One night, I read the first story and thought, "This is fun and original!". I read the second story that same night and thought, "Wow, I may be in love with Kelly Link!". I went to bed, went to work the next day, and recommended this book to everyone who may be interested, antsy to get home and keep reading.
My enthusiasm waned a little bit at the beginning of "Magic for Beginners". I thought, "There's a lot of quirk here for the sake of quirk, and this story is not making a lot of sense. These pop culture references are also making me want to die." The story was hugely long and it never got better and my opinion of the book was soured. I made it to about halfway through "Surfer" when, realizing that the problems I have with Link's writing would never get better and my annoyance had reached fever pitch, I had to put the book down. Over half of the way through. Bah! I hate when that happens. Especially after I've told almost every freaking person I have regular contact with how awesome a book is.
Kelly Link is a good story teller. Her stories have great beginning hooks, her plots on bare paper are interesting, and her ambiguous endings often give me a chill, even if I find the story that came before tedious. But I cannot stand the extraneous details, the contemporary references, and the overly clever paragraphs that have no purpose in the story except to be quirky and "original," all serving to obscure what could otherwise be a good tale. Sorry. Not my fave.
ETA: I wonder if I would enjoy an adult collection of Link's short stories, since this is technically YA. I'd be open to trying it.