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Meet Cute

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Member Reviews

Meet Cute is the perfect collection of diverse “how they met” stories. This anthology has it all: hard-hitting and dark to light & fluffy, plus a break-up & make-up. I really enjoyed these diverse stories and how each story was unique or #ownvoices. Also, not all of these stories were contemporary, other genres were added too (Fantasy, Sci-fi)! 

Overall, this was a very cute and diverse collection of Meet Cutes! They were all so much fun to read. Most of these stories are “love at first sight” stories where some characters instantly fell for each other. I did enjoy more of the in depth stories where I was able to learn all about the characters in a short amount of pages. As well as the LGBTQ+ stories, they were a great touch and I was so happy that they were added! We have a trans main character story line by Meredith Russo, a trans woman. But, I would like to address my issue with the story which seemed to me like the character outed the other character, the romance lacked for me as well. I would also like to add that the LGBTQ+ stories are f/f romances.  

Like any anthology,I didn't enjoy every one. Some I had problems with and thought the "how they met" aspect wasn't executed well. Or the story had  insta-love which made the story a little unrealistic. But, with others I was craving more of the characters and story line! 

Some of my favorite stories were: 
Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno, Oomph by Emery Lord, The Dictionary of Me and You by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Something Real by Julie Murphy, and The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon. 

I was also given the chance to read authors I hadn’t read before such as Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sara Shepard, Kass Morgan, Emery Lord and more. I hope to pick up some their work in the future!

I would highly recommend this anthology for romance readers, and fans of these Young Adult Fiction authors.
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I really enjoyed this anthology. I thought it was much stronger than some others I've read and I discovered several new authors that I want to read! In the link below, I talk about Meet Cute from 8 minutes and 30 seconds through 9 minutes, 52 seconds.
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What I love most in anthologies is the opportunity to read several writers of such different styles with the same theme. Meet Cute is a really good book to read, some stories are better than others but overall it's a light, quick and fun read.
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For your romance-crazy sibling

Meet Cute is an anthology by 14 well-known young adult authors. Each short story is based  on the first time couples meet and grapples with concepts of love — love at first sight, pre-destined soul mates and even, on a less cheery note, heartbreak. One of the things that made this book stand out to me was its range of diverse characters. There are characters of different races, same-sex relationships, a transgender character and people from locations of varying sizes. Instead of ringing in the New Year with cheesy Hallmark movies, pick up this book when it comes out January 2, 2018. Reading an anthology also gives you a glimpse of each author’s writing style.
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To be honest, I really only requested this book for the Huntley Fitzpatrick short story. (I needed something to tide me over during this endless wait for her next book!) But I was pleasantly surprised at the variety or stories presented, by both familiar and unfamiliar authors.
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I was pleasantly surprised with this YA anthology of contemporary short stories and a couple of dystopian/fantasy stories. I'm not an assiduous reader of YA contemporary books, but I liked the premise of this anthology and it seemed like a good way to read stories by some authors of which I've heard good things. Here's my rating and opinion of each story:

Siege Etiquette, by Katie Cotugno: 2.5 stars
This story is about a popular girl who ends up locked in a bathroom of her friend's house with a boy with whom she's been to class since they were kids, but who she hasn't paid much attention until now. This story was just okay for me, it had an interesting beginning but then it was just meh for me.

Print Shop, by Nina LaCour: 2.5 stars
This is one of the stories I was most eager to read because I've heard amazing opinions about Nina LaCour. Unfortunately, I found the story very mediocre. It's about a girl who in her first day at a new job and a dissatisfied client girl. I think the idea and the ending were good, but I didn't enjoy the execution.

Hourglass, by Ibi Zoboi: 3 stars
This story is about a girl wanting to get out of her town and her friend's betrayal. This story is less focused in the meet cute and more in how she kicked her friend's treacherous ass.

Click, by Katharine McGee: 5 stars
This was, without a doubt, my favorite short story in the anthology. It's set in 2020 and it's about a girl who is trying to overcome the death of her sister. She goes on a date thanks to the Click app that determines the person with whom you are most compatible. I loved everything about this story!

The Intern, by Sara Shepard: 2.5 stars
This story was just okay for me. It's about a girl who works in a record label company and who meets a singer with whom she has to spend the day.

