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Boys and Girls Like You and Me: Stories

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  694 ratings  ·  137 reviews
ARYN KYLE, whose award-winning novel The God of Animals was hailed as "reason for readers to rejoice" (USA Today), turns her gift for storytelling to the lives of girls and women in this spectacular collection. These eleven stories showcase Kyle’s keen eye for character, her humor, and her uncanny grasp of the loneliness, selfishness, and longing that underlie female exper ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Scribner (first published January 1st 2010)
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I don’t usually care much for short stories; I don’t understand them most of the time, and so they bore me. This collection is different. It grabbed me from the first paragraph and never let go. In each of these eleven stories about young women and girls (and one young boy), I recognized either myself or people I know. There are many, many ways that a woman can mess up her life, and several of these ways are brought to living, breathing, despairing life in these tales. It’s uncanny how vivid the ...more
Janelle Weiner
Good to the last sentence. And I wonder if Kyle would hate this, but I feel like there was a GIRLS-esqueness to these stories, written in a time before GIRLS existed. They're funny, twisted, inappropriate at times. The girls are drifting--not identity-seeking, but waiting for their identity to find *them*, which I think is a pretty great critique of the contemporary female experience, at least for those of a certain age.
It is not often that a short story writer can create characters that are multi-dimensional, real, and relateable in so few pages...Aryn Kyle is remarkably successful at doing just that. The characters that grace this set of stories are flawed, but convey a refreshing honesty & self-awareness that made for a good tale, even set amongst the most ordinary of circumstances. From the inside flap, " In "Nine," a young girl given to exaggeration escapes a humiliating ninth birthday celebration with ...more
The Joy of Booking
This is an excellent collection of short stories exploring the process of (mostly female) childhood and teenage development. Every single story captured my attention and stayed with me for hours after reading. I'd read The God of Animals a few years ago for a book club, so I was eager to pick up a collection of short stories by the same author, and I was not disappointed.

It's really hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I absolutely had to, I think I might go with "Nine," the story of a little
-- I like short stories b/c they force the author to boil the story down to the most essential scenes. I feel like I get their key points in a short space. Kyle did this well.
-- The writing was pretty good. Not beautiful, but well done. She had some really good moments where she framed a character's perspective in such a way that it felt new to me. I love when that happens.
-- She doesn't glamorize sin. These are not soap operas. They're more like "About Schmidt" - showing how bleak life is f
My friend Terri wrote a scathing review of this book, and it acted on me like the classic spoiled milk skit: "Ugh, it's terrible! Here, taste it!" I was perversely curious, and after noticing that other reviews of the book seemed wildly polarized -- love it/hate it, not much inbetween -- I was downright intrigued.

I'm in the "love it" camp. I thought it was sharply observed, with snappy, vivid dialog. It's frequently very funny (if in a sometimes uncomfortably dark or "OMG that's SO inappropriate
Jan 02, 2011 Rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I found this book while perusing the new books section of my local library. I was in the mood to try reading a book of short stories rather than a full-length novel.

It's hard for me to rate this book. On the one hand, Kyle's writing is fantastic. I left the end of each 20-30 page story thinking, "Not only do I feel I have a good understanding of the character, but I feel I have a good idea of where the character is going to end up even after the story ends. How is it possible to do this successf
This book was just mean although the writing was very clever. Few of the characters are at all likable or sympathetic. They all are either pathetic, evil, cruel, twisted, or just uninteresting. While these are short stories, so not the same as a novel, I can't help thinking of Rachel Cusk's recent book which I also found to be inhabited by unlikable characters, but somehow not as distasteful as these were.
She really creates her characters so well, and I remember quite liking her novel The God of
Alison Abernethy
The story's were hit or miss, some I really liked some I didn't.
Page 33- "Love. It is a word that means nothing and everything at the same time."

Page 34- "I love you, I love you," her father's voice says on the other side of the wall, and Tess wants to rush to him and cover his lips with her hand. She wants to save him from all the things he hopes it means, from all the promises it cannot keep.

Page 48- "Today will just be something else that they don't talk about, something else that probably never happened."

Page 59- "She had spent her whole life working as
This anthology of stories was just not for me. Even though the writing and characterization were good, I found that the stories were morose and in general made me feel uncomfortable due to the content. For example an implied rape scene, abuse, etc. Normally these don't bother me, but for some reason this author's writing got into my head. I had a yucky feeling in my stomach the entire time I was reading and was just glad this one was over. 2 stars.
Aryn Kyle, whom I interviewed when she was promoting her debut novel in Milwaukee some years ago, converts a brilliant observational sense for human detail into swiftly drawn and motile characters. What I loved about the stories in this collection was her endings. It is not always easy to end a story, but in the stories here she achieves graceful endings without tying anything up in a bow. There is much intelligent humor throughout, and although each of her narrators is distinct, we feel Aryn's ...more
Despite my slow reading, I think this collection got me appreciating short stories again. Maybe I was wrong about myself as looking for sufficient room for "development" without a focus on the advancing of a plot. Maybe similar kind of short-form fiction can provide me with the same vague experience. It is yet to be seen if this realization, and acting upon it sticks. "A Lot Like Fun" may have been my favorite. i suppose reading reviews on Goodreads in general have produced sophomoric, strained ...more
Mixed feelings on this collection. Some of the stories are sharp and devastating, while others are just meh and feel overworked in that MFA-workshop way.
Aliisa Percival
A must-read for girls in their twenties, though I'm sure anyone would find it interesting. Brilliantly written, touching, and viscerally poignant.
Matt Raymond
I’m unofficially the head cheerleader for Aryn Kyle. The God of Animals is one of my favorite books, and I even read passages of it at my writing group. As an example of good writing in case you were wondering. But that’s the only book she’s published besides this short story collection in 2010. So while I impatiently wait for her to continue proving her awesome writing abilities, I decided I should at least finish what she’s had published. And I’m happy I finally did. Not quite as good as her ...more
I had a hard time rating this one. It's truly somewhere between a 1.5 and a 3.5. If I cared enough I would rate each story individually. A few of the stories, namely Nine (5 stars!), Captain's Club (5 stars!) and A Lot Like Fun (4 stars! I was giddy that she name dropped Nintendo in this one!) were really exceptionally well done. The former two being almost as unforgettable and haunting as a Raymond Carver story! Huge compliment for you Miss Kyle! But the rest of the stories fall a bit flat, tho ...more
I would give this a 4.5 if Goodreads let me.

