stories, poems, and essays by angel hench

The Fall Guy – a book review in 200 words

The Fall Guy by James Lasdun


When Matthew comes to stay with his wealthy cousin, Charlie, for the summer, all things appear idyllic. Matthew, Charlie, and Charlie’s wife, Chloe, laze around the pool, read, play games, and dine on amazing meals sourced from local ingredients (this seems to be very important).

Matthew tells us that he prides himself on being true to his feelings, to experiencing them and scrutinizing their origins. (This being self-aware comes from years of therapy.) So, it comes as no surprise that he’s in love with Charlie’s wife.  While “accidentally” following Chloe one day, he discovers that she’s cheating. Matthew spends much of the rest of the book following Chloe and her lover, trying to figure out what his next move is, all the while making worse and ever more horrible choices surrounding his actions.

The book definitely kept me reading.  You eventually realize that Matthew is a pretty unreliable narrator, and I wanted to find out what Matthew would ultimately do.  The backstory between the cousins is intriguing and promises many big reveals.

Unfortunately, when the big moment comes – the one big reveal is less than breathtaking. A lot less.

And, I still need to know – what happened to Matthew’s father?!?

Read it? Let me know if you agree with my review in the comments below!

Rating: 60/100

Buy The Fall Guy at Barnes & Noble

Buy The Fall Guy at Amazon

Apropos of Nothing

This post originally appeared on the site, where I and an incredible, amazing woman blogger write letters to each other that we are too lazy to actually mail. Please visit and follow when you have a moment! Enjoy!


My dearest, my beloved, my life-long friend:

So, I finally found the motivation to look at our site and write a bit of something, and what do I find but the words that you left two weeks ago that were exactly what I needed to hear on THIS day. Funny, how we work, together. I don’t know what universal force made it so that we would be in each others lives, but I thank them wholeheartedly for you every day.

I’ve always been envious of how you live in the moment; how you are yourself, no matter what; how you take on the world, on your own terms, and never compromise your beliefs.

I only ever wanted to fit in this crazy world, you never tried to.

And, so, I am struggling to figure out who I am again, still, a full three years after my life blew up…

View original post 400 more words

Un-born and Un-broken

​If I’d have known what

waited on the outside, 

I might have stayed 


my youthful ignorance 


my heart un-broken,

my world un-altered,

I’d have floated away, 


until the end of me.

Everything Old Is New Again, flash fiction

I took the 16-word flash fiction writing challenge. You should try it, too!

Sweetbitter – a book review in 200 words

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler


I am torn, conflicted.

Sweetbitter is beautifully written, a book I felt inclined to mark and quote and share.

But, I hated every single character. It felt like real work to get through the novel. I felt stuck. Perhaps that is what the author intended, for the reader to feel as though they are 22 again and moving through that world of flurry and uncertainty, with everything transitory and unimportant.

“Pain is what we know. It’s our barometer of reality. We never trust pleasure.”

The main character, Tess, is a conundrum. She moves to New York by herself and lands a job at a busy, exclusive restaurant. Brave, right? Strong, yes. Yet, she cannot stick up for herself, neither protecting her soul nor her body. She is beautiful, yet has no self-confidence. Full of determination, but cares for nothing. She is solitary, but yearns for love.

“The posture of a woman who had stood in a casual spotlight in every room she’d ever been in, not for gloss or perfection, for self-possession. Everything she touched she added apostrophes to.”

Sweetbitter is an uncomfortable read about a girl so unsure of herself it is painful. But, whenever I felt inclined to stop reading there would be a sweet still moment of solitude or a small moment of victory, and I would read on, mining for those nuggets of truth hidden within the text about a girl in a tough industry, tough world.

“Get out of your head. If you don’t, you’ll always be disappointed.”

You, see! I cannot decide if I hate or love this book. Have you read it? What did you think?

Rating: 85/100

Buy Sweetbitter at Barnes & Noble

Telegram to an Ex

Thanks for timely exit STOP Ego and tyranny not missed STOP Wrong about all STOP Tougher smarter self in progress STOP Kids are fine STOP


My Best Friend’s Exorcism – a book review in 200 words

My Best Friend’s Exorcism
by Grady Hendrix


Grady Hendrix, author of the Orsk store turned hell-house tale, Horrorstör, has taken us for another scary-fun and disturbing journey with his new book, My Best Friend’s Exorcism.  I originally picked up the book because of the title, but the design of the book served as the clincher; it mimics a 1980s high school yearbook, signatures, ads and all.

Horror fans will enjoy the book’s smorgasbord of terrible things, from uncontrollable vomiting to animal mutilation.  But, the truly terrifying scenes present the demon, in teen girl form, masterfully exploiting all her friend’s insecurities – boys, bodies, friendships, and social status.

The two best friends, Abby and Gretchen, are popular.  They are untroubled, complacent.  They are self-absorbed as only teen girls can be.  Until a night of partying, when Gretchen disappears overnight.  With Gretchen’s return, Abby is slowly stripped of all her assurances and comfort.  We, the horrified audience, can only watch the story unfold bit by gruesome bit.

Children of the ‘80s will enjoy the nostalgia: song references, fashion choices, devil worshippers, cult members, and being a teen before cell phones were a thing.  Really, there’s nothing like a possessed teen to scare your pants off!

Rating: 89/100

Buy My Best Friends Exorcism at Barnes & Noble

She remembered being “buzzed on the dopamine high of belonging to someone else, having a total stranger choose you, someone who wanted to know you, another person who cared that you were alive.” – on being a best friend, My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Brady Hendrix

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