Somewhere That’s Green, by Meredith Russo: 3 stars
This story has one of the premises that I liked the most. It's about a trans girl, a Catholic girl and the controversy over a bathroom. In general, I liked it, but I think the last two pages were very hasty and not very credible.

The Way We Love Here, by Dhonielle Clayton: 3 stars
This was a dystopian-fantasy story about a girl and a boy watching their future together. Overall, I liked this one, especially the setting. 

Oomph, by Emery Lord: 4 stars
This was such a cute story! It's about two girls who meet in an airport, the passion that both share for the Marvel world and the fears that one of them has about the future. I loved the ending.

The Dictionary of You and Me, by Jennifer L. Armentrout: 3 stars
This story is about a girl who works in a library and who has been calling a boy whose identity she doesn't know during the last four months because he doesn't return a book. I thought it was an entertaining but predictable story.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love, by Jocelyn Davies: 2.5 stars
This one is about a girl who takes the same subway train every day to school her new school project about the probability of her seeing again a boy she has only seen once in the subway train across from her. I liked the idea, but not the "love at first sigh" thing.

259 Million Miles, by Kass Morgan: 1 star
I didn't like this story at all. It's about a boy who has anxiety and that wants to go to Mars. For that, he has to pass a test with a girl. The idea of this short story was good and the ending very different from the rest. But it felt unreal to me because after five minutes of being together, it seems that she resolves his life and that made the story lose all its credibility.

Something Real, by Julie Murphy: 2.5 stars
This short story is about two girls competing on a reality television for a date with a famous musician. It was okay, but I think it could have a much more interesting development.

Say Everything, by Huntley Fitzpatrick: 2.5 stars
Same as the previous one, it could have a better development. It's about a girl whose family lost their fortune and a rich boy who always goes to the diner where she works.

The Department of Dead Love, by Nicola Yoon: 3 stars
I liked this one, especially the setting in a department to handle breakups and to discover why your relationship didn't work. But I think the ending was predictable and the protagonist's final decision wasn't credible. It's about a boy who wants to discover why his best friend broke up with him.
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I enjoyed this anthology of cutesy first-meet stories! They are rather diverse, and all of them are cute. My only complaint is that some of the stories were too short!

Note: This e-ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. But thank you so much Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group / HMH Books for Young Readers!!!
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Meet Cute gave me so many feels but also drove me crazy because there were some characters that I was dying to know how their stories would end. I didn't love every story in this; whoever each story kept me wanting to read. I read this book in less than two days because I couldn't stop reading it. I have a soft spot for cute meets like these. I love the mix of different kind of characters. The diversity in this book made this book wonderful! 
The stories I enjoyed most were Print Shop by Nina Lacour, Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi, Click by Katharine Mcgee, Somewhere That's Green by Meredith Russo, The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton, Oomph by Emery Lord, The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout, The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love. 
However, Oomph, Hourglass, Somewhere That's Green and The Dictionary of You and Me, are my top favorites. I found these ones were the ones that I read faster, smiled more and even giggled. If I could get full stories to those four I would be over the moon happy! 
What I love most about these kinds of books is that I get to read some new authors that I haven't read before and this book made me want to read more of their writings. 
Overall this book is adorable!
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I just love a good meet-cute, so it sure is convenient (and awesome) that I was approved for a book all about meet-cutes by some of the best authors currently writing Young Adult fiction!

Meet Cute is a delightful anthology full of well-written and frequently complex short stories. I think, honestly, that there might be something in this story for everyone. If you’re as big a fan of meet-cutes as I am, that is! Many of the stories aren’t necessarily “Happily Ever Afters”, they’re snapshots of a happy (or bittersweet) moment in a complicated life, but that’s definitely a good thing to read! Many of the stories center characters that are queer and/or characters of color and that’s awesome!

The first story in the anthology is Katie Cotugno’s “Siege Etiquette” where two teenagers wind up hiding in a bathroom at a party. It was a good, solid opening to the anthology! It’s followed by Nina LaCour’s “Print Shop” which is a cute and super relatable story about how a teenage girl’s first day of work at a local print shop leads to an adorable meeting with a frustrated customer.

