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Hardly Children: Stories

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Named a Fall Pick by Boston Globe, ELLE, Library Journal and MyDomain An eerie debut collection featuring missing parents, unrequited love, and other uncomfortable moments A man hangs from the ceiling of an art gallery. A woman spells out messages to her sister using her own hair. Children deemed "bad" are stolen from their homes. In Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk's rich an Named a Fall Pick by Boston Globe, ELLE, Library Journal and MyDomain An eerie debut collection featuring missing parents, unrequited love, and other uncomfortable moments A man hangs from the ceiling of an art gallery. A woman spells out messages to her sister using her own hair. Children deemed "bad" are stolen from their homes. In Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk's rich and eccentric debut collection, familiar worlds--bars, hotel rooms, cities that could very well be our own--hum with uncanny dread. The characters in Hardly Children are keyed up, on the verge, full of desire. They're lost, they're in love with someone they shouldn't be, they're denying uncomfortable truths using sex or humor. They are children waking up to the threats of adulthood, and adults living with childlike abandon. With command, caution, and subtle terror, Adamczyk shapes a world where death and the possibility of loss always emerge. Yet the shape of this loss is never fully revealed. Instead, it looms in the periphery of these stories, like an uncomfortable scene viewed out of the corner of one's eye.


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Named a Fall Pick by Boston Globe, ELLE, Library Journal and MyDomain An eerie debut collection featuring missing parents, unrequited love, and other uncomfortable moments A man hangs from the ceiling of an art gallery. A woman spells out messages to her sister using her own hair. Children deemed "bad" are stolen from their homes. In Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk's rich an Named a Fall Pick by Boston Globe, ELLE, Library Journal and MyDomain An eerie debut collection featuring missing parents, unrequited love, and other uncomfortable moments A man hangs from the ceiling of an art gallery. A woman spells out messages to her sister using her own hair. Children deemed "bad" are stolen from their homes. In Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk's rich and eccentric debut collection, familiar worlds--bars, hotel rooms, cities that could very well be our own--hum with uncanny dread. The characters in Hardly Children are keyed up, on the verge, full of desire. They're lost, they're in love with someone they shouldn't be, they're denying uncomfortable truths using sex or humor. They are children waking up to the threats of adulthood, and adults living with childlike abandon. With command, caution, and subtle terror, Adamczyk shapes a world where death and the possibility of loss always emerge. Yet the shape of this loss is never fully revealed. Instead, it looms in the periphery of these stories, like an uncomfortable scene viewed out of the corner of one's eye.

30 review for Hardly Children: Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Felice Laverne

    Laura Adamczyk’s Hardly Children is a collection of uncomfortable moments – stories that aim to disquiet and sometimes even hit the mark. Well, they approach the mark, can see the mark, maybe even brush against the mark at their height, but never firmly hold the mark head on. You’ll feel the effects of these stories around the edges of your reader periphery. Some may love this disquieting quality in this short story collection, but I found it to be dry and evasive. I am not a believer that just Laura Adamczyk’s Hardly Children is a collection of uncomfortable moments – stories that aim to disquiet and sometimes even hit the mark. Well, they approach the mark, can see the mark, maybe even brush against the mark at their height, but never firmly hold the mark head on. You’ll feel the effects of these stories around the edges of your reader periphery. Some may love this disquieting quality in this short story collection, but I found it to be dry and evasive. I am not a believer that just because a work (or collection of works, in this case) is literary it can’t have soul as well. I firmly believe that the two can coexist, that they can complement and enhance each other. But Laura Adamczyk’s debut collection succeeded at “eerie” while never etching any significance and depth into the literary canon. There are moments here, but that’s it. “Wanted” and “Girls” get so close to the edge of a reader’s comfort level that they could have been thrilling. If. If Adamczyk had taken another step, colored the picture further out from the middle and closer to the boundary lines. If she’d really taken us there and completed the thought with gumption and confidence. “Girls” plays with the tricks our childhood memories can play on us – how we can never remember everything perfectly, especially if the event was traumatic, playing with the fact that we block out things that are too painful to remember head on. But, ultimately, this collection of stories always pulled back to what felt like nowhere before the big whammy could fully take hold. Admirably, the writing style in Hardly Children manages to be dry and vague, daring yet always just shy of spoken malice or descriptions that draw a full picture of said malice. These stories are told with innuendo, which is a great tactic, but I was never in love with this particular execution. In this collection, you’ll find a seemingly innocent hug between a child and a stranger, and you’ll detect a hint of malice around it. You’ll see three little girls who watch their father leave their mother and then have a shared experience that traumatizes them so much they can’t even agree, after the fact – years later – on what really happened that day. And you’ll find a city where children – well, “hardly children,” as the author describes, those that are too grown and “strutting” for their own good – get kidnapped, never to be seen again, and a man who suspends himself by hooks in his skin for artistic installations. The imagery in this collection brushes up against “beautiful” at times. There’s a straight-faced lyricism to it that does have its appeal, but the stories themselves are dry, empty shells of narration, often leading nowhere, making me feel nothing – worse than nothing: bored. It’s the kind of writing that has talent but no soul, ideas without the full range of narrative motion needed to execute them. That was disappointing, because the idea for this collection is intriguing. But, as we know, intrigue can only lead the horse to water; it can’t make it drink. ** I received an advance-read copy of this book from the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Girroux, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. FOLLOW ME HERE: Art + Deco Agency Book Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Art + Deco Publishing Agency

