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Heartbreaker

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  467 ratings  ·  95 reviews
In her debut story collection Heartbreaker, Maryse Meijer peels back the crust of normalcy and convention, unmasking the fury and violence we are willing to inflict in the name of love and loneliness. Her characters are a strange ensemble—a feral child, a girl raised from the dead, a possible pedophile—who share in vulnerability and heartache, but maintain an unremitting w ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Fsg Originals
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  467 ratings  ·  95 reviews


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Amelia
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great thing about short stories is how you can read one in a sitting for one mood, then another one, and then by the end of the book you have a stained window of moods inside you. This this more of a paper bag full of busted shards. It does bodily violence without the precious weight those scenes sometimes get.
Phee
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are some very twisted stories in here and they were delightful.
Rachel
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a usual fan of short stories, but these stories were so wildly perverse, so darkly disturbing, they alternated from erotic to nauseating between each page. And I couldn't put it down.

Excellent book, but not for everyone.
Jim
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, small-press
Stark, savage, no fucks given.
Rachel León
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I feel like I've read more short stories this year than ever before and I see stories that overlap in theme or style with other writers, but this collection feels very original. Some of the stories are weird, others dark, but they're all fantastic. I'm excited to read more of Maryse Meijer's work.
Paris (parisperusing)
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars (with a considerable push near 4.75): While I didn't like, or rather understand, every story in this collection, that wouldn't obstruct me from recommending it to someone with equally fucked up reading interests as myself. Meijer's writing is electrifying, provocative, disarming--if you're fortunate enough to survive its magnitude, then you're one of the lucky ones.
Annika
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Weird as fuck and I like it.
Lu Louche
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This collection of short stories by Maryse Meijer is, broadly speaking, about love and desire and always includes a moment of heartbreak. The 13 stories are different, strange, maybe even bewildering at times. The unusualness of the relationships/desires makes it interesting. But not because you finally get to know how a girl and a fox make out but because it opens up a different way of telling a love story, it allows Maryse to use a different kind of language then you would in a more traditiona ...more
Yanira
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the reason I don't impulse buy. I always do my research before buying my book. This is full of trigger warnings (rape). I finished it and I am so happy it's done. This book is like Miley Cyrus: dying to make a point but no way in hell making it. It's trying so hard to be different, strange and weird that it falls flat for me. It's like "look I can talk about pedophiles, strange sex and rape" with lots of restraint. I liked one story.
Kathe Koja
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
In contemporary fiction, it doesn't get any wilder, starker, or more beautifully subtle than Maryse Meijer's work. HEARTBREAKER is thirteen stories, is a singular worldview, is a dark, intelligent, heart-stopping romp through the very human condition, its women and men on fire, lost, in love with so much that will not love them back. Until it does. And then look out . . . You won't read anything like this from anyone else, and in my book there's no higher praise.
Elaina
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I have a feeling these stories will stay with me for a long time. I adored this collection, for me it was reminiscent of Sarah Hall's The Beautiful Indifference or Laura van den Berg's stories, a few of them maybe even reminded me of some of Jenny Diski's stories collected in The Vanishing Princess, less for their style and more for the way Meijer invites readers to see her characters in incredibly vulnerable, odd and dark situations. Truly, be prepared to have your heart broken.
Kathleen
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
"What do you care, I say, and then he looks at me sort of funny and says I *do* care, and I don't say anything back, just eat another burrito."
Matthew
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

What makes rom-coms so appealing to the masses? Is it the fairy-tale formulaic approach? The happily ever after closure? I’d argue it’s the unrelatability. Sure, many of us have fantasized what it would be like to be in the shoes of these romantics. But that’s not real, nor relatable. It’s textbook escapism.

That said if rom-coms were more relatable, it’s likely they’d appeal less to the masses looking for a brief getaway from the monotony of everyday life, and more so to wacko realis
...more
Zara Stubbs
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Genuinely the strangest thing I’ve ever read? If you’re not in to weird & dark- steer clear. I‘m in a strange position where I’m on the fence about this. It made me uncomfortable- but I read it in one sitting, and I’m trying to figure out how that should impact my rating. ...more
Kailey
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Read for In-Brief book club at City Lit. A lot of bestiality and pedophilia and some necrophilia. I have no issue with any of those things if they don’t feel like they’re there just for shock value. I haven’t decided about this book yet. Felt like Stephen King’s ideas as rendered by a creepy seventeen-year-old girl who writes surprisingly sharp fan fiction.
jenni
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
i think i sort of hate what just happened here
Anne
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Superb. Brutality in each pushed far to the edge. The natural world becoming human, and vice versa. The natural world eating us alive, or fucking us. About the filling of urges and containing a subtle critique of how those urges come to embody us. Skimming the front matter I noted that two of the ones I loved the most, "Love, Lucy" and "The Daddy", didn't appear to be published first in magazines. All the more reason to pick this up.
Michelle Hart
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
in lieu of a 'review' i will just post short summaries of what these stories are about:

