Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

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. Readers will experience Nina LaCour's beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Twe...

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Title:Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet
Author:Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet Reviews

  • Lala BooksandLala

    SIEGE ETIQUETTE by KATIE COTUGNO

    4 stars

    PRINT SHOP by NINA LACOUR

    3 stars

    HOURGLASS by IBI ZOBOI

    4.5 stars

    CLICK by KATHERINE MCGEE

    5 stars

    THE INTERN by SARA SHEPARD

    2 stars

    SOMEWHERE THAT'S GREEN by MEREDITH RUSSO

    3 stars

    THE WAY WE LOVE HERE by DHONIELLE CLAYTON

    3.5 stars

    OOMPH by EMERY LORD

    5 stars

    THE DICTIONARY OF YOU AND ME by JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

    2 stars

    THE UNLIKELY LIKELIHOOD OF FALLING IN LOVE by JOCELYN DAVIES

    4 stars

    259 MILLION MILES by KASS MORGAN

    4 stars

    SOMETHING REAL by JULIE MURPHY

    2 stars

    SAY

    SIEGE ETIQUETTE by KATIE COTUGNO

    4 stars

    PRINT SHOP by NINA LACOUR

    3 stars

    HOURGLASS by IBI ZOBOI

    4.5 stars

    CLICK by KATHERINE MCGEE

    5 stars

    THE INTERN by SARA SHEPARD

    2 stars

    SOMEWHERE THAT'S GREEN by MEREDITH RUSSO

    3 stars

    THE WAY WE LOVE HERE by DHONIELLE CLAYTON

    3.5 stars

    OOMPH by EMERY LORD

    5 stars

    THE DICTIONARY OF YOU AND ME by JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT

    2 stars

    THE UNLIKELY LIKELIHOOD OF FALLING IN LOVE by JOCELYN DAVIES

    4 stars

    259 MILLION MILES by KASS MORGAN

    4 stars

    SOMETHING REAL by JULIE MURPHY

    2 stars

    SAY EVERYTHING by HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK

    1 stars

    THE DEPARTMENT OF DEAD LOVE by NICOLA YOON

    3.5 stars

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    so it turns out love is a real and not fake thing that exists!! who knew? I certainly did not!

    It might be sort of horribly ironic that I rated almost half these stories a very mixed and very mediocre three stars. BUT there were some super great standouts, hm? Some that might… I don’t know… warrant buying this entire collection?

    Okay.

    was fantastic and important and so worth the read.

    is the Cutest thing I have ever read.

    so it turns out love is a real and not fake thing that exists!! who knew? I certainly did not!

    It might be sort of horribly ironic that I rated almost half these stories a very mixed and very mediocre three stars. BUT there were some super great standouts, hm? Some that might… I don’t know… warrant buying this entire collection?

    Okay.

    was fantastic and important and so worth the read.

    is the Cutest thing I have ever read.

    was sort of shockingly adorable. And

    was so thoughtful and creative, I never wanted it to end. If you’re looking for some other clever stories, look to Nina LaCour’s aestheticy

    , Dhonielle Clayton’s different

    , or Julie Murphy’s sweet

    .

    But first, let me be totally honest:

    Four five stars, two four stars, six three stars, one two, one one, for an average raiting of - get this - exactly a 3.5 star. So overall a pretty decent anthology? I wish a few of the threes had been edited just a bit more, because I think a bunch of them could have been so great! But oh well. Let’s get into the stories!

    Also, because Apple hates me, I'll be using this flag 🇸🇱 to denote lead sapphic characters - that is basically the only sort of lgbtq diversity we got in this anthology, aside from literally One sapphic trans girl, which is kind of sad - and ☀️ to denote lead characters of color!! thank you for reading My In Depth Opinions and not allowing me to just yell into the interwebs, without further ado:

    ← ★★★☆☆

    Slightly unlikeable narrator who I ended up empathizing with. Clever reveal halfway through the story that I didn’t see coming. Unfortunately, a completely forgettable meet-cute involving cheating.