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    I've had Hardly Children on my kindle from NetGalley for far too long; thankfully, I got around to it ... a year later. Whoops. That said, this book is a collection of stories; stories which felt very dark and depressing and, well, dark. And while I normally enjoy stories that are eerie, upsetting, and disturbing (that sounds bad), these don't give you enough time to form attachments to characters. I want to blame it on how it's not one story, rather a composite of short-stories, but it's also b I've had Hardly Children on my kindle from NetGalley for far too long; thankfully, I got around to it ... a year later. Whoops. That said, this book is a collection of stories; stories which felt very dark and depressing and, well, dark. And while I normally enjoy stories that are eerie, upsetting, and disturbing (that sounds bad), these don't give you enough time to form attachments to characters. I want to blame it on how it's not one story, rather a composite of short-stories, but it's also because some stories were better than others. Some characters were better than others. And, oddly enough, some stories had better writing than others, even though it's by the same author. Even still, if you enjoy reading things that make you think and are not happy-go-lucky, I would try this. It's definitely a collection of odd tellings, that's for sure. But it's also gritty, real, and upfront, and that's something to appreciate.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    These stories are not tidy, with satisfying resolutions. No. I think the word that comes to mind here is "disquieting." Each story left me with a feeling of unease, which isn't to say they weren't well written. However, some left me hanging, which could be said of many, more conventional short stories. Those that come mid-way into a life and exit the same, presenting a slice of humanity. But so many of these felt summarily truncated, as if they were unfinished exercises. I did like some more tha These stories are not tidy, with satisfying resolutions. No. I think the word that comes to mind here is "disquieting." Each story left me with a feeling of unease, which isn't to say they weren't well written. However, some left me hanging, which could be said of many, more conventional short stories. Those that come mid-way into a life and exit the same, presenting a slice of humanity. But so many of these felt summarily truncated, as if they were unfinished exercises. I did like some more than others, most notably Intermission, with its Italo Calvino- like twists of reality catching the reader continually off guard.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    3,5 stars. While I really liked the collection, I don't think it's as memorable as it could be. Even now, I'm forgetting a lot of the stories, and I JUST finished the book. However, it still deserves 3 stars, because when it comes to rating books the questions I ask myself are "Did I devour this book really fast, almost in one sitting, because I couldn't get enough of it? Or did I go the other way and prolonged my reading on purpose, because I didn't want it to end?" and "Was this book memorable? 3,5 stars. While I really liked the collection, I don't think it's as memorable as it could be. Even now, I'm forgetting a lot of the stories, and I JUST finished the book. However, it still deserves 3 stars, because when it comes to rating books the questions I ask myself are "Did I devour this book really fast, almost in one sitting, because I couldn't get enough of it? Or did I go the other way and prolonged my reading on purpose, because I didn't want it to end?" and "Was this book memorable? Will I be able to remember what happens even a year from now?" This book did check the first box, but probably not the second. I really liked "Black Box" and the ending of "Too Much a Child" in particular (now that's memorable). **Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a free copy of this book**

