REVIEW: How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

AUTHOR: David Levithan

PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers

DATE PUBLISHED: August 27, 2013

OVERALL RATING: 3 out of 5

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads)Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to appeal to fans of Boy Meets Boy. Here are 18 stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down. What is love? With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.


I’ve been postponing this review for three months now. My review drafts have been heavily piling up so I thought of diminishing the list a little. Quick background: I picked up this book as an entry for my 2015 Reading Challenge for Book with Short Stories.


Writing Style

A phenomenal author, that was David Levithan. I’ve read only some of his books but the few times I did, I understood why he’s such a craze in the Young Adult world. He writes smoothly as though words protrude out of the tips of his fingers. That was a weird description but you get the picture, yeah? I read a little history about How I Met and it turns out the stories here are practically ancient. Levithan wrote the stories as a high school student out of boredom and to cut the long chase short, the doldrums in his Physics class led him to create 18 stories. The fact that Levithan was barely an adult when he wrote all these astonishes me.


STORIES

How I Met compiles cutesy romance stories about characters from the young and new adult, LGBTQ and male and female population. If you find solace in reading short, no non-sensical, and easy stuff, this book is for you. I have nothing against the uniquity of each. Starbucks Boy is totally isolated from prom ladies and the rest of the characters there. As aforementioned, Levithan wrote the book as a student and with that being the case, one would foresee budding high school romances occupying most of the book. But no. Levithan’s young mind was diverse, wide, and creative as mirrored on the stories of this book.

My favorite among all the stories is “The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes”. It’s about two people who were just seatmates on the plane and sensed they both had similar interests. A decade later, they were celebrating their 10th anniversary. Later on, they found out that a renowned matchmaker-slash-plane ticket guy had something to do with their seating arrangements ten years ago. Eventually, they realized it was all destiny’s game and they won over it. There might have been an instrument for their meet-up but it was them who made it all work out. There’s something in this story that makes you want to believe that some things – not only love – are a matter of destiny, that every aspect of life will fall into its own rightful places in due time.

Whilst How I Met exhibits heterogeneity, these weren’t sufficient to get engaged head on. You might be wondering how a book is good in every aspect – element-,writing-, theme-wise – but I still ended up depriving it from a sparkling review rate. For a reader, the attachment to the elements is an important factor. The story didn’t leave lingering marks enough to get one excited to jump to the next story and the next. It’s a good book if it took only one sitting. It’s otherwise if you keep holding it off. To be fair, I have anything but partisanship to short reads. Thus, it had to possess a slightly more compelling elements for me to like it. It lacked the edge that would make it stand out.


THEME

Blatantly, except for romance, there’s no other unifying theme in the book. Love affairs were showcased in a wide array of variety: insta-love, unrequited, altruistic sort, agape, mutual affairs, etc. Love comes wearing different get-ups each time and I liked how Levithan consistently stuck to the diversified forms.

How I Met is big on LGBTQ’s. Homosexual romance occupies mostly eighty percent of the story. I adore Levithan for narrating it in the least big deal possible because let’s face it, gays are still a deviation from the norm and are a subject of discrimination. It’s an old struggle. With Levithan’s story land, they exist as though they were a common thing, a fiction that’s need to materialize fast and now.


Bottomline: I’ll try another Levithan novel but not anytime soon


See you on  TWITTER @thebookgasm |  GOODREADS @ Trisha Ann

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2 comments

  1. The Number of People Who Meets on Airplane sounds very interesting, I’ll definitely need to check out this series just based on that! I haven’t read any David Levithan, this looks like a good place to start.

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    • It’s a story about destiny and fate. Though seldom happening in real life, it’s still very interesting. If you’re fond of short stories, this will be a good book and a light read for you. 😀

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