Ibi Zoboi’s “Hourglass” might actually have been my favorite story in Meet Cute because I have been in the same shoes as Zoboi’s main character Cherish and I didn’t have half as much courage as she does. A couple of the stories in Meet Cute left me wanting to know more about the characters or their world, and this was definitely one of them.

“Click” by Katharine McGee is a near-future story about the potential for new love existing alongside mourning following the death of a sibling. It’s a little sad and a little sweet. Definitely a good story in this anthology! (One thing that I’ve been stuck on: the main character Alexa mentions dating someone named Koty at the beginning of the story and I’m still trying to figure out Koty’s gender because at my first read through, I got it into my head that Alexa was bi and I’m… not as confident now.)

Sara Shepard’s “The Intern” is another meet-cute set after a personal tragedy. This story didn’t snag me as much as the one that came before it, but it was still really cute! Following that is Meredith Russo’s “Somewhere That’s Green”, my second favorite story in Meet Cute. “Somewhere That’s Green” is a little tough to read and a little bit heart-breaking on top of that (because the one main character Nia is dealing with transmisogyny and the other, Lexie is dealing with the fact that she’s been parroting her parents’ bigoted beliefs instead of speaking her mind and living her truth), but oh, I made such a noise at the end because it’s PERFECT.

Now I’ll read just about anything that Dhonielle Clayton writes and “The Way We Love Here” is pretty darn good. This is a fantasy story – my brain wants to call it “magical realism” and we’re just… going to ignore that – about a land where people have red “strings” around their fingers that are used to help them find love. Definitely a beautiful and bittersweet story!

Following that is “Oomph,” an airport meet-cute for the ages. There’s just so much to love about Emery Lord’s truly too-cute story about two young women who meet at an airport and bond over an in-joke that just keeps going. I just love the tone of the whole story and the references to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe only make it better!

Then there’s “The Dictionary of Me and You”, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s story set in a library. I straight up described this story to one of my friends as “the meet-iest of meet-cutes”. Jocelyn Davies’ “The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love” is totally mathematical and a super fun read! You’ll totally believe in the romantic properties of statistics after this story!

Next, while Kass Morgan’s “259 Million Miles” is a well-written story that centers a main character dealing with social anxiety and the after effects of a horrible moment in his young life going viral, it just didn’t… win me over entirely. I also wasn’t entirely fond of the ending… Weh.

Julie Murphy’s “Something Real”, the story right after that one in Meet Cute is straight up like… an episode of your favorite ABC Family/Freeform show, but one with a cute queer ending and a fat MC centered in the story. I love every single thing about this story, especially what happens to the celebrity who’s the reason for the other characters’ presence on a reality TV show set.  “Something Real” is a super satisfying read!

Meet Cute’s penultimate story – Huntley Fitzpatrick’s “Say Everything” – was alright. I mean, it’s another very solid read in that I didn’t skim over any of it and I thought the meet cute element was used to great effect. The final story in the anthology, Nicola Yoon’s “The Department of Dead Love” is interesting. I’m still not sure how I feel about either the worldbuilding or the romance(s) in the story, but I want to know more about this world because I have questions. And wanting to know more about a world just from how it’s presented in a short story is a good sign!

I basically enjoyed most of the stories and I felt like it was a great read! I feel as though Meet Cute isn’t just a fantastic anthology about one of the greatest tropes used in romance novels (and Captain America: Winter Soldier, in my opinion): it’s also a great primer for getting into these unbelievably skilled authors. Thanks to Meet Cute, I was introduced to several authors that I’d never read before and got a chance to read good, goopy stories from some of my favorite YA authors!

Seriously, it’s such a wonderful anthology!
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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thank you NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books for the advanced reading copy of the anthology Meet Cute. 

The authors I have read from before are Nina LaCour, Katherine McGee, Julie Murphy, Sara Shepard, and Nicola Yoon. 

I can’t wait to read the new to me authors in this anthology that I’ve heard wonderful things about like Jennifer L. Armentrout, Katie Cotugno, Emery Lord, Kass Morgan, and Ibi Zoboi.

I would list the stories I am most looking forward to but there are so many amazing authors in this collection and I can't wait to read all of them.

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cutugno
3 Stars
This short story was written in second person about about a popular girl who was at a house party when the police arrive. She ends up locked in a bathroom with a farm boy from her school. Typical YA contemporary. 