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Stories that reflect the darkness of youth and adulthood like a shattered crystal ball.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 'How strange when strangers tried to step inside of you, I thought. Like when men in rags announced themselves to a train car, telling everyone about their lives, their current states of disrepair and what they wanted, needed, God Bless, from everyone, which somehow included you, and you kept your head down, reading the same sentence again and again, never quite taking hold of it, and the harder your tried, the more the men’s voices got in your via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 'How strange when strangers tried to step inside of you, I thought. Like when men in rags announced themselves to a train car, telling everyone about their lives, their current states of disrepair and what they wanted, needed, God Bless, from everyone, which somehow included you, and you kept your head down, reading the same sentence again and again, never quite taking hold of it, and the harder your tried, the more the men’s voices got in your ear, the more like they were speaking only to you.' These stories are intense and unsettling. Children stretching into the eerie, harshly brutal light of adulthood as the sisters in Girls deal with their father leaving, and their mother now the head of the house. Their Saturdays spent exploring the series of rooms upstairs of their great-grandmother’s big rambling house while their mother worked, as if entering a strange world unsupervised, where their imaginations could run free. But one day, a door to the room they never entered is cracked and there they come across a very real adult. When the man says their names ‘like a little song’, it feels like an omen. Is the memory real? In Too Much A Child, an old man tells of the era when children were disappearing, just being taking if someone had a mind to take. It is happening again, what is the logic, are ‘bad’ children being weeded out of the good? So begins the marching, but our narrator doesn’t really want to become one with many, despite the injustice. It hints at the ways we are immune to horror, being past a certain age (in the story) but could as easily translate as being a different sex, or out of the time period so safe from history or simply one’s ethnicity if you boil it down. We can be the ones who are safe and look away or we can see. A man named Adam becomes a part of an art installation where he is suspended by hooks, but the hooks of truth sink into him when his father divulges the long-held secret of his origins. Will he ever ‘come down’ and own this new version of his life? Is it easier for Adam, or any of us, to just remain floating in the before? Must we confront the after? Do things really ever have to change? Much like the furniture in the installation, nothing fits the same after it’s been rearranged. My favorite, the one that horrified me the most is Danny Girl. It is the whisper of the dangers that always lurk for young girls that made this one stand out. The dreadful ending shook me. Being a young girl can feel so dumb when you don’t know what you should. Being a girl is always full of threats. Girls come to terrible ends, sometimes at their own hands too, sometimes by accident. Children and adults may be one in the same as in this collection full of characters who have slipped between the cracks, existing in a place where they’ve yet to embrace the world of adults, but do we ever? People abandon responsibilities or reconfigure their futures, break up their family, or start a new one. Whether its sisters needing each other when life just keeps going wrong, and using pieces of hair to start messages to begin meaningful conversations, or a woman dating a nice virginal boy who isn’t enough for her appetite, every story engages the reader. The writing is clever, painting feelings with sentences “my laughter comes up like seltzer” and “we released each other, our faces smeared with time and truth.” I feel like I need to read a novel by Laura Adamczyk, she visits the places in her writing where my mind often meanders. A solid collection! Can’t wait for a novel! Publication Date: November 20, 2018 Farrar, Straus and Giroux FSG Originals

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I downloaded Laura Adamczyk's short story collection, Hardly Children, from Netgalley, and decided to read it whilst on holiday. These stories all have a mysterious quality to them, which verges on the sinister at times. Before beginning this collection, please be aware that Adamczyk's tales are not well rounded stories with satisfying endings; rather, they finish abruptly, often at a moment of intensity. Whilst I enjoyed reading these stories, and they certainly surprised me at times, I felt as I downloaded Laura Adamczyk's short story collection, Hardly Children, from Netgalley, and decided to read it whilst on holiday. These stories all have a mysterious quality to them, which verges on the sinister at times. Before beginning this collection, please be aware that Adamczyk's tales are not well rounded stories with satisfying endings; rather, they finish abruptly, often at a moment of intensity. Whilst I enjoyed reading these stories, and they certainly surprised me at times, I felt as though a little too much was left unsaid. A few of the inclusions here were great; others I did not like at all. Overall, Hardly Children is an interesting book with quite a few flaws.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kiki

    Goodreads, 3.5 stars average rating for this book? Unnu a smoke crack.

