I was really surprised by what I read — by how exciting, smart, perceptive, weird and dark this collection is ... You Know You Want This is probably best digested one or two stories at a time, but I kept getting lured into another and another just by Roupenian’s first sentences ... As varied as Roupenian’s stories are, they all clearly come from the same brain, one of those brains that feel out-of-this-world brilliant and also completely askew — like those of Karen Russell, George Saunders, Mary Gaitskill ... I’ll say here that I’m not usually a fan of the dark, creepy or supernatural. My imagination holds onto those things for too long; I can’t shake them. But the power of these stories transcends any one genre or element ... What’s special about 'Cat Person,' and the rest of the stories in You Know You Want This, is the author’s expert control of language, character, story — her ability to write stories that feel told, and yet so unpretentious and accessible that we think they must be true.
Turns out there’s more where ['Cat Person'] came from, and it makes delicious reading. Roupenian’s You Know You Want This is a scintillating new debut collection, with a glorious revenge comedy at its center ... the book shows an impressive range ... 'Cat Person' was our tip-off to pay attention to what Roupenian did next. Now that it’s here, well, you know you want it.
Pedophilia, necrophilia, child abduction, child murder, mass murder—go down the menu of fears and outré fantasies; they’re all here. And for what? This is a dull, needy book. The desire to seem shocking—as opposed to a curiosity about thresholds physical and ethical—tends to produce provocation of a very plaintive sort ... With Roupenian, there is just the giddiness of her imagination, of what she can get away with ... characters remain their pathologies; the curtain falls on them before we can ever ask: Now what? There’s none of the simmer of 'Cat Person' or its attention to language in the rest of these stories. Roupenian will work a metaphor until it screams.