Blood Roses left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, the nine (very, very) short stories are almost invariably beautifully written. But they're barely more than sketches, most of them. Giant is little more than a scene, while Horses Are a Girl's Best Friend is like a summary of a story. Block chooses her words carefully, and she has a gift for creating an arresting image, but her prose is so stripped down that it can lack substance. The characters themselves lack substance, for the most part. And then something truly beautiful pops up (What shall we do, all of us? All of us passionate girls who fear crushing the boys we love with our mouths like caverns of teeth, our mushrooming brains, our watermelon hearts?
) and I forgive her, almost entirely. At roughly 130 pages, it's a very small investment of reading time, and there is enough here to make it worthwhile.