  9. 5 out of 5

    shane

    It wasn’t absolutely terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Like many other short story collections, some of the stories really stood out (Girls, Gun Control, Summer Father) while the others were just painfully boring (hence why it took me almost three months to read this particular collection). The writing style was good enough, but many of the stories simply failed to deliver. Maybe I missed something, but I was expecting a dark, harrowing, striking collection, but instead I got a few “almost-t It wasn’t absolutely terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Like many other short story collections, some of the stories really stood out (Girls, Gun Control, Summer Father) while the others were just painfully boring (hence why it took me almost three months to read this particular collection). The writing style was good enough, but many of the stories simply failed to deliver. Maybe I missed something, but I was expecting a dark, harrowing, striking collection, but instead I got a few “almost-there” stories interspersed between forgettable and confusing ones that didn’t seem to go anywhere, let alone even get started.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    The start of this book really set what I thought would be the tone of the book. It was uncomfortable and yet it sucked you in. After that initial story I don’t think any of the others really beat the first one. Each story was weird, odd, strange and not for the feint of heart. Some stories were much slower and much weirder than some. If you’re into weird and don’t mind being uncomfortable definitely check this out. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I absolutely loved this short story collection by Laura Adamczyk. At turns grim, dark, and even shocking, the author explores several themes around childhood: sibling relationships, divorce, grief, budding sexuality, and feelings of loneliness and confusion. I was captivated by the writing style and the way the author was able to turn fairly common "coming of age" experiences on their heads to reveal the dark side of growing up. As adults with adult responsibilities, it's easy to forget that chi I absolutely loved this short story collection by Laura Adamczyk. At turns grim, dark, and even shocking, the author explores several themes around childhood: sibling relationships, divorce, grief, budding sexuality, and feelings of loneliness and confusion. I was captivated by the writing style and the way the author was able to turn fairly common "coming of age" experiences on their heads to reveal the dark side of growing up. As adults with adult responsibilities, it's easy to forget that childhood can be and often is full of dark emotions and confusion as children navigate a world they don't fully understand. This short story collection is an effective reminder of this fact. Adamczyk also does a great job exploring the adults in the children's lives through the eyes of the children, which is an interesting perspective. My only criticism is that at times the prose became a bit too literary, or even a bit too poetic, for my taste. For example, while I'm sure I left the short story Gun Control with the right message, some of it was fairly obtuse. I did appreciate the way she set up that story and thought it was creatively written. Overall, I recommend this collection to readers that appreciate fiction that explores the dark side of humanity to highlight normal parts of life. I don't recommend this collection to readers that might be sensitive to abuse against children. I really liked every single story, but notables that will stick with me include: Too Much a Child, Intermission, and The Summer Father.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kerine Wint

    This collection is definitely disquieting and unconventional from the writing to the perspective each was written from. For me, it was the right amount of eerie, untidy, and unfinished that I like. The stories really fed into my preference for stories that acknowledge that there's more to happen even after the last sentence. Even more so, I appreciated the subtlety throughout the pieces. There is general discomfort at some of the implied subtext of what's happening, but being non-explicit added This collection is definitely disquieting and unconventional from the writing to the perspective each was written from. For me, it was the right amount of eerie, untidy, and unfinished that I like. The stories really fed into my preference for stories that acknowledge that there's more to happen even after the last sentence. Even more so, I appreciated the subtlety throughout the pieces. There is general discomfort at some of the implied subtext of what's happening, but being non-explicit added to the overall vibe of the book. There are stories I will definitely revisit like: + Too Much A Child, + Gun Control (fave), + Danny Girl, + Needless to Say and, + The Summer Father. I really enjoyed Adamczyk's writing and the eerie - borderline discomfort - it presented in these stories. Each felt invasive yet necessary with its own definitions of what being someone's child - or a child at all means and even more, there's enough vagueness that makes you feel inclined to empathize. This definitely will not be for everyone but I recommend it nonetheless. This is an affiliate link that helps support my blog.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara Cutaia

    If you do nothing else, read the story "Gun Control" If you do nothing else, read the story "Gun Control"

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily Stensloff

    ignoring that i finished this on 10/2, this was the perfect final read for sad book september lol. i much preferred the second half of the book to the first half, the stories more compelling and fleshed out -- which is why i think it took me so long to finish. nothing revolutionary, but an interesting collection nonetheless. what can i say? i just love books about sad people doing every day stuff.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nate Hawthorne

    Are all short story collections experiments in form? Some of the stories were good. A lot of midwest sentimentally, which I can relate to. Some were good. I liked most characters. Nothing monumental.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    VERY good. Though a lot of tough (or vaguely depressing) stories, it felt exceptionally honest/real and I'm glad to have read it. VERY good. Though a lot of tough (or vaguely depressing) stories, it felt exceptionally honest/real and I'm glad to have read it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    A great collection. Favorites were “WANTED,” “The Summer Father,” and “Black Box.”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shene

    Short stories cannot be a collection of trash words strung together with a fancy title. Please avoid this.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Houle

