a series of interconnected stories and characters where the mundane actions of day to day life unveils deeper and darker personalities and actions. The author is an insightful writer with an eye for building a story within a story, all of the people you meet within this novel will stay with you for different reasons and in different ways. Their commonality is within their differences and the backdrop of small town life everywhere is cleverly abx beautifully described. I'm a fan. Recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and Wendy Lamb Books for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. Hitchcock is a tremendous writer who excels at setting and subtlety, and this work reflects that: one of the best short story collections I’ve seen with this audience in mind. Updated 4/20/21 5 stars Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock wrote a fabulous novel, and I couldn't wait to read more from her; that's why I was THRILLED to receive the arc for this collection. Th Thanks to NetGalley and Wendy Lamb Books for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. Hitchcock is a tremendous writer who excels at setting and subtlety, and this work reflects that: one of the best short story collections I’ve seen with this audience in mind. Updated 4/20/21 5 stars Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock wrote a fabulous novel, and I couldn't wait to read more from her; that's why I was THRILLED to receive the arc for this collection. Though they happen in different small towns, the stories in this grouping connect through the characters, who appear as primary or ancillary at different points. It's fascinating to piece together intentionally missed details. The settings are incredible, and one of Hitchcock's greatest talents absolutely lies in the ability to make the place a character and a central aspect of the human (and mermaid!) characters' lives and experiences. There are so few noteworthy story collections in the YA realm. This one stands out not only for that reason but also undoubtedly on its own merit. Highly recommended -

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Another reviewer called this collection of nine interlocking stories a gem, and I'd wholeheartedly agree. Each one can be enjoyed on its own merit and for the delicious way the author reveals her characters, but it's also entertaining to pay attention to how each story fits into another story, almost like a set of Russian nesting dolls in which someone opens up one to find another and another, nestled inside the larger ones. These aren't perfect characters although they are certainly relatable o Another reviewer called this collection of nine interlocking stories a gem, and I'd wholeheartedly agree. Each one can be enjoyed on its own merit and for the delicious way the author reveals her characters, but it's also entertaining to pay attention to how each story fits into another story, almost like a set of Russian nesting dolls in which someone opens up one to find another and another, nestled inside the larger ones. These aren't perfect characters although they are certainly relatable ones. There are reckonings for displaced anger in "Angry Starfish" and for faithlessness in "Pigeon Creek." Some stories such as "The Right Kind of People" and "Alaska Was Wasted on Us" focus on misplaced trust and groundless suspicions, and there are acts of heroism as described in "The Stranger in the Woods." The setting is rural Western America, most notably a summer camp in Alaska, a forlorn Pacific beach, small towns in Colorado and Montana, and anyone who has grown up in such places will recognize the intensity with which citizens love certain sports such as basketball, replaying games and losses over and over. The stories cover sibling rivalry, young love, family dynamics, identity, and religion as well as inappropriate behavior, and sometimes even acts of revenge end up hurting others more than the intended recipient of that revenge. Also threaded through the stories is a belief in a renegade DJ, concerns about a girl who's been missing for two years, and wildfires that threaten homes. The final story {"There's Gas in the Tank, Louise!"} will hit readers hard as it pulls several of the threads that have been dangling in previous stories together in a shocking resolution. I would argue that plenty happens in small towns and that it's hard to get lost or be true to oneself in such small places. And yet, there is so much good in such places. Budding writers will want to study this collection to admire and emulate the writer's craft but also to consider how any place can be made interesting, depending on how it is presented. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and some of its pithy language. In fact, I felt a profound sense of sadness when I came to the last page because I came to like several of the characters. Since the stories are set in 1995 I found myself wondering about what happened to them next.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Arlen

    Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock Pub Date 20 Apr 2021 read courtesy of http://www.netgalley.com 12 1/2 million stars!!!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ As in I wish I had written this. Or I wish I had the mind of Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. These stories are brilliantly combined without being repetitive. Each story is complete within itself while implying the wholeness of the world in which it was created. Nothing left me questioning any of the characters, their motives, or their choices. I am complete Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock Pub Date 20 Apr 2021 read courtesy of http://www.netgalley.com 12 1/2 million stars!!!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ As in I wish I had written this. Or I wish I had the mind of Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. These stories are brilliantly combined without being repetitive. Each story is complete within itself while implying the wholeness of the world in which it was created. Nothing left me questioning any of the characters, their motives, or their choices. I am completely impressed with Hitchcock's storytelling. I'm hesitant to describe this as a book of short stories, and although some reviewers recommend reading these independently, I caution against it. Part of what made this engaging was experiencing the connections between seemingly independent characters and finding how intertwined our lives and experiences can be. With a bit of six-degrees-of-separation, we're all interconnected. I think I had such a connection to the storytelling because I didn't know this was a collection of connected short stories, and the serendipity of discovering the existence of the connections myself was so enjoyable. This happened to me because I misinterpreted a description that said, "Each story is unique, yet universal," to mean the characters' stories, not literally separate short stories. I became so engaged with Hitchcock's adroitness in creating those connections that I took the time to map out all of the connections. This suited my personality, my skills, and my absorption with the stories. >>Do not look at this concept map if you want to figure out the connections on your own: https://www.mindmeister.com/170722791...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sammi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The first thing I want to say about this book is that the title really drew me in. It is beautiful. Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town is a short story collection about characters whose lives are somehow woven together, not always directly, but in a small way. It focusses on the young people in small towns and communities in Alaska and America, with characters and events that flow thorough each of the stories, linking them all together. We see stories about Wildfires, grief, forgetting, sexual The first thing I want to say about this book is that the title really drew me in. It is beautiful. Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town is a short story collection about characters whose lives are somehow woven together, not always directly, but in a small way. It focusses on the young people in small towns and communities in Alaska and America, with characters and events that flow thorough each of the stories, linking them all together. We see stories about Wildfires, grief, forgetting, sexuality, abuse, betrayal, murder and everything in between. It tells the stories of young peoples whose lives have been changed, moulded buy these events and things that have happened to them. My favourite story was The Right Kind of People, along with the last one in the book (which the name escapes me), but I enjoyed all of them for their own peculiarities and intricacies. It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, and you form attachments to these characters, which is not so easy within a short story. I loved how you got to find out what was behind characters that would normally be side-characters and not explored. The only downside to this collection for me was that I just wanted more. I got so engrossed in every story that I wanted more from it, but really, that isn't even a downside. It's a sign of good storytelling and knowing when to end your stories, leaving the reader aching for more. I feel as if some of these stories will stick with me for a while, which usually isn't the case with me and anthology collections, but this was something different. I look forward to reading anything else from Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock in the future. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie Z