Print Shop by Nina LaCour
4 Stars
This story was about a girls first day at a new job where things don’t go exactly as she planned. But through perseverance she is able to overcome her first day. The setting was absolutely adorable.

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi
4 Stars
This short story is about a girl wanting to get out of a small town where she has always felt like she didn’t fit in. She is her best friends side kick until the day she betrays her. 
I loved that this story not only has black representation but it shows how important having different representations in media are! 

Click by Katherine McGee
5 Stars
This was about a young adult who recently lost a close family member and “Clicked” with a young man on a new dating app. 

The Intern by Sara Shepard
5 Stars
This is a wonderfully adorable story about a young woman who works for her father’s record label company. 

Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo
3 Stars
This story has two perspectives. The first is about a high school student and the second is about a transgender girl. 

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton
3 Stars
This is a fantasy short story that is about how a town finds love. 

Oomph by Emery Lord
3 Stars
This is a story about two girls who meet in an airport.

The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
4 Stars
This short story is about a girl who works in a library. 

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies
3.5 Stars
This is a story about a girl who takes the same subway train every day to school and the probability of her seeing the boy in the subway train across from her. 

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan
3 Stars
This is a short story about a boy who wants to go to mars. 

Something Real by Julie Murphy
3.5 Stars
This story is about two girls competing on a “reality” television series for a date with a musician. 

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick
3 Stars
This short story is typical rich boy, poor girl. 

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon
3.5 Stars
This last story takes place in a world where there are department buildings that are classified by the breakup you’ve had.

This is probably more of a 3.5 Star read but there were a few stories that I loved so I gave it 4 Stars.
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Before I go on, I DNFed the book once I reached the second story. From that point on I only read the ones by authors that I know and trust in their writing.

The first story in Meet Cute was badly placed, they should have put it in the middle. Everything that happens at the beginning and end of something are more memorable than the middle, but when something bad happens at the beginning it makes you only remember that. I know I will have a hard time telling someone to read this, I really won’t, because of the fact they started off so weakly with Siege Etiquette by Kaite Cotugno. First of all the prose was something I couldn’t get into at all. With lines such as “your eyes the color of overripe eggplants” I was struggling to get through even one page. Then starting off the book with such a allocishet story where the heteronormativity was basically screaming off the page was making me want to throw up. I’m sorry, people falling in love like in 5 minutes isn’t my thing.

I’m usually the person who is out there saying that we should look at the difference between instalove and physical attraction, but this was just pure instalove. I couldn’t, I really couldn’t.

The self insert writing was strange. It felt like someone got a fanfiction story and just published it, I personally don’t like first person writing so seeing everything referred to as “you” “me” and “myself” was extremely uncomfortable. I also didn’t like how near the end of the story suddenly we are given a name and a gender. Like you could have at least left that open if you wanted to write it like a self insert story. After Siege Etiquette I was debating whether to go on, I didn’t really want to go on.

But I decided to give authors I know a chance. So I read:

Print Shop by Nina LaCour  —- 2.5/5  ( This one had so much potential. The characters where just so flat but I feel like if it was a more developed novel I would have enjoyed it more )

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi —– 3/5

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton —– 5/5

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon   —– 4.5/5

The only ones that actually made me feel something are unsurprisingly Dhonielle and Nicola’s stories. Those actually tugged at my heartstrings, I would have loved to read a full length book about them. Those are two I feel are the only reason I would ever tell someone to pick up this book, just to read those two because both prose and plot in both of those stories were amazing. The other ones were honestly not my cup of tea, they bored me. I struggled through them.

I might never read the other ones, or maybe on one unlikely day I might give reading another a chance. But how I’m feeling right now after reading the few I did I will not pick it up anytime soon.
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Reading a short story anthology entails a bit of risk. Going into it, you know that you will like some of the stories and likely not like others.

In the case of Meet Cute, there is one story that stuck out to me so much that I want to find Ibi Zoboi, shake her hand, and be her best friend.

