Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles edited by Natalie C. Parker | Book Review

Rating: 8/10

Format:  Audio-Book – Library

With big-name contributing authors like Roth, Johnston, and Ahdieh, I had high expectations for this volume. I will say I was not disappointed. This is great praise from me, since I hate both short stories and love triangles. I picked this book up because it promised new takes on the love triangle, which was certainly true.

I rarely pick up volumes of short stories. That’s probably because I don’t like them. I want to be sucked in and know everything about characters and their worlds. I love fanfiction, team. I want more of characters I love, not less. Short stories just aren’t a great fit for me. Usually, when I just start warming up to the characters– suddenly the story is over. I find it incredibly jarring. Then I have to go write fanfiction, which, I just don’t have that kind of time, guys.

I’m also a vocal opponent of the consistent mishandling of love triangles. There’s much written on this, if you’re curious to find out more, give it a quick google. Any book that solves a love triangle with a good twist gets major kudos in my book (That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston is a great example).

So, with those two huge hurdles in mind, this volume of stories really performed well. I was engrossed in almost all of them. I enjoyed the many scifi settings, the relative diversity of characters and sexualities, and the quality of the storytelling. The vast majority of the stories even did well with their love triangles! There were a few stories that ended without any kind of resolution– which I know is like, a thing in short story writing. It is a thing that I hate. It seems like really enjoying 80% of a movie and then standing up and leaving.

The vast majorities of the stories were interesting, engaging, and creative. I would heartily recommend this volume to someone who does enjoy short stories. If you actually like short stories, this would be an amazing summer read for 2018.

Objective Hearts: 4/5

Subjective Hearts: 4/5

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