Cover Image: Serendipity

Serendipity

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Member Reviews

This is a cute YA rance anthology. As with most anthologies, some were much better than others. There is even a chapter in graphic novel form, which, while I'm not a fan, will be exciting for some readers. The representation in this book is great! Several LGBTQ couples/storylines. Overall, super cute!
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I don’t have too much to say about this one if I’m honest (not because it’s bad, just because it’s an anthology and it can be hard to write reviews for them).  So, I’ll just make comments about some of the stories.

Anyone Else but You: Had good pacing but towards the end, it kind of jumped and ended a little too quickly (still cute!)

The Idiom Algorithm: This one was…strange. It used the class warfare trope and I always thought that was were two kids are competing in a class project or something, but this was not that, this was one poor kid “fighting” with a rich kid (HOWEVER, this could very well be how that trope is interpreted against the background of Asian culture) There were some typos thought and it felt like things were rushed in places.

Shooting Stars: MARISSA MEYER USED THE ONE BED TROPE!! it had great pacing and teased the main event. And the perfect setting in my opinion!

“Keagan’s Heaven on Earth” this one was another strange one. IT WAS A MINI GRAPHIC NOVEL which was so cool to see and had a sapphic romance, plus sized MC and was so wholesome. However, it may have been the format of it that made it seemed rushed and, this story used the “secret admirer” trope, meaning someone anonymous is sending you stuff, and that never happened. As a matter of fact, the admirer threw the gift away.

“Liberty” was a little hard for me to understand because it dealt with cheerleading and different cheers, and I had a hard time visualizing a lot of them and I guess it didn’t…have a plot? And didn’t really go anywhere? I don’t know…but it did have a great message of just being yourself and not altering yourself to fit the mold.
The last story was written by Sandhya Menon and this was definitely a short story. It felt a little rushed and used abbreviations for words as though this was a text message and not like the characters were sitting next to each other in the car TALKING. Although, the last two scenes were pretty great.

All in all, this anthology gave me unrealistic exactions for my first flirting/intimate experience with the opposite sex and had TONS of rep from plus sized characters to LGBTQ, and BIPOC characters which was awesome to see. The stories were awesome, but some did have the issue of being rushed like all short stories, so I won’t hold that against them.
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I usually enjoy reading anthologies, and I was really eager to read this book which dug into story tropes seen throughout fiction. Plus, it had a few authors that I recognized. Unfortunately, I felt like a lot of the stories didn't utilize their specific trope very well. In the end, only a couple of the short stories stood out to me
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Usually short stories aren't my favorite, but I really enjoyed most of these. There were some that I liked better than others, but I really had a good time listening to this overall. (But my favorite was the Marissa Meyer one because of course it was). 

This book is great for anyone looking for a quick fix of sappy rom-com moments. 

Additionally, full disclosure, I listened to the finished audiobook rather than reading the provided galley due to my being behind on reviews. This review is based on that experience. I probably liked this better because I listened to it rather than tried to read it, honestly.
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I am not always a fan of anthologies but this was so well edited that Myers needs to be commended for it. I loved nearly all of the stories and have recommended this to all of my friends.
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I only liked about half the stories. I know these were short stories, but still, they often felt rushed. Several felt very juvenile. But quite a few were cute, and I like the way the troupes were pulled in;  some very interestingly!
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I have to admit, I don't recall much about turning these conventional setups on their head, but I do love how many of them are recognized and represented. Plus, look at these authors! You can't go wrong with picking and choosing if you want to show young writers what an original spin on a (potentially overdone) trope looks like.
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I throughly enjoyed these short stories. They offered almost every trope you could think of. (And some you wouldn’t think of 😂) 

I loved the diversity of the characters. You had people of all shapes, sizes, and color. It was a super nice diversion from the typical romance you read these days. 

Like any book of short stories, there were a few I wasn’t a fan of. But overall, I enjoyed the read.
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I started reading this, but decided to DNF after the third story. I was hopeful to see these tropes turned on their heads a bit more than they were. It just wasn't quite what I expected. Just changing the sexuality of the main characters isn't really messing with the tropes in my opinion. It just wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for so I will not be finishing it.
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This was a fun read and wonderfully diverse group of stories. Like most short story collections there will be favorites and less favorites, this book is no exception. Most of the stories had me smiling throughout my read and longing for more. I applaud the selection of authors and their takes on romance tropes like “stranded together” or “the secret admirer” they were fun and hopeful like my favorite contemporary romance novels are but I would not classify them as transformed.

