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Reviewed by Cassie Widjaja for Readers' Favorite
50 States by Richard R. Becker is an intriguing collection of psychological and speculative short stories. This collection started as a project to write one story a week for fifty weeks. Each story is set in a different state and touches on distinct states of mind. These stories include how two runaways cross paths in a Tennessee bus station with only one ticket between them and how a family sees looters racing toward their home as they escape an Oregon wildfire. Each story can be read in under ten minutes.
Richard R. Becker has made a stellar debut in the publishing world with 50 States! From the start, the unique concept and the eye-catching book cover drew me in, but I stayed for Richard's imaginative writing that made me feel as though I was really beside these characters and experiencing their pain and joy. I fell in love with how each short story packs a punch and is memorable on its own. Richard's simple prose made it very easy for me to follow along with the story. My favorite chapter had to be 'Broken People,' as I felt for the main character in a tragic moment. By reading this book, I saw how different characters deal with pain or conflict in their lives, and it made me reflect on how I would react if the same thing happened to me. I had never before realized how true it was that one event could change the course of one's life. To conclude, I think 50 States has something for everybody.