    ← ★★★★☆ 🇸🇱☀️

    This was so soft! Beautiful intro and outro really elevate this story. Evie and Lauren’s interactions are brief, but so freaking adorable.

    ← ★★★☆☆ ☀️

    Dark-skinned and large-bodied lead character Cherish has a freaking awesome character arc, but the meet cute itself here is basically the last page of the story. Best friend Stacy is just… such an asshole, which is hard to handle when their drama is played off.

    And perhaps worst of all, the writing is just not good.

    ← ★★★☆☆

    Alexa and Raden meet on a date where they’ve been perfectly matched. This was sweet but nothing that actually stood out? Also, I think my utter hatred for something this author once wrote has kind of ruined her for me. Whoops.

    ← ★★☆☆☆

    Intern Clara meets pop star Phineas and has a weird and not-built-up date with him. Well, okay, first of all, none of the emotional punches the story goes for are actually earned so it just feels… random. Did anyone notice of the first FIVE stories, THREE are about the death of a family member? And jesus, this celebrity x intern thing is really so boring now.

    ← ★★★★★ 🇸🇱

    Out trans girl Nia has been awarded a petition to use the correct bathroom. Closeted Lexie petitions the school to take it back… and then realizes she’s doing it for her parents. Listen, this would’ve been so easy a concept to fuck up, but this story gets it right, never excusing Lexie’s actions but also giving her a decent amount of narrative sympathy. Nia is written fantastically – this is actually #ownvoices for trans rep! – and was such a compelling and awesome character. Also the ending of this was so fucking iconic!! This was basically perfect and I’m reading everything this author ever writes now.

    ← ★★★☆☆ ☀️

    The most positive of all my three-star ratings. Scared-of-love Viola meets cute guy Sebastian on an island where everyone has soulmate bands. Viola’s character totally made this story for me – she’s such a compelling protagonist. And I’m always a slut for good fate stories. Love the Twelfth Night reference, but why did it have to be to two siblings from that play? Why would you do this @ Dhonielle Clayton I need an answer

    ← ★★★★★ 🇸🇱

    Peggy Carter and Natasha Romanoff meet in an airport and flirt their way through a flight delay. This is literally the purest thing I’ve read in my fucking life? Hilarious banter + compelling characters = happy me. I literally want to read a full novel about these two girls. They’re SO CUTE. AND PERFECT. This feels like a Hayley Kiyoko song.

    ← ★★★☆☆

    Library volunteer Moss tries to get a boy to return an overdue dictionary. I thought this was sort of sweet, but I really cannot deny that it the banter is

    badly written. Good flirting is really hard to write, but here’s a tip - don’t mention your characters laughing at things that are not really that funny. IT’S FUNNIER WHEN THEY DON’T LAUGH. I actually think this might’ve been higher if not for how fantastic

    ’s banter was, but my standards were moved too high? Yikes?

    ← ★★★★★ ☀️

    Logic girl Sam tries to calculate the possibility of seeing a boy on the passing train again. IM GOING TO SCREAM AT HOW CUTE THIS WAS. None of you can ever understand how fucking cute? And sweet? And Good? This was? And it was so well-written! The author really knows how to drop in humor and leave it there rather than trying to force laughs.

    ← ★★★☆☆

    Oh wow, I was sort of expecting this to be shit? This follows Philip and Blythe, a boy and a girl stuck in a locked room for 24 hours to evaluate personality. Okay, this story works because the 1) the concept is great, 2) the stakes are really high, and 3) the dialogue is actually sort of decent. The lead female character is a total manic pixie dream girl, because we only have two male protagonists in this whole damn book, so at least one of the female romantic interests has to lack personality! But I weirdly got vaguely invested in the couple, which… wow? And yes, it was a little bittersweet, but I actually ended up liking how this story ended.

