Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Meet Cute is an anthology of whimsical, heartwarming and thought provoking stories that might just leave you believing that some people… are just destined to meet. Each author contributed something unique to this collection making it diverse and offering a little something for every type of reader. In the spirit of fairness I’m going to review each story individually and with it’s own star rating. I’ll be honest up front and admit not all of these stories were my cup of tea for various reasons. A lot of these stories were things I might not have necessarily been attracted to outside of this anthology so please bear that in mind and take everything I say in stride.
Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno
This story was awkward for me: written like a bad fan-fiction, with an unlikable narrator who essentially cheats on her boyfriend. I just can’t throw much support behind this story. The writing was choppy and as the revelation came I found myself disliking it more and more. I thought it was careless and sad.
Print Shop by Nina Lacour
This one was charming if a bit jarring. The very beginning and very end, told like the narrator is talking to the reader threw me but the middle was stunning. This story had a strong aesthetic with the print shop, the kind couple who work there and the eccentric owner. I found myself wanting to work there too and I think that’s key, especially when the author can do it in such a small number of pages. All in all I found this story charming.
Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi
The more I think about this story the less I like it. I like that the MC was African American and that she was proud of that and her body but everything else was terrible. Her best friend was traitorous and horrid, her parents were unlikable and harsh, and the actual ‘meet cute’ didn’t take place until the very. Last. Page. Really I don’t know what was up with this story but it just didn’t jive with me.
Click by Katharine McGee
Call me cliché but this story is in my top favorites from this book. I like Katharine McGee’s writing style, I like her world building, I like her odd mismatched characters. The premise of Click, that an app can predict your perfect match sounds so clinical and bland but it isn’t, it’s perfect and the execution is what elevates this to something beyond data. The two MC’s were so polar and yet so in sync, the twist at the end was expected but endearing and I’m honestly just a sucker for anything: road trip, treasure\scavenger hunt, or strangers thrust together. So this may not work for everyone but I loved it.
The Intern by Sara Shepard
I gave this story such a high rating because even thought the idea is overdone and a bit cheesy I like the heart behind it. I thought it had a few quotable lines and I liked that it was about how dealing with grief is different for everyone. No two people cope with the death of a loved one the same way. We all have our triggers, our quirks, and our own timeline and that’s okay. So this story for me had heart and music and self integrity and I liked that.
Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo
I really don’t have much to say about this. I almost never give one star ratings and I know that this story is popular with a lot of people but frankly I felt it was poorly written and unpleasant.
The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton
This story intrigued me. On the surface it seems small and the magic laid out in it isn’t explained very well which I took issue with but the idea beneath the surface was grand. The idea that fate is more than a set path in front of us, that even when you’re certain of one thing everything around that fixed point is always subject to change and the world can be as big or as small as you’re willing to make it. This story hid a broad, sweeping concept behind a confusing façade and while I think it could have been laid out smoother, I liked it nonetheless.
Oomph by Emery Lord
This story was quirky. A chance meeting in an airport, role-play with a stranger, reaching outside your comfort zone and being rewarded for it instead of punished. This is honestly something I can relate to as a drama geek with anxiety and I liked the way things played out. It was an optimistic story full of subtle humor and smooth banter. Both characters were unique and felt real. It wasn’t a stand out but it was pleasant and easy to read and I enjoyed it.
The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Another standout favorite of mine that’s definitely a bit cliché but so very endearing. This story is awkward and awkward is something I only enjoy if it’s humorous and not too over the top. This story reads almost like a shorthand version of You’ve Got Mail with similar, if not quite as advanced, humor and a not at all surprising ending. Call me a book nerd with an Achilles heel for the overly sappy but this story just worked for me.
The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling In Love by Jocelyn Davies
This story was clinical, natural, and hilarious and somehow it also managed not to contradict itself. The idea of trying to figure statistically the odds of not only running into the same person twice on the subway but also love at first sight it just a recipe for disaster. The course of… well everything never did run smooth and this story proves it. This story is great right down to the side characters and how often do you care about the side characters in a short story. So well fleshed out, laid out, and paced, I was equal parts laughing and intrigued from beginning to end.
259 Miles by Kass Morgan
I keep forgetting what this story was about so it was pretty unmemorable but when I do remember it I remember I like it. Go figure. Wanting to go to mars permanently because of embarrassment is not a good reason to want to go to space in my opinion. There’s definitely better ways to cope with that stuff, though I don’t blame the MC for wanting what he wants. That being said the chemistry in this story was real and it seeped through every aspect of this otherwise unremarkable story.
Something Real by Julie Murphy
I love stories that point out the behind the scenes fakeness of reality TV. Any story that shows how staged and overly dramatic Hollywood is endears itself to me. The banter in this story was so natural I could have read forever and not been bored and the romance read like a budding friendship which is, in my opinion, the most natural way for love to begin anyway. The twist at the end was perfectly set up as this story reminded me that leggings are so much more comfortable than ball gowns.
Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick
As you can see another one star rating which means not much to say. This story read poorly and there wasn’t one likeable thing about it. The main guy was creepy, the main girl was bland and I was barely able to force myself to read to the end.
The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon
A campus of buildings and staff fully devoted to figuring out where your love life went wrong. It sounds so clinical and bureaucratic but I assure you it wasn’t. This story did a masterful job of looking into the different types of ways love breaks and how sometimes it’s for the best. Would you give up months, years worth of memories to have a second chance with that ex you just can’t forget about? If given the chance would you be able to recognize new opportunity instead of staying stuck in the past? How willing are you to take chances when you’re presented with them? This story asks and answers and leaves open ended even all of those questions and more. More than any other story I wish there was more; more of this world, these characters, this concept. Probably the best story in this book and the perfect way to end it.
So there you have it, my full review of this anthology. Overall I would recommend this despite my low average rating; mostly because the gems overpowered everything else. I’m glad I read though the stories I loved less for the stories I ended up just adoring. I know this review ran long so I’m gonna be done with it and I hope some of you take a chance and read this for yourself.
Until next time, stay passionate and excelsior!
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