The diversity ranges were appreciated as each inclusion felt organic and natural. We see different sized people, different cultures and different romance preferences that are often included as side stories in many romance novels but here take center stage. The spotlight this book shone on my favorite genre was wonderful and needed. My favorite stories wound up being by Leah Johnson (stranded together trope), Marissa Meyer (1 bed trope), Sandhya Menon (the matchmaker trope) with a special shout out to Sarah Winifred Searle and their take on the secret admirer that I was surprised to see presented in a graphic novel format. 

Definitely recommend to anyone who loves to see HEA endings and are fans of Meyer.

Thank you to Team Fierce Reads and Macmillan Childrens publishing for providing this galley to me through a YallFest contest.

@sdrosereads on IG review to be published 3/2/22
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Thank you so much @netgalley and @fiercereads for gifting me a copy of Serendipity in exchange for an honest review. 

💕 Mini Review 😘

I am a huge lover of anthologies, so when I got approved for Serendipity I was ecstatic. I also love Marissa Meyer!

Serendipity has 10 stories written about 10 different romantic tropes. 
Bye Bye, Piper Berry-by Julie Murphy (The Fake Relationship)
Anyone Else But You-by Leah Johnson (Stranded Together)
The Idiom Algorithm-by Abigail Hing Wen (Class Warfare)
Auld Acquaintance-by Caleb Roehrig (The Best Friend Love Epiphany)
Shooting Stars-by Marissa Meyer (One Bed)
Keagan’s Heaven On Earth-by Sarah Winifred Searle (The Secret Admirer)
Zara In The Spotlight-by Elise Bryant (The Grand Romantic Gesture)
In A Blink Of The Eye-by Elizabeth Eulberg (Trapped in a Confined Space)
Liberty-by Anna-Marie McLemore (The Makeover)
The Surprise Match-by Sandhya Menon (The Matchmaker)

I enjoyed a few of these stories, especially Menon’s, but honestly, I wasn’t huge fan of some of these. They either seemed unbelievable or I didn’t just love the characters. I was sad to not love this one but I am glad I got the chance to read this and I know a lot of y’all will love this book! 

If you love anthologies and are a sucker for some of these tropes, then I definitely recommend Serendipity to you! I gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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I really liked the stories in this anthology, but overall I was just kind of underwhelmed. I still definitely recommend it if you're a fan of any of these authors!
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Serendipity is the latest anthology that caught my attention. I'll confess that it was originally the Jane Austen fan in me that dragged my eyes to this cover. However, the lead and contributing authors were more than enough to keep me invested.

Serendipity is an anthology that takes ten romantic tropes and turns them into ten short stories. You'll find amazing authors involved in this project, such as Marissa Meyer, Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg, Leah Johnson, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sandhya Menon, Julie Murphy, Caleb Roehrig, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Abigail Hing Wen. I love new perspectives on classic tropes, so this was an instant sell for me. Better yet, the takes are more inclusive and endearing, all running along that feeling of Serendipity.

Overall I really enjoyed Serendipity. It was sweet and endearing, hitting that craving for short romantic plots full of emotion and charm. However, I don't think this anthology quite hit the mark if the goal was to bend classic tropes. Don't get me wrong – those classic tropes are very much a part of this tale. The thing is, I don't think they're as altered as the description led me to believe. That was a little disappointing, as it had been one of the main reasons why I was so desperate to read Serendipity.

For those curious, the tropes included in Serendipity are mainly: fake dating, friends to lovers, rivals to lovers (love it), forced proximity, one bed, romantic gestures, love at first sight, makeovers, and soulmates.
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A cut collection of romance trope short stories. I liked some better than others, but overall thought it was a good collection.
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Great collections of stories by some fantastic authors. Loved all the stories and hope there will be more collaborations by these authors again.
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It’s been a while since I’ve read an anthology, so this was a really nice one to read; especially before Valentine’s Day. 

