Aryn Kyle, whose first novel was hailed as "reason for readers to rejoice" (USA Today), turns her gift for storytelling to the lives of girls and women in this spectacular collection. In "Nine," a young girl given to exaggeration escapes a humiliating ninth birthday celebration with the help of her father's new girlfriend. The dubious benefits of sleeping with one's boss are revealed when a bookstore manager defends an employee from an irate customer in the hilarious "Sex Scenes from a Chain Bookstore." "Femme" delivers an uncomfortably recognizable portrait of the dark, manipulative side of female friendship. And in "Boys and Girls Like You and Me," a raid on a neighbor's meth lab crystallizes the unlikely friendship between a solitary woman and the goth teenage girl who lives in the apartment below her. In moments electric with sudden harmony or ruthless indifference, the girls and women in this collection provoke, beguile, entertain, and reveal a poignant and searingly accurate portrait of the female heart. With her keen eye for character, her humor, and her uncanny grasp of the loneliness, selfishness, and longing that permeates the female experience, Kyle has secured her reputation as a major young talent.