How They Met, and Other Stories

 
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How They Met, and Other Stories
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
January 08, 2008
ISBN
037584886X
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A lovely collection of stories about love
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Many people think that it must be harder to write a novel than a short story, but in many ways, it is the opposite. In a novel, you have time to develop the characters and further the plot line. In a short story, youve got to be quick and good for it to be successful. Thats why it always impresses me when a collection of good (operative word) short stories comes out from an author. Sure, you can get lucky a time or two, but if you can put together an entire collection of short stories that are all good reads, youre a good writer.

And David Levithan has put together a number of short stories over the years. His latest collection (all his own works) is How They Met, and Other Stories and, as you might have guessed, theres a theme behind the stories.

Levithan began writing these Valentines Day stories for his friends when he was just seventeen (that particular one is A Romantic Inclination) and continued writing them over the years, though not always for Valentines Day. They are stories of love in all its glory and triumph and despair and beauty and tragedy. Some are traditional tales, others are more edgy. Some feature gay or lesbian characters and some dont. Some have females as the protagonist, others have males.

In other words, theres something here for everyone. And for every age (yes, theres even a story here that your grandmother would love).

I was most enamored with the straightforward stories of love, though the more cryptic ones are exactly the kinds of stories I would have written back when I was seventeen (and did) and I would have probably loved those more then. Perhaps it has something to do with age&back then, the cleverness of the writerly tricks he plays in a few stories would have grabbed me while now it is the tenderness in the others that pulls me in. Levithans personal stories about his grandparents were also particularly touching and enjoyable.

Recommended for readers aged 14 and up (solely because a few stories talk quite a bit about sex; more than half of them are suitable for any age). While girls will love this collection, I think boys will find it quite engrossing as well (with a bonus that the cover isnt remotely pink or romantic looking).
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Brilliant Collection of Short Stories
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Reader reviewed by jocelyn

HOW THEY MET, AND OTHER STORIES is an amazing collection of stories about love by brilliant author David Levithan. Each of these stories is fantastic in its own way, but theyre all so different! Some of them are more my kind of story than others, but even in those that were not my very favorites, I could recognise awesomeness. Every one created such great characters, and was so memorable. I felt like I wanted to read an entire novel about the characters in each story. Thats my only complaint; there wasnt enough! Ill talk now about a few stories I really loved.

Starbucks Boy is a really fun story about a boy who is hired for a babysitting job. His charge likes to go to Starbucks (he assumes that this must be normal for a child from New York City; after all, shes got to be more sophisticated than kids where hes from), and there he sees the Starbucks boy. According to Gabriel, every Starbucks has one, and hes always out of reach. Or is he? I really just adored this story, the first in the book. This is one of the ones in particular that I wanted a whole novel out of. Seriously, David, make this one into a novel!

The Escalator, A Love Story is a lovely story about a typical high school couple. Its just so honest and candid and wonderful. Thats all I have to say on the matter. Ill leave you wondering. Go buy the book and read it.

The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes is another fantastic story. Its about a couple who meet on an airplane, as the title suggests. Totally wonderful and totally random&Right? Coincidences leading up to love is a big theme in quite a few of these stories, exemplified by the last one in this collection, Intersection (which is short, thought-provoking, and amazing).

Princes also really blew me away. It is another one that feels like it could be a novel, but, as they all are, its also completely wonderful on its own, without any more added to it. The characters and their relationships are amazing here.

I could probably gush about each and every story in the collection, even those that werent quite my cup of tea like A Romantic Inclination. Even if short stories are not necessarily your thing (they arent really mine), I would strongly suggest you read this book about love, in so many of its different wonderful forms. Just as love is varied, these stories are all so incredibly different; what they have in common, though, is that they are spellbinding, simply brilliant, just wonderful.

Reposted from http://teenbookreview.wordpress.com
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