Amy Do's Reviews > This Cake Is for the Party: Stories

This Cake Is for the Party by Sarah Selecky
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Jul 25, 11

Read in July, 2011

Selecky surprised me right from the first lines with such a confident and wry voice. She brushes over topics of sex, children, death, religion, drugs etc. with an indifferent yet full of mocking tone. She never expresses anger, disapproval or contempt toward any of her characters directly, but somehow, beneath that wry writing is a satirical smile hidden so well and artistically.

Her stories may start out with the ending, for example, "Where are you from sweetheart". However, readers soon realize the ending does not matter as much as the journey that the characters took to get there. The choices they make regarding matters so close to them and their ways of reacting to an event out of their hands portray their unique eccentric personalities. Yet they are relatable; their mistakes are universal and easy to sympathize with.

At some points I felt scared for the decisions that the protagonist makes. "Don't take those drugs!" or... "Don't kiss the man!" or... "Don't give yourself to him!" are some thoughts that went through my mind while I read these short and weird stories. That only means Selecky, somehow with her mocking voice, had charmed me and made me care for these characters enough that I wish they would make the right choice and have a nice ending.

However, none of these stories end; they are merely snapshots of people's lives. In fact, these snapshots are very representative of the character traits they possess, like a sample piece of cake that represents the entire cake. The stories offer great analysis of human psychology and how we deal with the environment around us. In the story "Watching Atlas", the protagonist dwells deeply on his dislike toward his girlfriend's friend, and his annoyance toward the surrounding environment when his girlfriend volunteers to take care of her friend's child. "This is How We Grow as Humans" also offers a unique insight into how we deal with people and the complications of interactions, especially between friends, lovers and ex-lovers.

Selecky demonstrates her emotional intelligence and with in dealing with the subject of human relationships and habits. It's a tricky field when we often over-analyze an over-complicate our feelings, but Selecky unravels the humanly thoughts with such ease and smoothness that it seems effortless, natural and fun.
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