Title: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet
Authors: Jennifer L. Armentrout , Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davies, Nina LaCour, Emery Lord , Katharine McGee , Kass Morgan , Meredith Russo, Sara Shepard , Nicola Yoon , Ibi Zoboi , Julie Murphy
Pub. Date: January 2nd, 2018
Genre: YA Anthology/Romance
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
*Thank you HMH Books for Young Readers, Netgalley, and all of the wonderful authors who contributed to this anthology for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
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.
This was such a unexpectedly wonderful read that left me feeling happy inside & in love with Romance haha! I’m going to need to watch Serendipity, You’ve Got Mail, Brown Sugar, Sleepless in Seattle, Love and Basketball, and last but not least Love Actually during this upcoming holiday weekend. Get it all out of my system LOL! but I digress..
Some of the diversity/own voices stories included in Meet Cute had POC, LGBTQIA+, and plus sized rep. Some of the relevant topics discussed were the misogynistic behavior in the entertainment industry, fashion & how it mostly caters to a specific body type, and struggling libraries with no real funding. I fell in love with so many of the stories & will treasure this collection for years to come. If you’ve been looking for an anthology but have been a bit weary due to some less than great ones (no shade)…look no further! I’ve found a few new to me authors I can’t wait to read more from & got reacquainted with some 2017 debut authors I need more from like yesterday (*whispers* Ibi Zoboi I’m pleading to you).
Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening scene is a house party that the police have come to shut down. Hailey is the MC & The story is told in third person POV? Since this isn’t the first time the police have coming knocking, Haileys best friend is adamant on not opening the door. Instead everyone hides and Hailey ends up in the bathroom with Wolf, a classmate who she’s known since she was a little girl. Wolf receives partial homeschooling in order to allow him to help his family on their farm. To Hailey, Wolf is a fresh clean slate…someone who doesn’t know about the tragedy that marked her past. I gave this one 2.5 stars because of the writing style/POV, it just wasn’t my cup of tea tbh. I was however very interested in Wolf as a character & would love to find him in a future full length book
Print Shop by Nina LaCour ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oh goodness! I should’ve known I would LOVE this to pieces! Any time I pick up anything by Nina LaCour I end up falling in love with the writing & characters. We meet Evie who interviews to work at a old fashioned print shop as a way to step back from technology & modern day everything. When she gets the job, she realizes the shop actually needs help stepping into the 21st century. Although it isn’t what she signed up for, helping this shop is something she really wants to do.
In doing so, she also wasn’t expecting to meet a girl after her own heart. This was such a cute queer story but I’m going to need more of the characters who work at the print shop! We have the Gay artist/owner of the shop with a quick cameo of his husband, his pregnant assistant and the baby’s father all giving life to this old school shop & gahhhh! Nina!!! Can 2018 be the year we get more Nina LaCour please & thank you?!?!
Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Introduces Cherish as she is dress shopping with her best friend for prom. Cherish is debating whether she’s going to attend since finding a dress for her body type isn’t as easy as it is for her best friend Stacy. Cherish is tall, curvy, and dark skinned living in a town made up of primarily white people. When she stumbles across a flyer for Mamadou’s African Tailoring: One Size Don’t Fit All, she decides to make a visit. This story embraces the beauty in different body shapes & sizes and in turn highlights the need for more black owned businesses. Loved how this Meet Cute carried some important messages along the way. I did however wish we’d been given a tad bit more of the Meet Cute itself.
Click by Katherine McGee⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Takes place in 2020 NYC & is told in alternating POV’s between Alexa and Raden who’ve both signed up to a dating service app. Grieving & trying to get back in the dating scene, Alexa is giving Click a chance since she believes in the power of data. A computer engineer herself, she figured Click reliable enough to find her a compatible match. Raden is a photography student who is trying to get over his ex. Their meet up is sort of ruined when Alexa realizes she’s left her phone behind in the cab she took to get to her date. A unlikely adventure begins & I just died thinking what if someone would do this for me?!?😍 the last line was sort of cheesy but otherwise I can see this one play out on the screen as a rom-com 💜
The Intern by Sara Shepard⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
This one tells the story of Clara who has just started begrudgingly working at her Dad’s record label. Clara is grieving the death of a loved one & of the many businesses her dad owns, a internship at V is the last place she thought her dad would place her in. Clara is an old soul at heart when it come to music & it’s something she shared with the person she’s grieving. Sent on a errand that seems silly at first leads her to taking the first steps to healing. The Meet Cute in this one was ok but not as serendipitous as I’d like.
Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
We meet Nia a transgender student and her best friend Lucien (AMAZING BFF) as they try out for parts in the school’s fall production of Little Shop of Horrors. Ok, the fact that they went with one of my fave movies had me smiling from ear to ear 😃 then the supportive father is introduced & I knew this was going to be a favorite for me in this anthology. Nia is fighting for the right to use the girls bathroom after another student raised concerns & petitioned to deny that right. We see her confront the issue head on & we also see her valid fears when talking to her bff. There’s another student also struggling with identity but spoilers. Both characters showed a side not often seen in YA. These are the types of stories we need more of. I would LOVE to read a full length novel on these characters.