    Do you like to travel to far off distant places, such as outer space? Or do you like to soak in realism? When it comes to book reading, and you’re of the latter persuasion, you might enjoy the kitchen-sink realism of Laura Adamczyk’s Hardly Children. Maybe. It depends on how much sink you have in your kitchen, and this book has an awful lot of it. This is a short story collection that generally features distant young girls and women as they navigate through the hardships of life. The thing is, H Do you like to travel to far off distant places, such as outer space? Or do you like to soak in realism? When it comes to book reading, and you’re of the latter persuasion, you might enjoy the kitchen-sink realism of Laura Adamczyk’s Hardly Children. Maybe. It depends on how much sink you have in your kitchen, and this book has an awful lot of it. This is a short story collection that generally features distant young girls and women as they navigate through the hardships of life. The thing is, Hardly Children is desperately boring. The title of the book should really be called Hardly Anything Happens. These are stories that are paced at the crawl of molasses, and offer peeling wallpaper that’s a chore to look at. That’s not to say that Adamczyk isn’t talented. She is. She has won awards for these stories, and has been published in prestigious journals. She also works for the Onion’s A.V. Club, and you can’t really say anything bad about a person who works there. (It’s a cool rag.) While I have my criticisms of this work, naturally, I will say that the author has a gift. And that is subtlety. In one story called “Girls,” three young girls at a grandmother’s house encounter a mysterious strange man who shows up and asks them to scratch his itches on his legs — and presumably elsewhere. This is seemingly creepy and probably amounts to some kind of abuse, but Adamczyk just doesn’t go for the obvious sexual molestation angle. She does something more distinctly quiet and weird. It kind of works. However, the big problem with this book as a whole is that it tends to go nowhere quickly. I have to admit that I kind of checked out when reading these pieces and started to think about my laundry and other things that needed to be done. Read the rest of the review here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Really beautifully written but too often dark for seemingly no purpose, unredeemingly dark. The Summer Father story was exquisite though, as was Needless to Say. *Update: Parul Sehgal, reviewing a different collection entirely, said basically how I felt about this: "Pedophilia, necrophilia, child abduction, child murder, mass murder — go down the menu of fears and outré fantasies; they’re all here. And for what? This is a dull, needy book. The desire to seem shocking — as opposed to a curiosity abo Really beautifully written but too often dark for seemingly no purpose, unredeemingly dark. The Summer Father story was exquisite though, as was Needless to Say. *Update: Parul Sehgal, reviewing a different collection entirely, said basically how I felt about this: "Pedophilia, necrophilia, child abduction, child murder, mass murder — go down the menu of fears and outré fantasies; they’re all here. And for what? This is a dull, needy book. The desire to seem shocking — as opposed to a curiosity about thresholds physical and ethical — tends to produce provocation of a very plaintive sort. How do we spot the difference between those related but very different aims? Artists who ritually engage with cruelty see that engagement as a form of truthfulness — a way to be frank; a way to honor the reader, not to bludgeon her. Here is Flannery O’Connor again, writing to a novelist friend about his work in progress: “Isn’t it arbitrary to call these images such as the cat-faced baby and the old woman that looked like a cedar fence post and the grandfather who went around with Jesus hidden in his head like a stinger — perverse? They are right, accurate, so why perverse?” Or turn to Mary Gaitskill, whose influence can be felt on every page of Roupenian’s collection, and whose fiction is full of brutality but also deep sympathy for her characters: “I’m picturing a small core place in a person’s heart that is hard to touch but that everyone wants touched,” she has said about her work.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pedro

    I’m a huge fan of FSG Originals, Hardly Children fits right in among its greats! Adamczyk's stories are haunting but constructed extraordinarily well. Loss of innocence lingers among the characters whether they are children dealing with matters of adulthood or young adults stuck with a haunting past which they're unable to move on from. If you're left wanting more from a story, I recommend rereading to see how Adamcyzk shapes her stories and most importantly the characters and their interactions I’m a huge fan of FSG Originals, Hardly Children fits right in among its greats! Adamczyk's stories are haunting but constructed extraordinarily well. Loss of innocence lingers among the characters whether they are children dealing with matters of adulthood or young adults stuck with a haunting past which they're unable to move on from. If you're left wanting more from a story, I recommend rereading to see how Adamcyzk shapes her stories and most importantly the characters and their interactions with one another. I'm looking forward to her next writing project and more stories in the future. Thanks NetGalley for the opportunity to read in advance and I can't wait to get a hard copy of Hardly Children for my own to add to my collection of FSG Originals paperbacks 😁

