I received an ecopy of 20 Short Ones by Dan Salerno free from BookLook bloggers to write a review for them.
I haven’t read very many short stories, and I had read that romance stories don’t really work well as short stories. However, in 20 Short Ones by Dan Salerno, Dan debunks that statement. The stories in 20 Short Ones are all relationship stories — some friendship and some romance. His characters are interesting and his plots are sometimes quirky, but between his characters and his plots, he kept me reading.
I loved how in these stories offered so many different aspects of relationships and the problems that can be part of a relationship, whether that problem is caused by both people, an external force, or an internal conflict in one of the two people or even both of the people in the relationship. These short stories did a good job of exploring many different relationship conflicts and possible resolutions.
There were a couple of stories in this collection that seemed a bit difficult to follow either because the author bounced from one character’s point of view to the other’s quickly and without warning or offering a page break or something to alert the reader. Also, sometimes long passages of dialogues caused me to have to go back and figure out which character said which part of the dialogue because there were no tags or beats to help clarify who was speaking. I understand too many tags take away from a story, but beats can actually add to the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed nine of the stories and felt that nine of the stories were good. There were only two stories in the collection that I found I didn’t really care for and two that I absolutely loved. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading stories about relationships with characters and situations that may remind them of relationships in their past or present, or maybe one that they hope will be part of their future. I will definitely hold on to this collection and read most, if not all, of these stories again. I found that short stories can satisfy me and can be a pleasure to read.