    ← ★★★★☆ 🇸🇱☀️

    I LOVE LOVE. This has basically the best concept ever, in which two girls competing for a dating show end up falling in love, and I totally wish it had been a full-length novel. I would read 2000 more pages of June and Martha going on dates. And I laughed out loud multiple times.

    ← ★☆☆☆☆

    A guy asks a girl out at a diner while she is working as a waitress. What an asshole, right? There is so much that is terrible about this story. The meet-cute is so woefully unromantic. The dialogue is so embarassingly generic. The portrayal of sudden poverty is so completely tropey and overblown and just… nah. The second person is awkward. And our big, fucking romantic hero reads as pretty creepy.

    ← ★★★★★ ☀️

    This story made me feel like the most fake deep person in the whole world. But in a good way? A recent breakup victim tries to go through love departments to do over his relationship... until he meets a girl working at one of the departments. The worldbuilding of this one is definitely the focus, but honestly, I am occasionally a sucker for brilliant concept work. I

    wish this could be a full book. and this story also contains my favorite quote from the anthology:

    Yeah. In case you didn't notice, I really liked this collection.

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  • Nina

    Actual Rating: 3.54/5 stars

    Unfortunately, I disliked both the POV of this story and the author’s writing style. Siege Etiquette was cute, but I also think that it wasn’t that interesting and I definitely wouldn’t be interested in reading more of this story.

    I once again didn’t like the POV but

    Actual Rating: 3.54/5 stars

    Unfortunately, I disliked both the POV of this story and the author’s writing style. Siege Etiquette was cute, but I also think that it wasn’t that interesting and I definitely wouldn’t be interested in reading more of this story.

    I once again didn’t like the POV but unlike the first story, this one was very well written and also a lot more interesting.

    This time, I really liked the POV the author chose for this story and I also really liked Ibi Zoboi’s writing style. I just think that ‘Hourglass’ was a little boring.

    I loved the idea of this short story and also think it was very well written. I would even be interested in reading more of this because it was just so interesting.

    ‘The Intern’ was a cute and gripping story and I would definitely be interested in reading more of it. I also really liked the characters and Sara Shepard’s writing style.

    Unfortunately, this was my least favorite short story from this anthology. I really loved how the main character of this story was transgender because you don’t get to see that very often but I just feel like the entire plot was a complete disaster. The whole story was extremely confusing and at the end of it, I still hadn’t completely understood how all the characters were related to each other and what was actually going on. ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ was just very boring and I definitely wouldn’t be interested in reading more of this.

    ‘The Way We Love Here’ was a very interesting story and I loved the plot. I also immediately fell in love with the characters and would be interested in reading more about them.

    This was such a cute story and I would love to read more about how their story continues once they both live in New York. I also loved Emery Lord’s writing style and I think I will definitely go and check out some of her other books because I’d never heard about her prior to reading this anthology.

    This was definitely my favorite story out of all the ones featured in this anthology. I just loved the characters and the whole idea with the library. It would’ve been great if this story had been a lot longer.

    I loved the idea of writing this like a statistics project and also think this was very well written. The plot was interesting and I also really liked the characters. A great short story.

    This was an interesting story and I liked how it had a little bit of a different ending from all the other stories. Furthermore, I also really liked how it was written from the male main characters point of view.

    This was such a cute, little, fun story that was very well written and had an ending which I think was really interesting.

    I once again just didn’t like the POV of this story and also think it was a little boring even though it was still cute.

    I loved the idea of the ‘Department of Love’ but even though this was an interesting story, I also thought parts of it were pretty boring.

    Overall, this was probably one of the most adorable books I’ve ever read and it’s definitely a great anthology that deserves to be read!

  • Heather 'Bookables'

    4.5

    LOVED this! Definitely one of my new favorite YA anthologies! There were 4 stories in this collection I gave 5 stars to!

    Such an adorable, diverse and fun read!