    Before I say anything else, it’s very important to note that there should be a CW for sexual assault in this book, please keep that in mind prior to reading it! Looking at the title of the book alone one would assume that they knew exactly where this collection would take the reader, but that assumption isn’t entirely true. Death in its literal sense is certainly touched on however, the concept of “death” is presented in more ways than simply the obvious. The death of memories, of love, of innoce Before I say anything else, it’s very important to note that there should be a CW for sexual assault in this book, please keep that in mind prior to reading it! Looking at the title of the book alone one would assume that they knew exactly where this collection would take the reader, but that assumption isn’t entirely true. Death in its literal sense is certainly touched on however, the concept of “death” is presented in more ways than simply the obvious. The death of memories, of love, of innocence, of safety and comfort, of hope, of childhood... all of these deaths are explored, rather than focussing on funerals and caskets. It was unexpected in the most beautiful way and allowed a certain level of introspectiveness through its prose. With descriptive and gorgeous writing, this collection of intertwined short stories shares experiences of people in small towns, revealing honesty in the passing (and poignant) moments of the characters lives. Though some stories can feel disconnected from the reader (and certain stories are written better than others, to be completely honest), the heart behind each of them shines brightly. A quick read that is definitely worth it! 3.5 stars rounded up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Berry

    Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town is a collection of stories that take place in small towns. While it seems like nothing ever happens, so much drama happens in the lives of the people who live there. This was okay, it was so short and went by fast and I was interested enough. While there was a lot of drama, honestly most of it bored me. There were all these stories and I liked how they eventually intertwined but besides the one with the girl seeking revenge, I could have slept. There were so m Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town is a collection of stories that take place in small towns. While it seems like nothing ever happens, so much drama happens in the lives of the people who live there. This was okay, it was so short and went by fast and I was interested enough. While there was a lot of drama, honestly most of it bored me. There were all these stories and I liked how they eventually intertwined but besides the one with the girl seeking revenge, I could have slept. There were so many characters and stories and it was hard for me to ever get a grasp for anyone because then it moved on to someone else and their drama. The story with the girl seeking revenge against the priest though was so hard hitting and absolutely slapped. I wanted more with that energy, not just petty drama between neighbors and someone trying to find their cat in a forest fire.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rukhsar (rukhimonster)

    Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has a certain (and well liked) poetic way with her use of details. I had class all weekend and it was so hard to put this book down. I ended up reading at every break and while eating and brushing my teeth. Though they are stories that stand alone very well, they are also all connected making this an irresistible read. Thank you NetGalley and Faber and Faber Ltd for this ARC. Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock has a certain (and well liked) poetic way with her use of details. I had class all weekend and it was so hard to put this book down. I ended up reading at every break and while eating and brushing my teeth. Though they are stories that stand alone very well, they are also all connected making this an irresistible read. Thank you NetGalley and Faber and Faber Ltd for this ARC.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abbey Marshall

    This lyrical collection of short stories woven together by small interactions was a delight to read — and I did so in one sitting. Beautifully written chapters for each unique and realistic character and an insight as to how life isn’t really as random as it may seem. I do wish the ending tied together a few more stories to make it feel more complete, but the final chapter did pack an emotional punch. Overall, a lovely book and I look forward to reading more of her work!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie // Callisto

    It was pretty nice for zwischendurch, but I'm a little disappointed since I had high expectations and it wasn't as impactful as I had hoped. It was pretty nice for zwischendurch, but I'm a little disappointed since I had high expectations and it wasn't as impactful as I had hoped.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Llyr Heller-Humphreys

    I think her books would make wonderful films

  30. 4 out of 5

    L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~

    Love that synopsis and the title is a killer, got to get a hold of this asap.

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