The ten romantic tropes were: fake dating, stranded together, class warfare, best friend love epiphany, one bed, secret admirer, grand romantic gesture, trapped in a confined space, the makeover, and the matchmaker. 

However, the audiobook only features nine stories because one of them (the secret admirer trope) was told in a graphic novel format. I’ve never seen a graphic novel in an anthology before, so it was quite refreshing to see. 

I’ll share my rating and one sentence thoughts on each story. 

Bye, Bye, Piper Berry by Julie Murphy— 3 stars 
Thought this was cute, and I liked how it was told in dual POVs; but this didn’t stick with me by the end. 

Anyone Else But You by Leah Johnson— 3.5 stars 
Again, this was super cute, but this didn’t make me swoon as much as I wanted it to. 

The Idiom Algorithm by Abigail Hing Wen—2 stars 
This just straight up confused me; though I’m happy the main character ended up with someone else. 

Auld Acquaintance by Caleb Roehrig— 5 stars 
Hands down my favourite story in this whole anthology; I was swooning the whole time.

Shooting Stars by Marissa Meyer—4.5 stars
Close second fave; really loved this and this was super sweet. 

Keagen’s Heaven on Earth by Sarah Winifred Searle—2 stars 
My only physical read. But I don’t think a graphic novel is the right format for a short story; it all felt rushed and there was no proper development. 

Zora in the Spotlight by Elise Bryant—2 stars 
Super annoyed with fact the protagonist kept talking about how invisible and insecure she was; also couldn’t stand Astrid’s character. 

In a Blink of The Eye by Elizabeth Eulberg—3 stars 
It was nice to read something by this author again, but this was too cheesy and corny for my liking. 

Liberty by Anna-Marie McLemore—2 stars 
This was just okay for me, there was nothing truly outstanding about this one. 

The Surprise Match by Sandhya Menon—3 stars 
Super cute, but wasn’t the most memorable. 

I loved how diverse the stories were and the romances were very sweet. This is the perfect short story collection to read during this time of year. 

Thank you the NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ALC and e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Serendipity is a collection of ten stories that incorporate romance tropes.  From best friends falling in love to the one bed, some stories will feel familiar and others include an added twist--some twists I liked (even loved) and others I did not. In addition to different tropes, the stories are also diverse, including LGBTQ+ and racial/ethnic representation. I wanted to highlight my favorite stories "Liberty" by Anna-Marie McLemore, "Shooting Stars" by Marissa Meyer, and "Zora in the Spotlight" by Elise Bryant. With an anthology, the stories can be hit or miss but these three stories were well-written and, in a few pages, allowed my heart to flutter.  "Liberty" managed to leave me feeling empowered, and I wanted to immediately read it again.
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Truth be told, straight-up romance really isn't my thing, but with the amazing editor, fabulous authors, and, to be honest, the super cute cover, I had to give it a try. I enjoyed the focus on various romantic tropes. It was a slightly cheeky approach, completely acknowledging the trajectory of each story. It worked for me. Admittedly I enjoyed some stories more than others, but overall it was a fun, easy read. I look forward to having this in my library.
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I think I said it best on my #Booktok with this one... Slight obsessed and totally in love. #Serendipity is a compilation of ten romantic tropes featuring diverse young adult characters and chuckle worthy trope tackling. 

There was something to adore in each short story. One of my favorites features being trapped in a confined space and a love interest with good 'ol Big Ben. I could just see myself in the main character. 

The character diversity and orientation was excellent. Different takes on situations, settings and perfect for the upcoming Valentine's Day. When it comes to my romance reads, I typically prefer more adult themes or my romance hiding in the pages of young adult fantasy. I am pretty thrilled with how much I enjoyed this step away from my comfort zone. 

Thank you Fierce Reads, Feiwel and Friends and Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group for the digital advanced reader copy and the gorgeous surprise edition! True rating 4.5/5.
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A lovely collection of short stories that takes worn out tropes and gives them a twist!  With an impressive list of authors behind the collection, it’s not hard to find something to love for everyone.  

