Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by various authors
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of "how they first met" from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
Readers will experience Nina LaCour's beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard's glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon's imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno's story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick's charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.
What I Liked:
If you know one thing about me, it is that I love a good romance. I am a huge fan of romance, and I am such a hopeless romantic. When I first heard about this book, I knew I needed to read it. Meet cute moments are amazing and I live for them! If you want to read about a meet cute of my own, check out #ManBunGuy on Twitter (and look for my updates -- @Alyssa_Susanna). Not that I'm dating the guy - but it's still an adorable meet cute. It would have made an amazing addition to this anthology. ANYWAY. I really like meet cutes and adorable beginnings to romances so this anthology was right up my alley. Most of these stories were amazing!
I'm not usually one of anthologies for one reason: short stories are always too short. I hate feeling like what I read wasn't complete enough! I don't love being left with the feeling of wanting more (but knowing there won't be more). I will say that some of the stories in this anthology definitely left me wanting more; the short stories were based solely on the meet cute moment, and not the aftermath (i.e. going on a date, dating, etc.). BUT this didn't irritate me because the premise of the book is the meet cute moments, and so I knew upfront that the stories would be exclusively about the meet cutes and not the entire romance/love story. This seems like a simple thing but it makes a difference!
I'm not going to talk about all of the stories because some of them didn't really stick with me and some of them I didn't really like. For the most part, all of them were interesting and worth the read. But some of them were better than others!
I think my favorite was Jennifer L. Armentrout's story, "The Dictionary of You and Me". It involves a girl who works at the library, and has to call patrons when they haven't returned their overdue book. There is one patron, around her age (based on his voice), that has had a dictionary checked out for forever. Every time she calls him, they end up talking about other things... and he never returns the book. She likes talking to him though. What happens next? You'll have to read the story to find out! Honestly it is so cute and it is the type of meet cute that I could see happening to me (meaning, while it is definitely fiction, it isn't so far-fetched). I was smiling the whole time I read this story.
I also adored "Click" by Katherine McGee. This story is set in 2020 and it is about a girl and a boy who uses the Click app. The app matches you with a person that is highly compatible to you, up to the 99th percentile. Alexa is on her way to a date with a guy she matched with on Click, in the 99th percentile of compatibility. She and Raden meet, but then she realizes she left her cell phone in the taxi cab. Raden uses his phone to track hers, and they go off to chase down her phone. I thought this story was so sweet, and the twist at the end made me smile. This one made me think about how we are in this day, with dating apps and matching and whatnot.
Another story I liked was Dhonielle Clayton's "The Way We Love Here". I didn't quite understand what was happening at first, especially in terms of the world-building, but this was the type of story that you needed to keep reading in order to fully grasp what was happening. It isn't set in a purely contemporary world and the world-building wasn't thrown in all at the beginning, so it took a bit for me to understand the what's and how's. The story involves a girl who saves a boy from drowning, but there is so much more to it. It made me smile, it made me feel a little sad, but it also made me feel a spark of hope. This pair had a heartbreaking yet romantic meet cute.
"Print Shop" by Nina LaCour was adorable. A girl gets hired at an old-fashioned print shop, where banners and things like that are hand-lettered. But a mishap with an order happens, and the customer isn't happy. The customer is a high school student like our protagonist. These two "meet" at the very end of the story when the protagonist takes the banner to the customer, but the meet cute is still so cute. And the story itself was intriguing - there was a lot going on besides the meet cute. I liked it!
Like I said, most of the stories were so interesting. I'm not going to talk about all of them because this review would go on for forever and ever, but I liked most of the stories and therefore, I recommend the anthology as a whole. I must give a shout-out to all of the authors who featured diverse characters. There was such a wide array of characters - it wasn't just boy meets girl/girl meets boy. The meet cutes were all so different but the characters themselves were so different. I loved seeing so many different relationships.
Bottom line: I liked this anthology! It was definitely worth the read.
What I Did Not Like:
There were some short stories that I didn't really love, and that's okay! It's an anthology so there was bound to be at least that I felt kind of ehhh about. I'm not going to talk about any specifically because me feeling ehhh about them is very subjective (as with all stories, really). I didn't find anything "wrong" with any of these stories though.
Would I Recommend It:
If you are like me, a hopeless romantic who loves love and romance and relationships, then give this anthology a shot! Meet cutes are one of my favorite aspects of a good romance, and I love what the authors came up with. This anthology is so sweet and heartwarming and made me really happy.
4 stars. Worth the read, in my opinion. I don't usually go for anthologies but this one is as good as it sounds. It would make a great gift! If you live in the USA and preorder the book, you could get some neat buttons from the publisher. Just a thought!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!