Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
Some of the stories like “The Summer People” involve supernatural beings. In others, such as,”Secret Identity,” the characters themselves are off-kilter.
In “The Summer People” a tough-talking Appalachian girl is indebted to strange, fairy-like creatures called summer people. These are people who may not be immortal but live for generations. Mostly they are unseen but they make demands of their caretakers. The protagonist hears their demands in her head which prevents her from traveling or fulfilling her heart’s desires.
“Secret Identity” follows the adventures of a girl named Billie who steals her older sister’s identity. She has been having an Internet affair with an older man whom she hopes to finally meet at a hotel. Coincidentally, the hotel is having a superhero convention in which nearly everyone is dressed in costume. Her correspondent could be in costume; his alias could be fake. He could be anyone.
Link works two gothic elements into “New Boyfriend”–ghosts and sentient dolls. Immy is jealous of her friend for having one of these robotic dolls called a “ghost boyfriend.” Immy, who betrays her friend, is also betrayed.
This is a fascinating collection by an innovative author.