Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review: How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

Some of you probably know: I’m a big fan of the short story. I cut my teeth as a writer while attempting to craft shorts, and still love to write a short or two. Many of my favorite books are short story collections.

This is the first YA short story collection I read, one I picked up after enjoying Nick&Norah's Infinite Playlist, which was co-authored by Levithan. How They Met is essentially a collection of love stories; according to the jacket flap, Levithan starting writing these to entertain his friends.

I won’t go into the individual stories too much here, since that would take forever. Each of these love stories was very different from the other—not easy to pull off in a collection, where any lazy plotting or recurrent characters would be easily revealed. And there’s none of that in this collection.

What struck me most about the writing was that despite the somewhat wry look on life, these are all very hopeful love stories. Some of them even border on schmaltz—and I like it (amazing, I know).

I highly recommend you pick up this book, if you’re into YA, and like a story you can finish in a single sitting. You’ll have 18 really great ones in How They Met. This book seems like the perfect present for someone you love.

On a side-note: I’m adding a category on the YA Sleuth blog for YA short story collections, because I love shorts so much. Even if they’re not mysteries—I mean, nobody’s perfect, right?

3 comments:

  1. I am glad they're hopeful. That fits a YA love story for me.

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  2. And many of the characters are gay, but not all, which I thought was cool.

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  3. Fleur, I'm happy to see this post. Big fan of David Levithan's work. I had the happy experience of reading Boy Meets Boy with a group of teenagers (high school book group). As a writer, it was enlightening to hear reviews straight from the audience.

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