Wednesday, November 12, 2008
How They Met and other stories-- David Levithan
I am pretty picky when it comes to short stories... so many of them read like novels that didn't really work, so the author turned the piece into a short story. I was very pleased to find that David Levithan's collection was quite good. Levithan really seems to get what makes a short story appealing to readers. Even though some were more captivating than others, each story in How They Met had a unique tone and good character development. (My personal favorite was Starbucks Boy).
Levithan says at the beginning of this book that these are stories about love, not love stories. I would have to agree... love stories makes me think about romance, while stories about love makes me think of relationships. And, in each of his stories, relationships between friends, lovers, family, etc are the key element.
Although I am not a huge fan of his other work, with the notable exception of the two books he cowrote with Rachel Cohn (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Eli's No Kiss List), I can easily recommend this book with few reservations. Levithan is known for writing novels with gay characters, but this book talks about all types of relationships, including hetero and homosexual, and many things in-between. Because of this, I believe this short story collection will reach a wider variety of readers than some other collections I have read in the past.
Teens who liked Julie Anne Peters' Girl to Girl, Francesca Lia Block's Blood Roses, 21 Proms and This is Push: stories from the edge (both edited by Levithan), or Meg Cabot's Prom Nights from Hell should enjoy this book. I would also recommend How They Met to fans of Cohn and Levithan's cowriten novels, readers of romance in general, and readers who appreciate not-so-mainstream lovestories.