    * I will be filming a review on this where I tell you my individual ratings for each story which I will then post to here!*

  • Nat

    Sometimes I just need to get sucked into a feel-good story and stay there until I'm finished. Thankfully, I accomplished just that with this anthology full of short bursts of sweetness with meet-cutes, butterflies, first impressions, and so much more.

    Just some of my personal memorable stories from the book:

    • Nina LaCour's

    :

    Funnily enough, this story opens with our main character, Evie, receiving her first job where she's set to develop an online presence for a print shop she cho

    Sometimes I just need to get sucked into a feel-good story and stay there until I'm finished. Thankfully, I accomplished just that with this anthology full of short bursts of sweetness with meet-cutes, butterflies, first impressions, and so much more.

    Just some of my personal memorable stories from the book:

    • Nina LaCour's

    :

    Funnily enough, this story opens with our main character, Evie, receiving her first job where she's set to develop an online presence for a print shop she chose mainly for its

    of computers. I loved how we got such a solid grip on the atmosphere of the shop and the people working there, like, I could smell the air engulfing Evie the minute she walked in, similar to what I mentioned in my review for LaCour's 

    . I especially cherished Neve, who's eight months pregnant and doesn't care to overshare:

    Weirdly relieved when I read that last sentence and realized how everyone desperately tries to erase that image in their head.

    But things really get going when Evie receives a cranky customers service tweet, demanding justice be served to Principal Hope not principle hope.

    • Dhonielle Clayton's 

    :

    The blurb describing this as a predestined tale of love had me thinking it would lead to a bunch of sappy one-liners about the greatness of romance, but in all actuality, I was surprised for the better thanks to the characters' self-deprecating humor and eerily relatable overthinking thoughts.

    We then receive this rare opportunity to look into Vio and Sebastien's future lives together, which reminded me of another similar short story from a #LoveOzYA Anthology that I absolutely adored last year: 

    by Will Kostakis. 

    ,

    • Jennifer L. Armentrout's 

    :

    Following Moss's ongoing mission at the library to retrieve the way-overdue dictionary from a certain H. Smith.

    Interestingly enough, the ongoing flirting and bantering that took place between the two over the phone was put a little on the back burner for me as I had a magical time living vicariously through her to see what a job at the library would entail. Swoon.

    But that's not to say that I wasn't left with a megawatt smile on my face upon reading their amusing conversations as well.

    because you

    I'm a sucker for smooth talkers in books.

    by Jocelyn Davies:

    I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did because I rarely if ever appreciate "love at first sight" stories. But Jocelyn Davies took an interesting spin on this trope.

    The reason I cherished this tale was mainly that I saw so much of myself exposed within the main character. As I once read somewhere (and I'm desperately wishing I remembered the source here): There's something completely indescribable about reading someone's story and being able to see some of yours in it. Like, her calculating the chances of meeting the cute boy she randomly passed on her morning route is all too relatable to me.

    This right here is my two inner voices arguing on paper.

    And this next passage then captures that moment of trying to comfort yourself that it's for the best if you never see him again:

    But once in a blue moon, the universe (or the author of a story) has something bigger in store and all we can do is wait. I wasn't expecting to feel this seen with this anthology but I'm glad I was.

    • Julie Murphy's 

    :

    Entertaining reality TV told through short fiction? Yes, please!

    follows our main character, June Smith, as she's going through the trials of entering a reality dating show contest with her favorite singer Dylan as the "prize."

    At the heart of it all, though, is a story of fandom, girls supporting girls, and connection.

    to

    It was also just dizzyingly and irresistibly enjoying to read.This is reality TV at its peak. The author said it best when she talked about June's competitor, Martha:

    I'm glad that what I was feeling was conveyed on paper, but it made me laugh when I remembered

    :

    On that note, I have one last story I want to mention which is Nicola Yoon's

    There's a question she posed in it that I found radically important to know the answer to. It goes as follows:

    is

    And Yoon did not disappoint in her theory:

    Overall, upon completing each story, I had an insurmountable amount of fun revisiting the words of some of my favorite YA authors. As well as trying to guess which couple was being featured on the cover.