In "Hourglass," Zoboi introduces you to Cherish, a 6'5" girl who dreams of getting out of her "small, white town" and into an HBCU (historically black college or univeristy). Her best friend is headed to school halfway across the country, and Cherish fears she'll be stuck at a local community college. She also yearns to be feminine and wear a pretty dress. But at 6'5", pretty prom dresses are in short - if not miniscule - supply.

Even though this is a short story, Zoboi includes a heartbreaking subplot involving Cherish's best friend and a boy Cherish despises. I was as emotionally involved in this tale as I could be because Zoboi put me straight into Cherish's heart. I dearly hoped that she would find her pretty dress and her college home. I cried at the end.

None of the other stories had such emotional impact on me, although I enjoyed Huntley Fitzpatrick's story, "Say Everything," about a boy who always orders iced teas and the waitress who served him. That one, too, grabbed my heartstrings.

There are stories about popular girls and forgotten teens, and in each one, a couple "meets cute."

You need to get this book for Ibi Zoboi and "Hourglass." I cannot wait to read more of Zoboi's books.
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I LOVED this collection of stories. Each story was completely different but equally as amazing!

I think what I loved most about each story was that even though the stories were so short I still felt like I was quite connected to each character.

If you know me then you know that I  love a good romance and this anthology was full of it

I'm not normally an anthology reader because I feel like I'm always left wanting more but after reading Meet Cute I didn't actually feel that way most of the time. The stories were complete and beautifully written by each author.

This anthology is definitely worth the read!
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I absolutely adored this collection of short stories! This is exactly the kind of pick-me-up I needed during winter and I just fell in love with the couples in this book. I got lost in each meet cute, as it were, and would highly recommend this to any romance lover!
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The lineup for this collection sounded impressive and was what made me want to pick it up. Some of the stories lived up to expectations and others, well, simply didn't.

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno: 1 Star

That was a horrible way to start the collection. The story was boring and the main character, Hailey, was not a good person. I'm sorry her parents died, but that doesn't give her a pass for being a bitch beforehand or since. The method of storytelling was rough, too. The entire time the reader is being told about the action rather than showing it and letting us experience it.

Print Shop by Nina LeCour: 3 Stars

I wanted to like this stort because it had a lot of potential. it sounded like it could be really good, but happening in roughly 12 hours made it suffer. How much the MC knew about her employers at the print shop, the quickness of the LI inviting her to follow her inside an empty all felt super rushed and a bit creepy.

Hourglass by Izo Zoboi: 2.5 Stars

This one more than any of the previous stories felt like it wasn't a short story so much as some pages ripped out of a longer work. The meet cute couldn't really be called that as there was minimal contact between the supposed parties of the meet cute. In fact, give it another minute and it wouldn't have existed at all. Hourglass was disappointing because there was a lot of potential, but with the abrupt ending, the feeling of being part of something bigger, I couldn't really like it as much as I wanted to based on the content.

There is some racist commentary from a side character and some borderline comments from the MC toward the owners of African dress shop she visits.

Click by Katharine McGee: 3 Stars

The concept of the Click program was interesting, familiar in a way because a lot of dating sites use that sort of things. Click, however, is way more intense and in-depth, possibly even a bit invasive; people give up a lot of electronic freedoms/privacy for services. Alexa and Raden were the first meet cute couple that I actually liked and thought, hey they deserve this story. It actually felt like a complete story and while it could have gone on, it didn't need to.

The Intern by Sara Shepard: 3 Stars

Clara was a developed character, with her good parts and her flaws going together to create someone that I actually enjoyed reading about. Phineas wasn't someone I was totally into as someone to read about, but he was extremely nice to Clara and helped her focus.

Somewhere That's Green by Meredith Russo:  5 Stars

Easily my favorite of the collection, Meredith Russo's story about a transgender girl, a school production of Little Shop of Horrors, and a conflicted love interest felt in-depth and intensely interesting. Her voice remains, from If I Was Your Girl, a strong one with well thought out prose that brings you in.

 There is a lot of discussion and points brought up in the course of Somewhere That's Green from Nia about what it's like to be transgender and Lexie about her inner turmoil, her own beliefs vs those being shoved upon her by her parents/small town thinking. Having a view point shoved on you all your life and the strength it takes to stand up to that, to years of something and make your own stand. I would love to read more about Nia and Lexie.

