Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Short Stories
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
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.
This fun anthology gives us the genesis of fourteen different relationships (or, at least, possible relationships). Most of the stories are contemporaries, but there are a few fantasy/sci fi stories to tempt those of us who like to escape reality now and again! I wrote down a quick review of each story as I read the anthology because they’re all so different, it’s hard to review the book as a whole.
Here are my thoughts on my favorites:
“Siege Etiquette” by Katie Cotugno
This little story was a surprise, told in second-person POV. The story centers around two characters who’ve known each other their whole lives but find a connection while hiding out from the police at an underage party (in the bathroom). The story was a lot less “cute” than bittersweet, but I loved how much story Cotugno managed to stuff into such a small package!
“Click” by Katharine McGee
This was my favorite up till this point. We got dual POV’s from a couple on their first date after using a somewhat futuristic dating app to meet their ideal match. Things don’t go as planned when Alexa loses her phone and they end up on a wild goose chase to find it. Alexa is also dealing with loss, and there are some other hints of future tech elements to the story (though, actually not that futuristic because the tech referenced already does exist in some forms).
“Somewhere That’s Green” by Meredith Russo
This one had a transgender main character and a main character who was struggling with her sexuality due to her religious beliefs (or, perhaps more accurately, struggling with how she thought others would perceive her sexuality). I really enjoyed the story, though I thought the ending felt a little too easy and didn’t give quite enough weight to Lexie’s decision at the end. (But that’s kind of what happens with short stories).
“The Way We Love Here” by Dhonielle Clayton
The first (only?) fantasy story of the bunch. I LOVED the unique world that Clayton created and I was amazed at how well she was able to flesh it out in just a short story. I would read a whole book about this world in a heartbeat.
“Oomph” by Emery Lord
This story was the height of adorableness, featuring two girls who meet in an airport. This one made my heart happy and felt like a true “meet cute.”
“The Dictionary of You and Me” by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Again, a really cute story. This one felt a little more realistic than some of the others because the characters had a connection before they actually met (via months of phone calls). Plus, it involved libraries and cute words like “zazzy.” How could you go wrong?
“The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love” by Jocelyn Davies
I don’t know what it was about this story, but I ADORED it! The MC is a self-professed math geek and she is working out the statistical probability of meeting up with a boy she falls for literally at first sight (without ever having met him at all). This should have been a disaster of insta-love proportions, but Sam (the MC) is so highly engaging and likable that I loved every minute of her story. This one’s all about fate vs. statistics, and you don’t know where it’s all going to lead. (Hint: It leads to a story that made me all sorts of happy.)
This is probably my favorite anthology that I’ve read up until this point. With the star-studded list of authors, it’s no surprise that this was great reading! It’s the perfect book to have on your nightstand, ready for one of those nights where you want to read something quick and adorably satisfying!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***