    Lastly, I'd like to feature the theme song playing in the back of mind throughout this anthology performed by the one and only

    .

    ,

    Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with

  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Average rating: 3.2/5

    My rating: 3/5

    This had such high points and low points, which is exactly how I feel after every single anthology I read. I think the concept of this whole collection was nice, but I would have liked a couple more stories from male perspectives - and a m/m story perhaps? Don't get me wrong, I loved how many f/f stories were in this, but I think it could have benefited from some other narrators. But let's get into my specific feelings on all 14 stories.

    Breakdown of the stories

    Average rating: 3.2/5

    My rating: 3/5

    This had such high points and low points, which is exactly how I feel after every single anthology I read. I think the concept of this whole collection was nice, but I would have liked a couple more stories from male perspectives - and a m/m story perhaps? Don't get me wrong, I loved how many f/f stories were in this, but I think it could have benefited from some other narrators. But let's get into my specific feelings on all 14 stories.

    Breakdown of the stories:

    Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno - 2/5

    A very odd way to start the collection. I think the second person was a bit strange, but I adjusted. However, there was a very cavalier use of cheating that definitely didn't endear me to the characters.

    Print Shop by Nina LaCour - 3.5/5

    I will always adore Nina's writing. This had a very cute, romance vibe, which is exactly what I was looking for in this collection. It was nice to see a super rom com set up for two girls falling in love (in this instance, falling for each other over Twitter in the midst of customer service frustrations). The POV shift was a bit strange, but still an overall solid story.

    Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi - 3/5

    I thought this did a great job of tackling issues like body image, coming from a poor family, and college prep, but I felt like the best friend relationship was very lackluster in how it was dealt with. Also, the meet cute itself left me wanting more.

    Click by Katharine McGee - 4/5

    Such a cute story. I may have been in a particular mood for reading this, considering I had just barely watched the "Don't Hang the DJ" episode of

    , but I felt like the dating app aspect worked perfectly. Also, a big fan of the split POV. It definitely helped me to know BOTH of the characters more, and to feel more invested in their meet cute.

    The Intern by Sara Shepard - 3/5

    This was cute, but overall just rushed. I felt like none of the emotional punches were really earned, because I didn't get enough of a chance to know the characters and be impacted by the things they had gone through. The relationship also felt very rushed.

    Somewhere That's Green by Meredith Russo - 4/5

    I loved this story, and I love Meredith Russo. This was f/f, and it was also split POV. One of the POV characters was a trans girl, and the other was a closeted lesbian, and they both wind up being cast in their high school production of

    . This tackles some huge stuff, especially transphobia, but I thought it did it all beautifully and also managed to fit in a wonderful meet cute. It's possible I was even more charmed by this considering my sister is currently in her school's production of

    , but it is what it is.

    The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton - 4/5

    This has a really magical vibe and I enjoyed that aspect. I think there is a huge amount of skill involved in worldbuilding within a short story, which Dhonielle absolutely pulled off. This covers years and years of a relationship, and it doesn't feel rushed or forced in any way, which is so impressive.

    Oomph by Emery Lord - 5/5

    CLEARLY my favorite of the entire collection. This was perfect in every way. Give me a full novel about these two amazing girls meeting in an airport and falling for each other, seriously. I have never read anything by Emery Lord before, but I will definitely be checking out more of her books after reading this.

    The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout - 2/5

    I think my overall review of this was that I just didn't care? I didn't care about the characters, the story, the stakes, etc. I spent most of the time rolling my eyes. It was a stumbling block in the middle of a really solid run of stories and I just didn't care for it.

