Book Review: No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July

Book: No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July 
Published: Scribner, 2007
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Summary (from Goodreads):
Award-winning filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July brings her extraordinary talents to the page in a startling, sexy, and tender collection. In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly -- they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives. No One Belongs Here More Than You is a stunning debut, the work of a writer with a spectacularly original and compelling voice.

My thoughts: I think I missed the part about this book being "sexy" when I first heard about it. No One Belongs Here More Than You is a collection of short stories by the filmmaker Miranda July. I've seen her movie, Me, You and Everyone We Know and really enjoyed the awkwardness in it. However, the stories in this collection I found to be a little too bizarre most times. I first started listening to this as an audiobook back in July when my boyfriend and I were on our road trip across the country. We were both pretty weirded out by some of the stories and had to listen to them in bits because so many were depressing. We got through about half of the book on that trip and then I recently checked it out of the library to finish the second half. There were a couple of stories toward the end that I enjoyed enough to make up for where others were lacking. Many of the characters were awkward to the point that it made me uncomfortable for them and I had to push myself to read on. There were also quite a few sex scenes (mostly imagined by the characters) that I felt didn't belong because it took away from the innocence and naivete that July had spent time building up in each story. I really wanted to enjoy this collection after hearing many rave reviews and being a fan of July's film. It just didn't live up to the hype for me.

The verdict: 2 stars 

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