Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 2nd January 2014
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), Are We There Yet?, Wide Awake, Naomi & Eli’s No-Kiss List (with Rachel Cohn), Love is the Higher Law, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), The Lover’s Dictionary, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (with Rachel Cohn), Invisibility (with Andrea Cremer), Every Day, Two Boys Kissing
They met on a plane
At a coffee shop
It was a set-up
It was completely random
They were dancing
It was love at first sight
It took time
It was a disaster!
A collection of stories about love from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Day.
I fell in love with David Levithan’s writing last year. I think I’ll continue to do so this year, as well; How They Met and Other Stories is just utterly gorgeous.
In the author’s note at the beginning of this collection, Levithan discusses how he prefers to the term ‘stories about love’ over ‘love stories’ and I honestly don’t think this could be described more perfectly. Not a single stone is left unturned when it comes to the topic of love in these stories Levithan write for his friends every Valentine’s Day (I know, lucky people, right?). Every type of love, every beginning and end of love, every crush, every knock-back, every kiss is revelled in with these stories.
It’s not even just Levithan’s unbelievably beautiful writing, it’s the variety of forms and styles he uses, the thoughts I’d never considered thinking he plants, the questions he makes me ask, the realisations he makes me have, it’s the love I have for the characters of these stories in under twenty pages. It blows my mind. The man has incredible skill. And warmth. And knowledge of people.
There are eighteen stories in this collection and I really struggled to pick only a few to tell you about specifically; they’re all just brilliant, but I eventually managed it. How They Met and Other starts with the most traditional sort of story about love; it’s called ‘Starbucks Boy’. It’s a sweet story surrounding meeting someone in an everyday situation and spending your time daydreaming about them until one day something changes and it happens – the daydream becomes reality. Later in the book came ‘The Alumni Interview’. You know when you get to the last sentence of something which changes the form and everything and it’s just such a big surprise that you say aloud ‘oh’ on a silent, but full, train? Yeah, that. I them smiled to myself like a loon because it was brilliant and I really liked what Levithan did with it. I think I might go and re-read it in a minute you know...
‘The Alumni Interview’ isn’t the only story to play with form. One of the final stories, ‘What a Song Can Do’ is written in verse and song lyrics. I’m usually not a huge fan of stories written in verse, but this, while not my absolutely favourite, was still brilliantly done. I felt the characters properly and felt fully involved in the story. But my favourite story, I finally decided, is ‘Princes’. A gorgeous story about dancing, friendship, a crush, train rides and brothers, especially brothers. I didn’t expect the story to take that turn, but I’m so glad it did. I loved that prejudice was fought within the home and it resulted in something as equally awesome: love.
I adored every page of How They Met and Other Stories and I’m eagerly awaiting the next David Levithan book to be published over here; I believe it’s Two Boys Kissing which just makes me HAPPY. Bring it.
Huge thanks to Electric Monkey for sending me a copy for review.