Friday, August 8, 2008

How They Met and Other Stories


Levithan, David. 2008. How They Met and Other Stories.

How They Met and Other Stories is a short story collection for young adults. The themes? Love and romance, lust and desire, heartache and joy. What may or may not surprise you--depending on how familiar you are with the name David Levithan--is that most of these stories are about same sex couples. Not all of the stories are, there are a handful of stories featuring straight teens, but most aren't. One review says of Levithan that he is, "
Best known for his positive, normalizing portrayals of teen relationships --- regardless of sexual orientation --- Levithan's stories focus on those longings that are the common denominators for the human heart." There are eighteen stories in all. And they do vary in quality. For example, he features a handful of stories that he wrote when he was a teen in high school. Obviously, they are not of the same quality and depth as some of his newer works. They do, in fact, show just how far he has come through the years. And I think it was rather brave to publish them. (Goodness knows, time does change things. Even a difference of a few years--the stories and poems I wrote in high school that I thought were so "good" and showed "promise" were excruciatingly cringe-worthy when I read them again just a few years later.) Do I have any favorites? Yes. I enjoyed Starbucks Boy, The Alumni Interview, The Number of People Who Meet On Airplanes, Flirting With Waiters, and What A Song Can Do the most. It's not that the others weren't good. Most of them were, but those five were my favorites. Other reviews: Little Willow, TeenReads.com, Flamingnet.

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