Some of the stories in this book I loved so much that I read them twice ("A Lot Like Fun", "Boys and Girls Like You and Me," and "Captain's Club"). One of them I HATED ("Allegiance"). A few other stories were pretty good and then there were a few that grossed me out a little bit.
After the first story, "Brides," I thought that the collection might just be copying Miranda July a bit too much. The title even reminded me of Miranda July's "Me and You and
Roger DeBlanck
Aryn Kyle follows her impressive debut novel, The God of Animals, with an equally formidable collection of stories. As she did with poignancy in her novel, the eleven fast-moving, finely-crafted stories in Boys and Girls Like You and Me are tender, haunting, melancholy, and at stretches downright crushing in their exploration of loneliness and loss. Dealing with the source of pain that produces self-doubt and self-loathing, these stories pull you with an anticipatory sense of alarm into the live ...more
Tim Baldwin
Aryn Kyle’s Boys and Girls Like You and Me is the female perspective within our post modern world. This collection of short stories is a must read for anyone interested in the trials and trivialities of the female adolescent and beyond, attempting to make sense of this world. Kyle keeps the reader glued to the pages through the emotional familiarities she establishes that are brutally realistic. Even I, as a male reader, felt an empathetic connection to the characters, while adding a new perspec ...more
This mostly "coming of age" collection of short stories left me somewhat ambivalent.

Each story features primarily young females. I found most of the stories to be somewhat depressing or dark, but, at the same time, I can also say that I could find a thread or character within each story that I could either relate to in my own life, or that reminded me of a individual that in some way has crossed into my own life. Like it or not, we've probably all come across an individual like many of the prota
I haven't picked up a short story collection in a while so reading Boys and Girls Like You and Me by Aryn Kyle was a great way to jump back in it. The general theme and thread of these short stories was about love, in all forms, and most of the time, love that didn't work. The stories seemed believable, the characters one I might run into on my campus or later in life.

There are 11 stories and overall, it's a pretty quick read. I had many favorites such as "Economics," "Captain's Club," "Femme,"
"Boys and girls like you and me" is a book of short stories by Aryn
Kyle that I have recently read.

Kyle's stories seem like facets of her own life and personality, warts
and all. A British girl coming to America and having to adjust to the
local culture and navigate her way among cliques of popular girls. A
child of a traumatic divorce. A college girl who does not care about
education, wants to smoke pot and drink instead. Somebody who does not
possess any particular talent or drive to succeed, but j
This collection of short stories is entertaining, but also often awkward, brutal, heartbreaking. This is not a feel good collection. I was entertained and kept going. Some of the stories were better than others. And I agree with other reviewers that the story about the boy is the best, most relateable story. I found almost all the female characters (except for Tree in the story about the boy) to be totally unrealistic and at times obnoxious. None of the women spoke their minds, none shared their ...more
Wendy Burks
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 t ...more
Aryn Kyle’s short story collection is a compilation of stories about girls and women who are struggling. The girls in Kyle’s stories are struggling with their identities and sense of self. They are women who are like people readers know in their own lives, and they are women that readers might even recognize in themselves.

The stories in Kyle’s short story collection illustrate the trials and tribulations of girlhood in the modern United States. The female protagonists present in her stories make
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 ...more
If I had to describe this book in two words, here are the two I would choose: unrelentingly depressing. While there are certainly provocative stories in this collection, taken as a whole they sat on my chest like a boulder. And that was true even though I read the book over the course of more than a week, taking time in between to read two other books.

The most interesting story for me was Femme. I liked the use of first person plural narration and while this story was disturbing, it was far less
This book is hard to place for me. Its most prominent feature seems to be how the author Aryn Kyle manages to flatten the distance-- power, spirit, emotion--between adults and children. Stories take unexpected turns, but are very much rooted in reality and character. There are dives into poetry and craft and lovely chiseled characterizations. It is a very impressive debut that had me wondering with each story where we were off to next.
"Boys and Girls Like You and Me" is a collection of short stories with women or girls as the main characters. I enjoy short stories very much, especially when tired at night and getting through an entire story in 15 pages is more satiating then the equivalent, just a chapter of one novel.
I found these short stories to be slightly disturbing whether the character was nine years old or twenty-nine. There is a story of a young girl who's mother passed away and accumulates multiple paranoias and f
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Aryn Kyle graduated from the University of Montana writing program. In 2004 her short story Foaling Season, now the first chapter of this novel, won a National Magazine Award for Fiction for The Atlantic Monthly. Kyle spent most of her childhood in Grand Junction, Colorado, and now lives in New York City.
More about Aryn Kyle...
The God of Animals The Best American Short Stories 2007

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“Stop torturing yourself, her friends said. Stop living in the past. He was gone. Capital G--Gone. He wasn't coming back. She should focus not on the pain, but on the possibility. Something good would come from all this heartache, something always did. Everything, her friends told her, happened for a reason. She should start looking for the silver lining.

She thought she might start looking for new friends.”
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