So, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but AS King has a book of short stories out–it’s aimed at adults, and was originally only available as an ebook but at the prodding of myself and some other librarians who wanted to buy it for our collections, Amy put it out in paperback as well.
Anyway–it is fantastic. Twelve very short stories (the whole thing comes in under 100 pages), each one a tiny gem. In a lot of ways, the short story is the perfect venue for Amy’s talents, because (as you and I have both noted elsewhere) her gifts for characterization are such that it only takes a line or two for the reader to completely believe in the character. With that kind of talent, it’s almost superfluous to write a 300 page novel, when 8 or so pages can get the same level of depth.
I can’t see any particular reason not to recommend the book to teen who love her novels, but I do see why she is calling it an adult collection. The stories are bleak. A compulsive liar; a thief and hoader; a little boy who knows the exact time everyone will die and a little girl who knows how; a man (and then his son) sent to a distant planet as a punishment for littering: pretty much every premise is depressing. That said, the point of the stories seems to be finding the moments of hope, humanity, and love within these bleak situations. Many, if not all, of these stories are quite heart-breakingly beautiful. There’s somewhat less of Amy’s trademark humor (hence, the bleakness), but that’s there as well, particularly in the first and last stories.
It would be a little tedious to try to describe the plots of each of the stories, so I’ll just say–go read it (if you haven’t already). You can by it in various e-formats here, or pick up a print copy from Amazon.