Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Date of Publication: January 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher
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I received a free copy of this book from Electric Monkey in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Electric Monkey!
I've never reviewed a short story collection before, so this will be a little different. How They Met and Other Stories is a beautiful collection of stories based on themes of love, finding it and feeling it. It contains a mixture of both LGBT and boy-girl relationships.
Sometimes, in short story collections, there isn't enough character development to care for them or their story in their 30 pages of fame. Levithan has disproven this, for every story had ways that formed the characters and hooked me on every new story.
My favourite in the collection was, coincidentally, the first in the book, Starbucks Boy, about a boy who is babysitting a young girl and falls for the boy behind the counter, but thinking that he didn't have a chance with him. I also loved The Number of People Who Meet on an Airplane, a slightly longer story about a couple who meet on a plane and are together for 10 years before they realise therenwas more than destiny that bought them together.
A lot of the characters, particularly in Starbucks Boy, were will minded, and strong, and weren't all woe is me about their experiences... A lot of the used sarcasm and irony, which added to my enjoyment of the book.
There were so many beautiful quotes from this book, but I've picked out a few...
"It's not a rhyme, because it doesn't rhyme. It's not a song, because there was no real music. It's not a limerick, because it's not Irish. At some point, I guess I just started thinking of it as a biography..." - Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat.
"Thom had told me this first told me this as we lay on our backs on a golf course outside of town, too late for the twilight, but early enough to catch the rise of the moon, the pinprick arrival of the stars. His words were like a grasping." - The Alumni Interview
"I was about to retreat back to my headphones when she finally found what she was looking for- a copy of A Room With a View. The same edition as my own..." - The Number of People Who Meet on an Airplane.
Of course, there were a few stories that I wasn't comfortable with, and I skipped onto the next one. I didn't like Lost Sometimes, as this one had slightly more adult themes. But, in any collection or anthology, I think this is inevitable, and it definitely didn't deter my enjoyment of the book.
I was also surprised as to the amount of love I felt for the characters in each story; the want for them to find their love. I didn't think I could get some attached in 20 pages, but Levithan has proved me wrong.
I loved this collection; the beauty of the stories, the love I felt for the characters and their relationships. And, although one or two made me uncomfortable, that was bound to happen... Besides, in a collection, you can skip, can you not?