Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bookworming: How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

Last Saturday, I found David Levithan's How They Met and Other Stories while randomly browsing at National Book Store. I have two David Levithan books already, both written with Rachel Cohn -- Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. I was going through his collaborations with Rachel Cohn first, and since I haven't found a nice copy of their third book, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, I thought I would move on to his solo work instead. This book drew me to it, as if the magnets on the cover actually worked, so I got it. I was actually there for another book, but because I need to ration out my book-buying (otherwise I'd end up devouring everything in an instant), I got this one instead, vowing to return for the other book on my next trip to a bookstore.  

Last Monday, it was stormy and I was sick with a fever, bound to my bed, so it was the perfect time to start the book. I spent the entire day snuggled under a blanket, alternating between reading and sleeping. I finished it late in the evening.

How They Met and Other Stories was exhilarating. It's like Valentine's Day wrapped up in a neat little book, which was how it all started anyway. The author wrote his first story while stuck in high school Physics class and started giving stories to his friends as Valentine's gifts. It actually reminded me of the movie, Love Actually, because it's a collection of short stories on every kind of love -- young, old, and those in the middle. It's about the beginning, during, and end of every sort of love -- boy meets girl, girl meets girl, boy meets boy. It's about all of love's many facets -- happy, sad, good, bad, unrequited, forever. 

Story compilations can sometimes get a little tedious, with stories coming one after another; and they may also have the tendency to make you want an actual book out of the story, but this one wasn't like that at all. It is a book of love stories, true, but the author made each story so complete that you're somehow perfectly satisfied at the end of each beautifully crafted short. The imagery is so rich and the characters are so well-developed that you won't find yourself wanting more than the book has, except maybe more stories. 

I loved The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes. It's that sort of story that just makes your heart throb quietly in the end. Starbucks Boy, which is of course about meeting at Starbucks, made me chuckle quite heartily. A Romantic Inclination brought back bad memories of dealing with dreadful Math subjects in school, What a Song Can Do just made me think and think and think afterwards, How They Met made me want to check our my own family tree, and Breaking and Entering broke my heart. I only disliked one story - Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat - because I felt like all the crazy just became annoying. 

It's way too early for Valentine's Day, but if you feel like you could use a dose of Love's Day right now, How They Met and Other Stories is a wonderful read.

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