Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Rating: 8/10


So I’ve been dreaming of a Florida holiday recently, and thought to myself, hm this might inspire me even more to travel to Florida soon. That hazy heat, the gorgeous beaches. Also, I loved that this was a collection of short stories which sometimes can be a fun read and less of a commitment in a book. I remember seeing quite a few celebs reading this book on the gram and thought that I definitely had to get my hands on it! With that said, I would like to say a massive thanks to Grove Press for sending me this book. I love the title of it, it totally pulls you in and makes you want to read it.


About Milk Blood Heat:


The setting for this book is Florida, US.


Milk Blood Heat is a collection of short stories that delve into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.


A woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter; two 13 year olds ponder and flirt with all the ways they could die; a man struggles with the fact that his wife is dying from cancer; these are just a few of the riveting stories within this lusty book.


My Rating:


This was an interesting and intriguing collection of short stories. Dantiel W. Moniz definitely has a completely powerful and clear point of view within her writing style and her storytelling. She flirts with the idea of morality and our short time on this earth in each and every story. It was quite harrowing and also beautiful to read. It’s almost like when you want to look away at a grotesque or a trippy and weird scene in a movie but your eyes can’t seem to leave the screen. An absolutely riveting read.


The one massive great quality about this book was the writing. It was brilliantly sharp, dark, seductive and plain good ass writing! I admired Moniz for this. She truly has a way with words and is able to capture interesting and dark moods within each story. You can definitely tell that she’s a true writer in the way that this book was written and told. Highly respect her for that. If you’re a lover of lush and descriptive words then be sure to read this book.


I have to say there were times where I was completely blown away by the weight and the intensity of these stories. Some stories seriously blew my mind. She really goes there, and she defies the rules of storytelling. Each story had a dark twist at the end which you never saw coming. Completely riveting.


All of the characters definitely had a connection or something in common which was the struggle to grapple with this delicate and stressful life that we all have. Some stories I loved more than others. I absolutely loved the very first story titled, after the book, 'Milk Blood Heat', wow what an opener. Each one though carried it’s own weight and brilliance with the characters that she gave us throughout each story. I loved the focus on girlhood and that confusing adolescent time that all girls face. It was super raw and visceral.


I also adored the setting of this book. It fit the mood of the stories really well. That sort of relentless, wild and unpredictable, destructive weather that Florida has. It’s amazing really. Fantastic setting.


What a great debut from Moniz. I’ll definitely be reading more from her. I would suggest for you to give this book a chance and see how you feel after reading it. I can definitely say that I haven’t read a book like it before. It deals with loss, family, friendship, girlhood and womanhood, loss, temptation, mortality, our fragile lives, and it questions everything. I recommend this book if you are looking for a challenging and visceral collection of short stories.


Song Pick:


For the song pick, I knew I wanted a song by a young artist, someone in the Gen x generation. I also knew that I wanted the song to feel atmospheric, lush and wild. When I think of all those features, my mind immediately goes to Billie Eilish. The song that I chose is titled ‘Everybody Dies’ which is from her latest album, Happier Than Ever. Moody, atmospheric, raw, real.


Genre: Short Stories | Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 208 Pages

Publication Date: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic




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