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton:  2 Stars

There were wonderful visuals within this story, from the beach to the moonlight to candles and the people the light reflects upon. However, the predestined loves, the lack of freewill, and the disrespect for ace/aro characters was upsetting and made The Way We Love Here a lot sadder and distasteful than I was expecting.

The whole coils-on-your-ring-finger-until-you-meet-your-beloved is an interesting concept, but it is extremely restrictive, not to mention the motto of the island: A life without love is impossible. Sebastien's mother is said to believe that people are doomed without love. It felt like a constant yet almost subtle hounding that aro people are doomed, which is so far from the truth.

Viola, or Vio, has questions about the way things work on her island, about how she's never given thought to boys or girls or loving them, but believes that there must be more. Places where people can choose their own loves or can choose not to love at all. She could have a future where her possible aro identity is comfortable, she's a painter like she wants, but by the end of the story she's been shoved into conformity with the rest of the island, including Sebastien.

Visually Dhonielle's story is nice, but content wise I was very disappointed.

Oomph by Emery Lord:  5 Stars

THIS is the story that I was waiting for. While there are others I liked and even another 5 star read, Oomph is the one that really fulfills the idea I have of a meet cute.

Taking place in an hour or so between two senior girls waiting in an airport, we get glimpses into who they are, what hopes and fears they have regarding life right out of high school, and what might be in their future. Who knows if they'll end up seeing each other again, but there's possibility here. Peggy and Natasha (before we find out they're really Cassidy and Joanna) tease each other, flirt well, and yet still have nerves (at least on Cassidy's part).

While I want to say that I'd like for there to be a follow-up book to this story, I don't think it would work out as well as some of the previous entries here. Oomph ties things up nice and neatly, satisfactorily even, and I'm okay with Cassidy and Jo getting on  their respective planes and going home.

The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout:  2 Stars

This had elements of being a really cute story, but the beginning just sounded so much like a potential horror film that it distracted me from whatever adorableness was building between Moss and "H. Smith". The phone calls she had to make on behalf of the library, requesting an overdue book back from H. Smith, had a tone of creepiness that I couldn't shake.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies: 5 Stars

Meet cute plus scientific inquiry plus taking place in NYC? Jocelyn Davies's short story about statistics, falling in love at first sight, and subway cars was well written, strong with characters, and conclusive in the eventual meeting of Sam and Dev. It wasn't fun, exactly, but it was enjoyable. Watching Sam work on her AP Statistics project in relation to this random sighting on a morning train was intriguing and a bit sweet.

259 Miles by Kass Morgan: 3 Stars

The interaction between the two primary characters, Philip and Blythe, was good and they could have been really cute. There's a "twist" that I thought was unnecessarily cruel and I didn't care for that. Because of it and an event prior to the start of the story, I'm not sure how well Philip is going to do after the conclusion.

Something Real by Julie Murphy: 4 Stars

Two of the cutest bisexual ladies I've read about in recent memory, June and Martha were a bit. Meeting on the set of a reality dating show would be nice enough, but when it's the two of them competing for a date with a music star and falling for each other instead? That put a smile on my face.

Say Everything by Huntley Fiztpatrick: 2 Stars

This had all the dimension and flair of a cardboard cutout Reader's Digest story. It alternated between telling and showing, neither in particularly successful ways, and even the parts I did "like" were just on. There was no reason to like either Emma or Sean or what could barely be called a cute between them. I didn't flat out hate it, but it was a story that I knew, as I read it, that I would have no interest in ever reading again.

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon: 2 Stars

The framework of a story about departments of love, helping you to heal or have a do-over, was fairly stable, but the flaws that came up in the telling had me scratching my head more than once. It was almost like a companion to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but with less engaging characters. Thomas rubbed me the wrong way, Samantha (his ex) felt like a doormat, and Gaby...her I might actually have grown to like, but we only saw her through Thomas's eyes and the story ended before I was really able to get to know her.

This collection overall was a letdown. A little over a quarter of the stories were outright disappointing letdowns, a few were middle of the road, and the few (4) ones that rated highly are not enough to buy a collection that was at times poorly written, mildly offensive, and dull.
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I thought this book was a good read for the middle (upper) and high school audience, and up. The stories were well-rounded and each was entertaining in its own right. The anthology functions well without a "show stealer" downgrading the other chapters of the novel. 

