There have been many recent chick-lit short story collections. In One Year and Out the Other features that oh, so favorite holiday of New Year's Eve. Nine authors have written hilarious stories about finding the perfect date, choosing a party to attend, and general survival of a holiday that can either uplift or depress, depending on the situation.
In "The Bad Breakup Regime" by Beth Kendrick, a couple of dumpees begin a self-improvement plan to wow their exes--with surprising results. "Resolved: A New Year's Resolution List" by Cara Lockwood explores Megan's 528 resolutions in light of ending an affair with a married man. "Expecting a Call" by Diane Stingley gives a New Year's Eve twist to A Christmas Carol and the ghosts of past, present, and future. Each of these stories is poignant, funny, and entertaining.
My favorite story of is "Midnight Kiss" by Eileen Rendahl. Mikayla thinks that her year-to-come is predicted by the quality of her kiss on New Year's Eve. Will she discover that the gorgeous hunk she wants to kiss is not the man of her dreams? Rendahl infuses laugh-out-loud humor into a touching exploration of the true meaning of friendship and love. On the other hand, my least favorite story is "Halo, Goodbye" by Kathleen O'Reilly. Although the characters are in heaven, they still pine for the loves they have left behind. This story fell flat for me because it portrays such a depressing view of heaven.
All in all, the collection is filled with a delightful mix of characters and dilemmas. Even readers who don't usually enjoy short stories (and I'm generally one of them) will warm to these entertaining tales. The length of each seems just right for the holiday that can make or break the entire year (or so we think).