The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The first Fantasy I’ve come across in this anthology & it was wonderful!!! This one takes place on a island where the people have coil-like tattoos on their skin which fade/disappear as they get closer to meeting their soulmate as deemed by their Gods. The MC is struggling to accept this as her life path. Her Meet Cute is also struggling with the ways of the Gods regarding fated love. The whole “what if” and paths left untraveled has always interested me. Also enjoyed how this one didn’t stick to traditional Meet Cutes. It embraced life, it’s beginning & some day end.
Oomph by Emery Lord⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was so curious about the title to this short story that by the time I found out it’s meaning, I was smiling so hard! This is set in a airport which btw is one of my fave settings…there’s something about an airport…a place of goodbyes & hellos that make all the sense for matters of the ♥️ We meet Cass who is spending Spring break in NYC as sort of a trial run for NYU Tisch. Besides trying to calm her parents fears she’s also trying to battle her self doubts. I LOVED her Meet Cute! a funny loner girl who plays along with Cassie’s made up Marvel Universe identity. THAT ending was FLAWLESS!!! I WANT more of these two, either a full length book or a romantic movie set in NYC with the occasional flight home to see the worry wart parents I couldn’t help but loving! *adds Emery Lord books to cart*
The Dictionary Of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Moss is a librarian who loves her job…even the “task” of calling H Smith almost daily to return the only dictionary the Library owns, isn’t really a task. Long overdue to return the book, H. Smith begins to get to know Moss by way of random conversations. Ok, I could not stop laughing at the back & forth exchange between the two characters in this Meet Cute 💜 filled with humor & flirting, this was a fun one. The only thing is that the ending did feel rushed whereas the other stories maintained the same progression & wrapped up well. I also LOVE how the author brings light to the budgetary issue Libraries are facing, this was a plus 🙌🏼
The Unlikely Likelihood Of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’ll be the first to admit I started off thinking I wasn’t going to love this one because the MC is very rigid. Her own family thinks of things for her to do in order to loosen up and have fun. A germaphobe with a love for data and numbers is focused on only one thing, handing in a killer Statistics research paper. I ended up seriously loving this Meet Cute & I think it’s because I had a similar experience. The story plays with the idea of fate & the Universe defying numbers when it comes to love. It mentions women in STEM & how the government is trying to dissuade girls from going into STEM because it’s believed women can’t handle it. Our MC is set on defying gender norms & I found myself really admiring & respecting her hustle. As a NYC dweller, the subway system is a huge part of my commute and the odds of running into the same person are pretty slim…but what if? 😉
259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This one was Ok in the Meet Cute Department. It’s centered around a guy and a girl who have signed up to win a spot on the space shuttle to Mars where they’d contribute in efforts to establish a new civilization. Philip is trying to escape Earth and all of the awkward moments he’s had in High School. Blythe on the other hand wants to help create a second chance at life on another planet. Both were selected due to their IQ’s and inventions that would prove to be useful on Mars. I guess it was hard to reconcile the Philip who is escaping Earth & socializing as a whole to the Philip we see in the end. Also, this read more as a platonic relationship 🤷🏻♀️ otherwise, I appreciated the message of reclaiming your voice & identity.
Something Real by Julie Murphy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
This was my first Julie Murphy read & I’m sitting Happy with the fact that I truly enjoyed the writing. This one has plus sized + LGBTQ representation, I can only speak on the Plus sized rep and say I loved June to pieces! Confident & at times a little self deprecating, she owns her body and style. June is also a tiny bit obsessed with pop culture sensation/singer Dylan & is responsible for the creation of his international fan club. When an opportunity presents itself to go on a dating show (think The Bachelor) & win a date with Dylan, June is over the moon happy! This story had such a good turnout, Murphy highlights misogynistic behavior & calls it out 🙌🏼 I can’t help but want more June now that it’s over *Dumplin’ is now on my February TBR 💜
Say Everything by Huntley Ditzpatrick ⭐️⭐️1/2
This one starts off in a diner, Our MC is a waitress who notices a guy come in with his group of friends, all distinguishable by their preppy uniforms that are clear markers of their wealth. The opening scene is very similar to that of when Blue Sargeant meets Gansey & the boys in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. Perhaps a bit too strikingly similar for my taste. Also, I wasn’t sold on this Meet Cute . The chemistry just wasn’t there & although it is a short story, I did feel like it was a bit rushed. Wanted to love it but just couldn’t get into it 😕
The Department Of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD!!!!
How wonderful to finish my reading of this anthology with what is now my all time favorite Meet Cute of all time!!! Nicola Yoon you slayyyyyyed your story! & literally saved the best for last 💜 this story is about heartbreak & all matters of the heart. There is a fantastical element in this world where The Department of Dead Love exists. A series of buildings that specialize in Break-ups, Unrequited Love, Bereavement, and Young Love…yea I know! sounds interesting already! tell me more! we meet our MC Thomas who has just had a break-up and is going through all the necessary steps to see if he can get approved for a “Do-Over” & bookworms it is exactly what you’re thinking, a second chance at your failed relationship. I LOVED the ingenuity & characters so much in this short story and wish with all my might that again as I’ve mentioned with some of the other stories, that this was a full length novel *le sigh* this was just perfection and the chemistry in this Meet Cute was off the charts making this story my #1!
Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a wonderful day & squeezing In some amazing reads. I’m still riding a high from the last story inthis anthology, are any of you planning on reading Meet Cute soon? if so, whose story are you most looking forward to reading? Sound off in the comments down below <3’s!
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