Just per my own reading experience, I was most excited to read Julie Murphy's story, and was pleasantly satisfied. I've enjoyed Murphy's novels, and I think this anthology is an effective "gateway" to lead readers to pick up a novel that they might not have noticed before Meet Cute.
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Meet Cute is a gorgeous collection of short stories all about how people meet. What is great about the collection is that each author has a different and unique take on how that initial meeting between two characters should happen. Not one of these stories is the same.

Personally, my favourite stories in the collection are: The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies and Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick. But this anthology is chock-a-block with stories and characters to fall in love with so there really is something for everyone. It is also a nice introduction to some seriously talented YA authors whom you may not have come across before.

What is also pretty awesome about the book is that it makes you consider all the meet cutes that you have had in your life and it also makes you think of the meet cutes that you have yet to have had. 

Go on, read it and bask in the cuteness.

Meet Cute by Various is available now.

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This collection of stories from YA authors is centred on relationship beginnings. Around that foci the stores vary greatly in their approaches however and there are many different 'initial spark' moments covered. Sweet, without being cloying, and dryly amusing often, this is a great anthology to dip in and out of, bringing a smile with each story.
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Thank you to Netgalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited for this anthology as I adore meet cute stories and a lot of authors I like were involved in this as well as some of those authors being marginalised. But I'll be honest I was a little bit disappointed with it.

Some of the stories were really sweet and I found great enjoyment in them, but some stories were so lacklustre for me or just weren't even what I would consider meet cute.

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno - Honestly I can't even remember what this was about, it was really forgettable want I wasn't a fan. It also was not what I would consider meet cute as the couple already knew each other for years.

Print Shop by Nina Lacour - This was ok, I liked the use of twitter and PR on social media, however it felt like there was far too much background info and I didn't really feel anything towards the pairing because there wasn't much of a focus on it.

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi - For such a short story this one packs a punch. A lot of it talks about fake allies which I think is an important discussion that needs to be had in all communities. And overall I found this one really sweet.

Click by Katharine McGee - I thought this one was pretty confusing. But it was also pretty hard for me as it featured the death of a sister, which has happened to me. I struggled to get through this one to be honest.

The Intern by Sara Shepard - This was another one which was ok, not terrible but pretty forgettable.

Somewhere That's Green by Meredith Russo - This was really good for featuring current issues. I wasn't really sure how I felt about it being from the point of view of someone who was being transphobic but Russo is a trans author and the views of the character did change throughout the story. I think if a cis author had done this it wouldn't have worked as well.

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton - This was another one I found confusing. I'm not sure if short stories work in fantasy contexts the best. Obviously fantasy writers want to write with what they're comfortable but I'm not sure.

Oomph by Emery Lord - I LOVED this one. It was so cute and it was exactly what I imagine as meet cute. Two cute girls meet at an airport when their flights are delayed. Perfect.

The Dictionary of You and Me - This one was also cute, though a little boring. I mean don't all us romantically inclined people who love books hope we will meet someone between the stacks at our libraries?

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies - Now this was right up my street. This is a maths nerd meet cute. The girl does her report on the statistical probability of seeing a cute boy on her morning commute to school and what factors are involved. Her class get really into it too and I just found it super sweet.

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan - This one was ok. It wasn't really my cup of tea. I did like the discussion of how memes can really hurt people though. I found that interesting as someone who enjoys memes.

Something Real by Julie Murphy - This one was perfect and has served to remind me that I need to read Dumplin ASAP. I loved that it had something about idols not always being who they're cracked up to be but finding something good in what could've been a rubbish day. And I just love that it has girls just being nice to each other.

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick - As someone who has done waiting a lot through the years I kind of liked this, for the little part of me that always wishes a cute person would leave me their number on their receipt like in the movies. But it was a bit farfetched, but hey that's writing.

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon - This was so different and interesting. I do find unrequited love interesting and I don't think it's spoken about enough in YA, a lot of the time it's brushed to the side when a new person comes along that takes the MCs fancy, so this was a new take for me.

As a whole I'd say the store in the latter half of the book are better than the first half. I was feeling really disappointed for a while and then it picked up a little.
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