December 20, 2017

It's About One Moment • Meet Cute

Have you ever heard of 'meet cutes'? As a romantic and a devourer of love stories and rom-coms growing up, I had always known what a 'meet cute' was but only identified the terminology after watching The Holiday (which is a lovely film!). It's that moment at the start of every love story (or, in my opinion, every relationship) where the two characters meet for the first time and form the first part of their connection. Meet Cute is a collection of 14 short stories by a variety of YA authors, an eclectic take on what a 'meet cute' might entail. Heartbreaking and humorous, this collection of stories is certainly a treat.

Meet Cute book cover
Plot? I'm really in awe of how all fourteen authors managed to write stories that were compelling and concise, as well as bringing to life characters who really felt multi-dimensional. It's no easy feat to compress a story into just a moment, a tiny glimpse really at a bigger story. But each of these authors successfully accomplished that with their contribution to the anthology, though I will say there are certainly characters that I wouldn't mind reading a little more about. All in all, it's a collection of stories that hit you right in the heart in a variety of ways. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the collection overall. (P.S. If you wanted individual thoughts per story, that'll be at the bottom of this post!)

Characters? It's going to be nearly impossible to discuss every single character from each of the fourteen stories, so let me just give a shoutout to my favorites! Tyler and Moss, who click over the phone as they discuss an overdue library book. Cass and Jo, who have a chance meeting at JFK airport. Alexa and Raden, who meet because of a dating app and find themselves chasing down a phone (Thank you for writing a character I like who shares my name, Katharine McGee!). Those three pairings are the ones I enjoyed the most, though I can confidently say that I liked just about every single character I read about. It's unfortunate that we don't get to spend more time getting to know each individual, but I think the authors did a good job creating solid characters for their stories.

Writing? It obviously varies with each story, and there were, I think, just some writing styles that I clicked with more than others. I loved Emery Lord and Jennifer L. Armentrout's stories the best, but I also thought that the stories from Katharine McGee and Nina LaCour were pretty darn great too. Still, there's really nothing for me to complain too much about since I devoured each and every story.

Overall? Can you tell that I loved Meet Cute? I already liked the concept a lot, but the execution (and how it changes based on the author) was really strong too. I can definitely say that this is one of my favorite short story anthologies, and I'd highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself - especially if you're a romantic or live for a good rom-com.

What's your favorite meet cute moment in any medium? I personally am a sucker for rom-coms, so a lot of different moments I like made it very hard to choose. However, I'm simply going to go with something I already alluded to earlier - The Holiday. It has three very adorable meet cute moments that I love, love, love.

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davies, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Nina LaCour, Emery Lord, Katharine McGee, Kass Morgan, Julie Murphy, Meredith Russo, Sara Shepard, Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)

Siege Etiquette / 4 stars - I didn't come to care too much about the main character, mostly because it took me a little while to get used to the way it was written. I did find it to be a sweet little moment overall.

Print Shop / 4.5 stars - The build-up in this story was so great! I thought it was the most precious thing, and I liked that it was simple plot but that it had character. The setting and details of the Print Shop definitely came to life really well.

Hourglass / 4 stars - I felt for the main character, but there was still something that made me feel a little distanced from her. I still thought it had a really charming ending though!

Click / 4.75 stars - I really, really liked this one. The science and technology were unexpected, but fun. I also quite enjoyed the spontaneity and the ending! This is the one that read most like a film.

The Intern / 4.5 stars - This is the stuff of a teen rom com, and in a good way. I liked the fact that it featured a musician, and that it captured the essence of New York quite nicely.

Somewhere That's Green / 4 stars - Ah, I found this story so unexpectedly moving, even though it plays out in a way that's a touch too perfect. But I thought it was pretty sweet overall!

The Way We Love Here / 4 stars - I liked the whimsy of this one, particularly with such a fascinating concept when it comes to romance. It was a little choppy in execution, but a fun one to read!

Oomph / 5 stars - I always look for the 'oomph' in my life, and I love that this story is about that. I'm clearly biased (as I love Emery Lord and her work), but I loved this. The airport setting, the witty repartee - I am all about it.

The Dictionary of You and Me / 5 stars - I loved this one too! It was seriously adorable to have two people's paths cross because of a library book, and I thought it had the signature JLA charm.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love / 4.5 stars - I love that this one has a character who is all about stats. It's an adorable tale, and it left me feeling all warm and fuzzy when I finished.

259 Million Miles / 4 stars - What an unusual story! But I thought that Blythe was such a strong character, and I like how she inspired Philip to change just a little bit after their meeting.

Something Real / 4.5 stars - This is the stuff of a fan fic (and I totally would have written one like it and probably did at some point...), and I was a sucker for it. I enjoyed the reality TV aspect, and also enjoyed how it played out.

Say Everything / 4 stars - I thought this was entirely too brief, even though it was still solid storytelling. It felt like a Fitzpatrick contemporary read, which I liked because it means she's a pretty consistent writer.

The Department of Dead Love / 4 stars - The quirky nature of this story is what really made it stand out from the others. I like the concept Yoon created, and how it was executed, and it would make a great little animated film.


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