Review: Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman

Hot Little HandsTitle: Hot Little Hands

Author: Abigail Ulman

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Books

The Blurb

Claire finds out she’s pregnant. And decides it’s for a limited time only. Ramona announces her first sexual experience – real or imagined – over a family dinner. Elise and Jenni lost their virginity at twelve and thirteen. Now all they want to do is regain their innocence. Amelia can’t finish her book, so she decides to have a baby. Kira wants to travel to America, but her parents think she’s too young to go alone. Hot Little Hands contains nine pitch-perfect stories about stumbling on the fringes of innocence, and the marks desire can leave. In this wry, exhilarating debut, Abigail Ulman takes us deep into the blurred borders between adolescence and adulthood.

‘A book that every parent will need to keep by their bedside, especially at the weekend, so they can be fully reassured that their young daughters are having a truly good time’ – Colm Tóibín

The Review

I requested Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman from NetGalley because I had read some really good things about the book and the collection of short stories included. If I am honest I wasn’t overly impressed by some of the stories. The art of writing short stories is a skill that is honed and Abigail Ulman has it. No one can argue that. Personally, I didn’t enjoy all the stories. You can’t win them all.

It is not all bad news. Some of the stories in Hot Little Hands were pretty epic and did have me holding my breath. In particular Warmups and Your Charm Won’t Help You Here.

Whilst the short story isn’t my favourite form of writing (I think due to the often ambiguous endings and lack of time to be able to care for the characters) I do respect any writer who can produce them. Although Hot Little Hands didn’t do it or me personally I can see that Ulman is a talented writer and an exciting new voice. I will be intrigued to read more from her in different formats.

Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman is available now.

Follow Abigail Ulman (@abigaileulman) on Twitter.

For more titles from Penguin Books (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit

35 Stars

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