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At First Sight

The 14 stories in Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet highlight the moments—and magic—before relationships actually begin.

At First Sight

BOOK REPORT for Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by various authors

Cover Story: Everyday People
The MFEO: “Oomph” by Emery Lord, “The Dictionary of You and Me” by Jennifer L. Armentrout, “The Department of Dead Love” by Nicola Yoon
The Missed Connections: “The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love” by Jocelyn Davies, “259 Million Miles” by Kass Morgan
The We Shall See: “The Way We Love Here” by Dhonielle Clayton
Bonus Factor: LGBTQ Stories
Anti-Bonus Factor: Second Person POV
Break Glass In Case Of: Hopeless Romanticism

Cover Story: Everyday People

The mix of different races and genders on this cover ties in well to the diversity of the stories in the book. However, I spent a lot of time trying to match the illustrations to the stories (à la My True Love Gave to Me and Summer Days and Summer Nights) but eventually realized that they’re not depictions of any of the characters. Missed opportunity, methinks.

The Deal:

There’s a time in every romance when the butterflies in your stomach are only just beginning to take flight. The stories in Meet Cute are 14 different examples of those first moments of romance and the many different ways two people can find the start of what might just turn out to be love.

The MFEO: “Oomph” by Emery Lord, “The Dictionary of You and Me” by Jennifer L. Armentrout, “The Department of Dead Love” by Nicola Yoon

Lord’s “Oomph” tells the tale of a young woman waiting for a flight and the connection she makes with a pretty girl in the security line. It’s a sweet story about taking chances and is full of swoony promise.

“The Dictionary of You and Me” is the kind of story I might have daydreamed up when I was an actual YA. Not to spoil the ending, but it involves a girl who works in a library and a long overdue dictionary.

Yoon’s “The Department of Dead Love” creates a world in which a government agency helps people get over all types of love, from unrequited feelings to failed relationships. The story has a twist ending that, although not exactly surprising, is super sweet.

The Missed Connections: “The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love” by Jocelyn Davies, “259 Million Miles” by Kass Morgan

Davies’ “The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love” is a perfect story for anyone who’s ever locked eyes with a stranger across a subway train. However, I struggled with the main character’s ability to turn a chance encounter into a statistics project—but maybe that’s not the part of the story I’m supposed to be focusing on? (Also, I never took statistics, so please correct me if this is actually possible.)

“259 Million Miles,” the story of a young couple who meet while training for a mission to Mars, is the most bittersweet of all of Meet Cute’s stories. Thankfully, Morgan leaves readers with a sense of hope, rather than dismay.

The We Shall See: “The Way We Love Here” by Dhonielle Clayton

With shades of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, “The Way We Love Here” is a mysterious tale about an island culture who’re destined to meet their soulmates when the tattoos on their ring fingers—which they have at birth—disappear. Clayton’s story is magical and nicely questions the whole idea of “fate.”

Bonus Factor: LGBTQ Stories

Four of the 14 stories in Meet Cute feature LGBTQ characters. Although their stories aren’t a majority of the anthology, it’s nice to see these stories in a book marketed solely as a collection of romances “that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.” No where on the book does it call out that it features LGBTQ stories, and it shouldn’t need to.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Second Person POV

If it’s done right, I think second-person POV can be powerful. Unfortunately, the two stories in Meet Cute told in second person left me wanting, particularly because the “you” in question is given a name and gender rather than leaving it open-ended to let the readers fill in their own personal details. The plots of the two stories—”Siege Etiquette” by Katie Cotugno and “Say Anything” by Huntley Fitzpatrick—were cute, but I think they would have been better served by first- or third-person POVs.

Break Glass In Case Of: Hopeless Romanticism

Although I had my favorites among Meet Cute’s stories, the book on the whole was a delightful diversion. Each story gave me the warm fuzzies and reminded me of one of my favorite parts of any relationship arc—those first moments when anything is possible.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from HMH Books for Young Readers, and got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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