    The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies - 3.5/5

    This was absolutely ridiculous, but I was still super charmed by it. I mean the concept - seeing someone on the subway and falling instantly in love, then using an AP statistics assignment to track them down again - is absurd, but I loved the way it was written. I don't know how this one got me, but it did.

    259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan - 2/5

    This was the first story to have a solely male POV, and I really wish it had been stronger. I think this tried to tackle way too much in a limited amount of space, and the love interest was laughably one-dimensional. Also, with how this ended, I don't know if I would really consider this a meet cute?

    Something Real by Julie Murphy - 3.5/5

    I'm giving out huge points to a great concept right here. I mean, it was solid. I thought it tried a little too hard with the emotional stuff near the beginning, but by the end I was grinning ear to ear.

    Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick - 2/5

    I read this earlier today and I've already forgotten what it was even about... Yikes, let me go look back at it. Ah, yes. Ok, this one tried to tackle like a hundred deep, emotional issues, and I don't think it really managed any of them well. It was a really bizarre concept that I don't really think worked. And, apparently, it's a bit forgettable.

    The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon - 3/5

    I thought the worldbuilding of this was absolutely incredible. If you want to know what it takes to build a totally new world in the space of a short story, I recommend checking this out. However, I think the relationship itself was a little weak. This is the only other story with a solely male POV, but I just wasn't very invested in him or the new relationship that was happening.

    And that's it, those are my thoughts on

    . If you like anthologies, I think this is a pretty solid, standard YA anthology, but expect the highs with the lows. My favorite aspect of this book was the diversity, and the sheer number of f/f stories. It was really appreciated, especially in an anthology like this where it was just cute and romantic and simple. Ladies falling in love don't usually get that sort of story in mainstream YA, and I loved how many got the chance to in this collection.

    *Thanks to the publishers who provided me with a copy of this book through Netgalley*

  • Carmen

    Let's just get into this.

    Hailey hides out with farmboy Wolf when police come to bust up her friend's party.

    Some things really annoyed me about this story.

    For one thing, Cotugno lets us know that there is a darkness in Hailey's life. What is it? How can we possibly be in her head and not know? I hate when authors pull this shit. The narrator has some deep, dark secret. In this case it is a secret from

    Let's just get into this.

    Hailey hides out with farmboy Wolf when police come to bust up her friend's party.

    Some things really annoyed me about this story.

    For one thing, Cotugno lets us know that there is a darkness in Hailey's life. What is it? How can we possibly be in her head and not know? I hate when authors pull this shit. The narrator has some deep, dark secret. In this case it is a secret from no one but the reader. Not sure what Cotugno is trying to accomplish with this. It's deeply annoying. And no one cares when the 'secret' is revealed near the end. Honestly, I don't give a fuck.

    Secondly, this is told in second-person narration. This is going to really bother some people.

    Thirdly, Hailey and Wolf don't “meet cute” exactly, they have known each other since childhood. They've gone to the same school since kindergarten. Hailey only takes an interest in Wolf when she accidentally ends up camped out with him in a bathroom during a raid.

    I'd also like to point out that Hailey is not a pleasant person. This story involves cheating, Hailey has a boyfriend but has kissing with Wolf.

    GREAT. Just kiss the guy, mindfuck him, and then be like, “Oh, btw, I'm not serious about any of this. Don't think I'm breaking up with my boyfriend.”

    Her whole 'queen bee' schtick is pretty gross, actually.

    She even says some cruel things to him.

    So, to recap: she ends up in a dark bathroom with a boy she's never really taken any interest in, and decides to fuck around with him because

    a.)

    Which I guess means cheating on your boyfriend in the bathroom with some rando.

    b.) Her boyfriend “doesn't really listen to her.”

    Oh, yeah, great justification for cheating there. /s

    c.) She's the queen bee and she enjoys having control over and fucking with other people.

