Review: You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

10:16 PM

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld | Rating: ★★★★★

“I had no idea, of course, that of all the feelings of my youth that would pass, it was this one, of an abundance of time so great as to routinely be unfillable, that would vanish with the least ceremony.” 

Curtis Sittenfeld was the first author I read outside of YA literature all the way back in middle school. This was, of course, when Prep had only just recently been published. I remember not fully comprehending certain parts of Prep, due to my age, but I remember noticing something full of sparks in her prose--you know good writing when you feel it. And, boy, did I feel Prep even if it wasn't what I had gone into it expecting.

You Think It, I'll Say It was one of my most anticipated reads of the year for that reason alone. I've never really disliked any book penned by her. When I say Sittenfeld is one of the best writers of our time, I mean it--and this collection of short stories proves this. If you were in doubt about her abilities after Eligible (which, I think, wasn't given much of a fair chance amongst readers) then You Think It, I'll Say It will clear it up for you. Although short stories aren't always works I am keen on, Sittenfeld blows each and every one of them out of the park with her thoughtful writing and realistic characters.

I find that one of the biggest problems in short stories is that you simply don't get enough time to get to know the characters. Not truly. You Think It, I'll Say It is not one of those collections. Do I wish that each story had a novel of its own? Perhaps. Some more than others. Am I crushed by the fact that we only get so long with them? No. The way Sittenfeld crafted each was just enough to get to know them in pieces and she tells the stories she wants to tell within each of them beautifully.

You got to know pieces of their present-day lives as well as their pasts. I think that it just ties together wonderfully; giving us just enough of a glimpse into the character's life and times without being over-kill or underwhelming. It is that perfect middle ground of life. As always, Sittenfeld writes life as it is and always will be--complex, thought-provoking, etc.

There's something in You Think It, I'll Say It that feels like a retrospective and I really loved it. I love the tone that comes with each of the stories, varying from character to character and plot to plot. It came at just the right time for me and will surely go down as one of my favourite releases of the year. This book will be perfect for the humid summer nights that lay ahead and I can't wait to hear what Sittenfeld cooks up next for her readers.

As for the stories, I can't give away too much in terms of plotlines because--again--they are all short stories. It's difficult to put thoughts to words when it comes to collections like this, so all I can offer you guys is, "fantastic." Which is such an obvious choice. I mean, hello? When is Curtis Sittenfeld's work not fantastic?

My personal favourite stories were, however: The Prairie Wife, Do-Over, Gender Studies and Volunteers Are Shining Stars. Overall, You Think It, I'll Say It is a well-rounded collection that will surely strike a chord with its audience. Sittenfeld will never not be one of the best writers of her generation.

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