I’ve never been a huge fan of short stories.  It always feels as though we ~just~ scratch the surface before it’s time to move on to the next tale.  But that’s kind of the point, right?  To give you a little taste and then move on.  I’m not even sure what the best way to review a collection of short stories is, so I think I’m just going to give a mini review of each story. 

BYE BYE, PIPER BERRY – Julie Murphy
(The Fake Relationship)

Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes and Murphy starts us off strong.  Best friends Piper and Gabe fake a relationship to get back at Piper’s cheating ex-boyfriend, who also happens to be Gabe’s best friend.  I liked this little story and thought the way it ended was cute.  

ANYONE ELSE BUT YOU – Leah Johnson 
(Stranded Together)

This was probably one of my favorites.  Enemies Perry and Jada get trapped together in a store after hours and have to survive the night together.  Super fun f/f relationship that ends with a romantic gesture at a dance.  Loved the fire between these two! 

THE IDIOM ALGORITHM – Abigail Hing Wen
(Class Warfare) 

I don’t understand this story at all.  The idioms were fun, but the story made very little sense.  Tan and Rebecca have been dating for a while and then all of the sudden, her parents whisk her away without a trace.  Tan keeps looking for her by putting together an algorithm and when he finds her, it’s not what he expects.  It just felt overly dramatic and unrealistic. 

AULD ACQUAINTANCE – Caleb Roehrig 
(The Best Friend Love Epiphany) 

Ope, loved this one too.  Garrett and Ollie are besties who are planning to ring in the new year at a lock-in.  If they can’t find someone to kiss, they plan to kiss each other.  But when Ollie overhears Garrett’s crush talking about kissing him at midnight, Ollie takes matters into his own hands.  Ollie and Garrett were precious and I want a whole book about them.  Please and thank you.  M/m relationship. 

SHOOTING STARS – Marissa Meyer 
(One Bed) 

I am a huge sucker for the one bed trope.  On a class trip, Misty and Roman keep finding themselves in one bed situations and it was everything one could hope for.  I really liked this one! 

KEAGAN’S HEAVEN ON EARTH – Sarah Winifred Searie 
(The Secret Admirer) 

I’m so glad I had a physical copy because this one was impossible to read on my kindle.  This is written as a graphic novel (or, short story).  The illustrations were adorable and I liked the overall story, but the writing was a little clunky.  Maybe that’s just because of the style? 

ZORA IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Elise Bryant 
(The Grand Romantic Gesture) 

Friendship trio, Jorge, Astrid, and Zora, are on a mission to win Astrid’s ex-girlfriend back with a grand gesture.  But when they get to the dance, another individual has grand gestures on the brain, and Zora finds herself the recipient.  The secondhand embarrassment in this story is sooo real.  And Zora is way too forgiving.  But it had a cute ending! 

IN A BLINK OF THE EYE – Elizabeth Eulberg 
(Trapped in a Confined Space) 

I really liked this story!  Morgan has been in love with England since she decided as a child she was going to be a princess.  On a class trip, she gets stuck in the Ferris Wheel with her best friend’s boyfriend, and nemesis, Tyler.  Being stuck together forces them to confront their issues and attempt to work things out. 

LIBERTY – Anna-Marie McLemore 
(The Makeover) 

Ximena has finally made it on the cheerleading squad as a flier.  Unfortunately, the squad isn’t overly welcoming and her base teammates are just the worst.  Enter Camila.  Ximena used to watch Camila’s YouTube makeup tutorials, and now she’s her new base.  The two work together to bring out the best in each other and I really enjoyed their relationship. 

THE SURPRISE MATCH – Sandhya Menon 
(The Matchmaker) 

Rosie is her school’s unofficial matchmaker.  She’s developed a program that uses the student’s social media accounts to find their perfect match.  Her best friend, Easton, asks her to check his match and she’s shocked to learn the system picked her.  Now she’s faced with a dilemma because she thinks he had his heart set on someone else. The relationship between Easton and Rosie is so sweet! 

Overall, this was a really cute collection of stories.  I imagine that no matter who you are, you will have favorites, and others that don’t click as well.  None of the tropes are approached in the tradition way, and it was fun to see what kind of twist they would take.
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