    This girl is just very strange.

    o.O Okay. So...

    have just turned you into a loose cannon that fucks random boys in dark bathrooms with reckless abandon. Which you consider “living your fucking life.” But... not wild enough to actually ditch your useless boyfriend or deal with the consequences of your actions or anything. I mean, let's not get too crazy here. o.O

    I'm willing to believe having

    would affect someone and screw them up, so perhaps Hailey's bizarre behaviors are understandable in a certain light. Not in any light I'm shining, though.

    Cotugno has a strange writing style, she loves the words “scrum” and “nasty,” and she uses some strange turns of phrase.

    Can animal panic be cold? Sounds rather warm to me, but oh well.

    Walking, sentient wheat stalk. Okay.

    I don't know what this means. Does this mean she's sexually / romantically fantasizing about him? Or... that she's naïve about farm work or... what?

    I like some things about this story, in theory.

    I'd love a story where a female is the sexually assertive one. Unfortunately, this cannot be enjoyed by me since she's a.) cheating on her boyfriend and b.) using this boy like a piece of meat. So, nice try, Cotugno, but as a romance this just isn't selling me.

    I also kind of liked Wolf, despite his unlikely name. Farmboy, straight-shooter, too good for Hailey's little games. He gets sucked into them anyway because... she's hot? I guess? o.O

    TL;DR – Abrupt ending. No real resolution or point. Not bad writing, but not spectacular either. If you are coming at this from a ROMANCE angle, I am going to have to say this is a failure. She's cheating on this mark because she's fucked-up in the head, basically. She treats him like trash. There's no hope for a future between these two, and even Cotugno points that out. So. If you are coming at this from a FICTION angle, and not as a romance, Cotugno does marginally better. Yes, Hailey is unlikable and cruel, but it's popular to make your heroines 'flawed' nowadays. And it's not hard to believe that the event she experienced made her a little fucked-up psychologically. *shrug* I kind of like Wolf, and the part where Hailey describes what her name sounds like in his mouth is accurate, when a man (well, in this case he is a boy) says your name deliberately and it's really sexual and you get that little shiver... I know exactly what she's talking about. But, overall, 3 out of 5 stars. M/F

    Really boring story about a woman (this is not about teens, it's about adults) who somehow develops a crush on a woman who is blasting MC's new workplace on Twitter. Who knows why. Sounds ridiculous and unbelievable to me.

    So boring. Mindcrushingly boring. 1 out of 5 stars. F/F

    This story was also pretty boring and pointless. Cherish is a 6'5” black girl who lives in a white town. She wants to go to prom, but has no one to go with. She finds out her best friend is still dating the asshole who made memes of all the black students at the school by pasting their headshots onto gorilla bodies. Yeah, real racist scumbag, right? Our love interest doesn't come in until the second-to-last page. Am I supposed to be excited by this? Zoboi doesn't give me any time to be excited or even interested.

    Boring story. No point. Mediocre writing. 1 out of 5 stars. M/F

    This is another story about adults over the age of 18. Alexa joins “Click,” a new dating site.

    When the man she's supposed to meet approaches her at the restaurant, she's intimidated. Could this smooth, confident guy really be interested in her!? Raden has his doubts as well.

    That's... oddly specific. o.O

    Even though this isn't an amazing story, IMO, at least it is mildly interesting. 3 out of 5 stars. M/F

    Lame story about a 17-year-old who meets a rock star who INSTANTLY falls for her. Yeah, if you are rolling your eyes already, we are on the same page. They just “have a connection” and “understand each other” and he “sees her as a volcanic goddess.”

    And he stops mid-song to run offstage after her when she leaves a concert in tears. YOU KNOW. This kind of story.

    Shepard's writing isn't terrible, but it isn't particularly amazing, either.

    2 out of 5 stars. M/F

    This story is about a transgirl named Nia who is fighting to use the girl's bathroom in her school. The love interest here is a born-again blonde with strict fundamental parents who is secretly a lesbian (Lexie).

