Title: Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout (and various authors)
Release: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.7/5)
Synopsis: 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 Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to accurately rate anthology novels. There’s so many stories, so many different writing styles, authors, and characters to the point where I can only recall a couple of the stories from Meet Cute, i.e. the ones which are my favorites.
But I’m here to discuss them anyway!
I received an ARC of Meet Cute in exchange for an honest review. And for some of the stories in this book, it’s about to get real honest.
I’ll start with the spoiler free section first, and talk about the overall feelings I got from this book, how’s that sound?
I’ve only read two anthology novels before, My True Love Gave to Me and Summer Days, Summer Nights. Meet Cute is a little different, and to be honest, it had Nicola Yoon, Dhionelle Clayton, and Nina LaCour so my expectations were a little high. I expected lots of diverse stories and queer couples. (warning: It was about half.)
Personally, I really liked how many stories in Meet Cute featured not just a queer couple, but several f/f couples! It was wonderful to see that rep, since a lot of gay rep in YA is m/m. Otherwise, the stories overall were mediocre. Most of the stories that featured a white and/or allocishet couple just wasn’t that good or interesting.
Some of my favorites included: Print Shop, The Way We Love Here, Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love, Something Real, and Department of Dead Love. If you read Meet Cute, look out for these cause they’re great 🙂
While this book was super cute, there were a few things that bothered me and took away from this book. (All while being spoiler-free.) One of which was one story featuring a second-person point of view. It was weird, it was very fanfiction-like, and I didn’t like it at all.
Secondly, a lot of stories were forgettable. Sure, it’s hard to write developed characters in 40 pages, but some characters in Meet Cute were instantly forgettable once I flipped the page onto the next. There was little about their lives, their motivation, etc. I just think some stories contained better, more relatable characters than others.
Meet Cute has a lot of potential! I just think a lot of stories could’ve been done better, which is why it deserves an average rating of 3.7/5 stars (yes that’s average to me.) The weight of some stories outweighed the bad ones, and for that I still enjoyed reading it overall.
END OF SPOILER FREE SECTION
So here’s the best part.
Let’s get down
to business to the individual stories. Since I’m pressed for time, I won’t talk too much about the plot, but my overall thoughts and reflections on it.
This was probably the worst story in the whole anthology. (What a great start, right?) It featured two easily forgettable characters, a vague backstory, and worst of all—the second person pov!!!!!!! WHY? It was so amateur and fanfiction-esque. No one asked for this point of view. The characters had no chemistry, and felt like a cheap fanfiction insert.
AH I LOVE THE GAY! Whoa, okay, I’ll back up. This story is something I think should’ve been a full length novel, honestly. There was a large emphasis on the character’s job and not the romance, which felt rushed and shoved at the end. I think better pacing and more interaction between the love interest and main character. Otherwise, I loved listening to the MC’s voice, it had a clearly defined plot, and I adore Nina LaCour’s writing and this was one of my faves ❤
Okay, the diversity in this story was fantastic. A black and fat MC, a Senegalese love interest, sounds good to me! But this story lacked a structured plot, which really bothered me. I liked Ibi Zoboi’s writing, truly, but I felt like I was reading a string of events and there was going to be no clear ending in sight. I needed more.
I like the futuristic vibes. I like the story centered around Tinder. (At least, a kind of Tinder.) I especially liked the twist at the end where the love interest wasn’t her match, but they got together anyway. The characters were a little forgettable. Otherwise, the plot and twist at the end really gave way to one of my faves in the anthology.
I don’t even remember what happened in this one. Not just forgettable characters, but a forgettable plot and events. One of the worst. Next.
(Was that too forward?)
Somewhere That’s Green
I found this story pretty interesting. There was a transgender teen MC, and it featured a f/f romance. Two things you don’t find often in YA. It has some political commentary (which of course includes a small trigger warning for transism) and while I wasn’t really rooting for the love interest, it was a pretty good story. Not a fave, but not the worst.
The Way We Love Here
CAN I JUST HAVE A MOMENT?
This book made me feeeeel everything. It reminded me so much of The Sun is Also a Star, not gonna lie. (You might know that’s my favorite book) It had such a rich concept that I loved. This story was beautiful, truly, and had so much development despite it’s very few pages. I was exposed to their families, their motivations, their futures. . .it was wonderful. I would pay to have a whole novel about this. AND THE CHARACTERS WERE OF COLOR! Clearly this was my favorite.
Not a bad story, but the characters suffered forgettable-itis. Can only be cured by further plot and character development. Not bad, though, and I loved a f/f romance and the airport setting.
The Dictionary of You and Me
This story wasn’t that good. The characters, you guessed it, were kind of forgettable. The plot was alright, but I thought it was predictable. Just bland, overall.
Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love
WHAT A GOOD STORY! It had a structured plot, interesting and motivating main character, a female MC involved in science, feminist commentary, and a little bit of mystery, too. The boys in the MC’s stats class motivated the MC and were genuinely interested in her project, which is such a wonderful touch to the story. I loved the twist at the end when the MC and the love interest do a Facetime call to the MC’s class. It made me smile!
259 Million Miles
There was a little chemistry between the MC and love interest, but it was a cliffhanger ending and they didn’t even end up together, anyway. Just thought it was kind of a useless story. Not bad writing, though.
Really cute! I liked the scenario with the reality matchmaker show and the guy they’re supposedly pining after is a dick in the end. And the two girls ending up together? Perfect. Great. Everything I needed in life. 10/10. One of my favorites ❤
Stop with the second person point of view. It’s weird. Either way, this story lacked chemistry and any background information. You can’t say this love interest indirectly ruined your family and not proceed to give any info about it! What the heck, lady?
Department of Dead Love
GIVE ME A FULL LENGTH NOVEL! Of course my girl Nicola Yoon comes in to slay the ending of Meet Cute with this story. There’s chemistry, development, a small love triangle (interesting) and a twist ending. I NEED MORE! I loved the futuristic vibes of the story, and would definitely pay to see more.
Overall, you might be wondering why I rated this book so high when all of my notes seemed harsh. Well, I rarely rate a book under 3.5 stars, and the stories I loved (which was like 4-5 of like, 10) I REALLY LIKED THEM! So I can’t fault the other authors for that.
I’m glad I received a copy of Meet Cute! It was a tiny bit underwhelming, but an enjoyable read overall. Make sure you go out and get yourself a copy soon! It’s a while away, but it makes a great book to snuggle with on Valentine’s Day. I mean, who needs a significant other, anyway? 🙂
Thanks for reading! Have you read Meet Cute?