Shine of the Ever

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Member Reviews

Shine of the Ever is a collection of short stories about women in Portland, Oregon, most of whom are gay or transgender. While the writing is lovely, most of the stories are sad. They capture women trying to remake their lives, learning that something in their lives has to give, making decisions for themselves, and being lucky or (mostly) unlucky in love. Recovery from drug and alcohol abuse is a common theme here, as is lack of money. Lives that are not often represented in pop culture are showcased in Shine of the Ever. That said, no story or character particularly stands out to me. It's an intriguing box of chocolates, but a bitter one.

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This was a great collection of stories about a group of queer and trans people negotiating love in Portland.  I love how authentic this book was.  The only issue was that I wanted some of the stories to continue a little bit longer, but I feel that way when I read short stories that I enjoy a lot.
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Claire Rudy Foster's has an ability to express facets of the queer experience in short, poetic phrases that hit you hard. The first story 'The Pixies' is a prime example of this, as is 'Field Medicine,' but these moments occur throughout the whole collection.. Their writing is in atmospheric in a way that brings people, places and Portland to life around the reader.

Anyone interested in this novel should know that 'queer voices out of 1990's Portland' seems to mean more of characters who would have grown up at the time. I went into this collection assuming it would be a story collection set in 90's Portland, which it wasn't. Most stories were set in present day, with one exception set in 2006. I found the writing style very hard to follow.  There were numerous times where I could not understand the progress of a scene, or even the thread of a conversation. This writing style may work for some readers, but it made the collection harder to read for me. I also went into this collection hoping for a mix of tender and punk, as promised, but found that the collection leaned more gritty and raw and did not have enough to balance it out for my tastes. 

Favourite stories were: "The Pixies', 'Field Medicine' and 'Venus Conjunct Saturn'
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I enjoyed this book immensely, especially the first half. I found the personal stories of Portland's LGBTQIA+ society deeply moving. I liked the narration style most of all -- highly poetic. 

I agree with other reviewers that certain stories by the second half of the book become repetitive. The book would benefit from stories from additional voices, especially PoC. My main criticism: lack of intersectionality. Voices from PoC would diversity the book and add greater substance to stories that touch on marginalization and loneliness.  

All in all, a very worthwhile read. I ranked it 4/5 stars on Goodreads. I also feel comfortable recommending this book to LGBTQIA+ friends and allies.
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Beautiful collection of stories that focus on queer life in Portland. There are stories of love, unrequited love, trans love, self love, friendship. It’s about real life where live, love and make mistakes and we learn to deal with those mistakes. My only issue is I didn’t want some of the stories to end. Which is a great thing. Definitely recommend reading.
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After reading Claire Rudy Foster’s new short story collection, Shine of the Ever, I was truly stunned. Foster short stories were full of people grappling with situations that I had lived through. On the pages were characters dealing with unrequited love, repressed sexuality, strained friendships and other wonderfully mundane or fantastically chaotic  moments that you find in real life.
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After a brilliant opening chapter that gave me high hopes, almost all the stories fell flat for me. I wasn't pulled into the stories in any way and I found it difficult to differentiate characters (and stories) from one from another. It's a shame because I absolutely loved the idea behind the book and was extremely excited to read it.. 

Five stars to the first chapter, two to the rest of the stories.
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Thanks to Interlude Press and NetGalley for the free e-ARC in exchange for a review. 

Claire Rudy Foster's Shine of the Ever is a collection of short stories about queer and trans people in Portland. Even though the summary says that it focuses on characters in the 1990s, there are some modern stories in it. I really enjoyed the stories in this book, and could've easily read full-length novels about most of them. I'll be keeping an eye out for Claire Rudy Foster's next work.
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Shine of the Ever is everything it's described as, a grungy mixtape of queer misfits trying to make it in a less than perfect world. It was a very interesting read, and I really enjoyed the way things were never quite wrapped up. It felt very true to life that way. It was also interesting to see the threads connecting the characters. I did feel bad for that clown, though. She reminded me of a Magnetic Fields song. 

Would recommend for people who like gritty slice of life short stories.
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Foster’s “Shine of the Ever” was a hard book to read. Not because of any faults, but because of its brilliance. Foster’s work is so raw that it can make the reader uncomfortable, but I struggle to think of any collection I’ve read that even comes close to capturing how real life feels. 

These short stories explore ideas of sexuality, gender, addiction, recovery, and most importantly, love. These stories capture relationships that are messy and finds the beauty that they hold. 

The atmosphere of this book was so rich and as someone who has recently moved to Portland, it captures the city so well. I loved all the details and references. It really helped the stories and Portland come to life for the reader. 

My favorite part of this entire collection was the writing itself. I found myself highlighting so many lines that just hit me in the gut. These lines provided so much hope and clarity amongst the chaos of life that I just want to hug the words to me and hold them close. 

I think that this collection excels and will continue to speak for generations to come. It’s a collection that you can read over and over again and take away different things depending on what you’re going through in life at the moment. 

I hope that this short story collection continues to get the praise that it deserves, because it deserves it all. A must read.
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2* DNFd at 43% gone, as I couldn't see any point to these 'tales'. Not one ended satisfyingly or even, come to think of it, had an ending that left me thinking it actually was an ending - you know, you turn the page, expect more but then find that the 'tale' has ended on the previous page.

These weren't 90s tales that I could make out; there wasn't one 90s thing that made it clear that the tale was set then, e.g., no mention of fashion or music or food, which was disappointing. 

I read the first tale and then the second and went back to check if this was a single-author antho (it is) or multi-author, because neither tale felt like it had a point to it. Things were being explored, added extras got tagged on (jobs, meetings with other non-queer people, events, etc.) but ultimately nothing ended up with me being satisfied or thinking that I'd spent my time reading something worthwhile. These are pointless utterings, and I mean that with respect, as the author can write, but there wasn't a point to her tales that I could discern; maybe I missed it? Every time? Maybe I'm simply the wrong audience for her?

ARC courtesy of Interlude Press and NetGalley, for my reading pleasure.
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The review is based on an ARC of Shine of the Ever which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Interlude Press).

I have to admit that upon reading this anthology described as "a literary mix tape of queer voices out of 1990s Portland" I was highly disappointed to find that the majority of these stories are actually set in present day Portland and mention dating apps a lot. I wanted that grungy hipster 90s goodness. 

The first few stories actually had me interested and entertained, but as I continued this collection the reading grew more tedious. To be frank, the storylines were all too similar. Every story had the same mood, the same tone, and eventually I got the sense that this is more of an autobiography than fiction. There was too much of the author shoving through everywhere to let me enjoy what could have been unique characters. 

Also, I have to note that the most profound quote from this story is that line of that David Bowie song. I was expecting this to hit harder than it did. Maybe it's because I'm so dang straight and cis and fine with that. I am a deeply empathetic person though, so I still expected to feel a little something somewhere; and not just for a sick, helpless baby or a pet. 

Maybe this collection would be more enjoyable to read one story out of between other books, just as some mood to return to and relish in individually, not all in a cluster...
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I found myself laughing and crying throughout this book. Foster has a wonderful writing style that pulls you into the stories and makes you long for more. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to see Foster at author event. Definitely getting a signed copy!
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