    This story was too far-fetched and dramatic for me. Might be perfect for teenagers, but as an adult reading it I was rolling my eyes a lot. Russo sure lays on the Dawson's Creek-type drama here. I mean... could things be any more extreme? And seventeen-year-olds... I'm supposed to believe, in this story, that Lexie – in one single day – is fine with

    I'm sorry, no. Just... no. If maybe we had a whole book to show a slow transitioning of Lexie from someone who is a closeted lesbian, resigned to the horrible fate of being forced to marry a man, have kids, and pretend to be straight for her entire life to someone who is

    then I could maybe wrap my head around it, but the way it is presented, NO.

    I understand what Russo is trying to do here. The juxtaposition of a blonde, shy, private, fundamentalist, born-again Christian who is a secret lesbian getting together romantically and sexually with a transgender POC girl who is very loud and outspoken is tempting. I can understand the appeal of these two very different people getting together, but it is SO UNREALISTIC that I can't tolerate it. I'm supposed to believe Lexie is just suddenly, after ONE DAY, perfectly fine with

    I mean, no. I don't believe that. I don't believe any of that shit. It's completely unrealistic, and why I can except some unrealism in my romance, this is too crazy. The short story format also really limits Russo here. She just throws in a few lines about how Nia thinks Lexie has a cute face (even though Lexie is going on TV denouncing Nia's right to use the girls' bathroom!) and a line about how Lexie thinks Nia's skin is soft and she smells good. I'm like, WHAT?! o.O Sorry, this is all way to rushed and sudden for me.

    Also, this writing was annoying me.

    Or look at this:

    Ugh.

    I'm also supposed to reconcile that the male (the straight, confident, popular 17-year-old) says stuff like,

    is the same guy who refers to Nia in the story as “the transgender.” Not “the transgender girl” or “the transwoman” or “the transgirl” but as “the transgender” like she's a dog or an animal or a weird creature. o.O What...? So, he's respectful enough to refer to Nia as “she,” not to mention confident enough at 17 to declare a transgender woman “hot” out loud in public... but then also just demeans her by casually referring to her as “the transgender” in conversation?! IDK, this seems weird to me. That the same person in the same conversation would have such a disconnect is bizarre to me.

    Well, anyway. I had a lot of problems with this story, some that might have been solved by making it into a full-length novel but some I think even a full novel wouldn't solve. 2 out of 5 stars. F/F (transwoman) (only story with transgendered protagonist)

  • emma

    I LIKE LOVE, OKAY.

    from an artistic standpoint, that is. i like romantic comedies. i like romantic subplots in my favorite TV shows. all the best songs are about love. i read an endless string of disappointing contemporaries because every once in a while, i find one that makes me feel something.

    i'm cynical and pessimistic and sometimes mean. i can be bitter and hardhearted. but i like love-related art.

    so i was excited for this book, and, to some degree, i got what i expected. maybe not what i hop

    I LIKE LOVE, OKAY.

    from an artistic standpoint, that is. i like romantic comedies. i like romantic subplots in my favorite TV shows. all the best songs are about love. i read an endless string of disappointing contemporaries because every once in a while, i find one that makes me feel something.

    i'm cynical and pessimistic and sometimes mean. i can be bitter and hardhearted. but i like love-related art.

    so i was excited for this book, and, to some degree, i got what i expected. maybe not what i hoped for, but what i expected.

    some of these stories are good. a lot of them aren't. a few were really enthralling. there was a level of diversity that was really pleasantly surprising.

    short stories really feel like taking a bite of a cookie and putting it down, and as such there's really a limit to how much i can enjoy them. but still - this wasn't an awful reading experience.

    bottom line: not worse than i'd thought it would be - but certainly no better.

  • Candace Robinson

    This book was full of cute stories and just what I needed! Armentrout's was my favorite, and I couldn't stop smiling while reading it! I kind of want to go check out a dictionary now! But they were all different and had me feeling good!! Sometimes you just need a short story, or in this case, an anthology of them!!

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