1. there's a story here about a girl with an insatiable kidnapping fantasy
2. there's a story here about a teenage girl who sexually preys on a boy with down syndrome
3. there's a story here about a girl who was raped and then torments a group of boys trying to flirt with her
4. there's a story here about a wife who can only be with her husband if he is incarcerated, and gets mad at him when she discovers he has
...more
KWinks
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting, crude little stories that are wordy and vague in such a way to seem arty. In other words, I have already read this style a million times. I was drawn in by the cover, dammit. Oh and Meijer has chops, sometimes they shine through here. I would like to read a novel by her where she is forced to spend time exploring things instead of trying to shock readers.
My notes read, "trying too hard not to make sense". All that does is leave me unsatisfied and, after awhile, pissed off. Don't ge
...more
Miriam Cihodariu
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa
These short stories reminded me in a way of those written by Carmen Maria Machado - although I don't mean to imply that they are similar or lacking originality. I just mean that they both trade in similar registries of emotion - the lonely, the touched by sci-fi kind of magical realism which just tells stories of heartbreak and the mutual rejection between protagonists and society.

In the case of Maryse Meijer, the prose is definitely touched by more defiance and raw violence, and the emotion is
...more
Sara Cutaia
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hello new favorite book of 2016 & new contender for favorite story collection. I am obsessed with Maryse Meijer's writing. The stories are written with conviction and urgency. The prose is at once unrestricted in its scope and uncomplicated in its ease. The characters are honest and brittle, people you want to scold, but also root for. You can find a commonality in each character, good and bad, and shockingly (or perhaps not that shockingly) it's more often in the bad. There is a truth in the vi ...more
Carrie
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short stories are typically my palette cleansers between larger, heavy-subject books. Often, I keep a book of short stories on hand for brief spare moments that I know I won't be able to devote to a novel of depth.

This one served as both. But with the sacrifice of shock, sometimes disgust, morbid-intrigue at each unique character providing a brief glimpse into the society's outcasts, drifts from social norms, and often humanity's underbelly, uncovering the unusual and absurd surviving among us.
Jessica Sullivan
I typically like short stories to have more closure, but the ones in this collection are so jarring, bizarre and sordid that I didn't even care. They're a punch to the gut, like pouring salt into the open wounds of loneliness, melancholy, longing and disconnection.

David Foster Wallace said that "good fiction's job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." I'll let you guess what Heartbreaker did for me.
ems
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
i liked a few of these a lot. but the rest seemed to be in the 'plot, character, narrative ... whatever. make your story as strange as possible & no one will be able to tell if it's good or bad' mold. (is it just me or does it seems like there are more and more short story collections that are like this ...?) ...more
Possibly in Michigan, London
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story about the woman who advertises for a 'Daddy'... so many excellent reversals, leaves a weird stain on your mind. In a good way.
Bree Hill
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
These stories aren't for everyone. Such longing and loneliness done so hauntingly beautiful. This book will be on my mind for a while.
Megan
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dark, twisted, perverted, uncomfortable, lonely and I loved every minute of it.
Clelia
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
So fantastic. "Heartbreaker," "The Fire, and "The Cheat" blew me the hell away.
Aleesa Bautista
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This collection left me yearning, which I feel exactly what each stories shared amongst each other.
Piyali Mukherjee
This book should be TW for non con, descriptions of assault and self-harm. Additional CN for necrophilia and non-contact pedophilia.

This is a strange collection of stories. They're all intense explorations of sexuality, intimacy and relationships told through mostly young teens. However, unlike usual young adult, there's a really dark undercurrent to all of them. It's almost as if the protagonists are reckless in exploring what lies at the fringes of society and what limit exists to social boun
...more
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Maryse Meijer is the author of Heartbreaker (FSG 2016) and Northwood (forthcoming Black Balloon, 2018). She lives in Chicago.

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