  22. 4 out of 5

    RMazin

    Adamcyzk’s book is a collection of short stories that zoom into a moment in someone’s life and leaves the reader feeling that he/she is observing characters through a strange window. What you see is usually uncomfortable to witness, occasionally unsettling and not always resolved. My favorite story was the last one, The Black Box, which, among other things, deals with relationships, death, birth, etc. – all the big issues of a young woman’s life. What set this story above the others were some of Adamcyzk’s book is a collection of short stories that zoom into a moment in someone’s life and leaves the reader feeling that he/she is observing characters through a strange window. What you see is usually uncomfortable to witness, occasionally unsettling and not always resolved. My favorite story was the last one, The Black Box, which, among other things, deals with relationships, death, birth, etc. – all the big issues of a young woman’s life. What set this story above the others were some of the phrases and descriptions…..much to ponder and cherish. Looking forward for more edginess and longer works from this author. Recommended. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    An eerie and unsettling group of stories, each a little stranger than the previous, pretty much describes Laura Adamczyk’s HARDLY CHILDREN. Several of the situations are freakishly bizarre and there are betrayals, deception and darkness underlying every story. ( The visual I conjured of a man suspended 30 feet in the air by hooks piercing his skin was a little too graphic). While the author is definitely a talented writer who is adept at “turning a phrase”, the subject matter here was a little to An eerie and unsettling group of stories, each a little stranger than the previous, pretty much describes Laura Adamczyk’s HARDLY CHILDREN. Several of the situations are freakishly bizarre and there are betrayals, deception and darkness underlying every story. ( The visual I conjured of a man suspended 30 feet in the air by hooks piercing his skin was a little too graphic). While the author is definitely a talented writer who is adept at “turning a phrase”, the subject matter here was a little too depressing for this readers taste. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    Laura Adamczyk's collection of short stories in 'Hardly Children' follow the common theme of uncomfortable moments that many people hate discussing. Missing parents, unrequited love, death, and loss are some of these moments that could happen to anyone, making them even more terrifying. While some of the stories were difficult to get through, many of them left quite an impression. I have a feeling that these are the types of stories that I will be thinking about months from now. Thanks to NetGal Laura Adamczyk's collection of short stories in 'Hardly Children' follow the common theme of uncomfortable moments that many people hate discussing. Missing parents, unrequited love, death, and loss are some of these moments that could happen to anyone, making them even more terrifying. While some of the stories were difficult to get through, many of them left quite an impression. I have a feeling that these are the types of stories that I will be thinking about months from now. Thanks to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the advance readers copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. This collection of short stories is definitely different. They have an eerie feel to them and they are not always clear about what is happening. Some stories are not really wrapped up neatly. If you like happy stories with a clear beginning and end, this is not the book for you. If you want stories that leave you a little haunted and make you think then pick up a copy of this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jayde Meng

    Left unfinished. One word to describe this book? Edgy. But edgy like a plastic knife, and not a metal one- one that doesn't cut as well or have any real resonance in it. The stories were interesting and unique, but I felt like they focused so much on the complicated storylines and magical realism that it became hard to comprehend. In the end, I just couldn't motivate myself enough to finish. Left unfinished. One word to describe this book? Edgy. But edgy like a plastic knife, and not a metal one- one that doesn't cut as well or have any real resonance in it. The stories were interesting and unique, but I felt like they focused so much on the complicated storylines and magical realism that it became hard to comprehend. In the end, I just couldn't motivate myself enough to finish.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    This was a collection that started with stories that left me feeling uncomfortable, not sure if I wanted to keep going. These have very human experiences and situations in them that, yes, can be uncomfortable at times. These stories speak to the strange life experiences that make us who we are and ask you what choices you would make.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Huston Mark

    Daring, unnerving, and odd. All to be celebrated. Disjointed, making you think. Pushing you towards the precipice, only to suddenly stop and walk away. Dark is the constant, not light, and that's okay. Daring, unnerving, and odd. All to be celebrated. Disjointed, making you think. Pushing you towards the precipice, only to suddenly stop and walk away. Dark is the constant, not light, and that's okay.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ugli

    dark, eerie. picked it up because the book's initial description made me go, "o0ookayy lollll" writing style is beautiful but i personally wouldn't re-read it because its a 'once is enough' type of book. dark, eerie. picked it up because the book's initial description made me go, "o0ookayy lollll" writing style is beautiful but i personally wouldn't re-read it because its a 'once is enough' type of book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    There was something missing for me. I don’t mind open or even messy endings, but I found myself not invested in any of the characters enough to care what happened to them. I think Danny Girl and Wanted were my favorites, though.

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