I LOVED the idea of a book about meet cutes. I did enjoy some of the fantastically cute and diverse stories and characters in Meet Cute. But I didn’t think many of the stories lived up to what the the title promised. More details below in my Review of Meet Cute!
To be published on January 2, 2018
Synopsis adapted from Goodreads: 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. 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.
My take: I love romantic comedies and thus am a big fan of the meet cute.
What is a meet cute, you ask?
Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s the (cute) meeting of two characters who will end up in a relationship.
What puts the cute in the meet cute? According to me, at least?
The circumstances of the meeting should be unusual or memorable. In Notting Hill, shy bookshop owner Will spots reclusive movie star Anna, then they meet cute when he spills orange juice all over her. In The Bridesmaids, Annie meets Officer Rhodes when he pulls her over for a suspected DUI. (She was weaving around on the road because she was executing a bunch of hair flips.)
Extra points if the meeting creates strong emotion (such as the possibility of instant dislike, setting up a hate-to-love scenario). In This Lullaby, Remy and Dexter meet in the waiting area of a car dealership. He slams into her and she yells at him: “What’s your problem?” In The Raven Boys, Blue and Gansey meet when she waits on him and his friends at Nino’s. He offers to pay her to come over and talk to Adam, and she says “I’m not a prostitute.”
My take on Meet Cute:
Many of the stories themselves were cute, and many of the couples within the stories were super cute. I loved the diversity of stories and characters. But I didn’t think that all of the stories in this collection qualified as meet cutes.
The blurb says these are stories about “how they first met.” Ummmmm… that’s NOT necessarily meet cute. Stories about characters who already knew each other and then got to know each other better aren’t really meet cute stories. I don’t think that depressing stories qualify either, no matter how cute the meet.
Here are a few stories in the collection that DID meet my definition of meet cute:
Print Shop by Nina LaCour
This was a tightly written, cohesive story with themes I appreciated and a meet cute that I give high points for creativity. When Evie agrees to help a small print shop in her neighborhood with their social media, she gets tangled up in a Twitter war with a very unsatisfied customer. I loved that this was a virtual meet cute that transitioned to a real meeting. This meet cute fit with the story’s themes of Luddite old fashionedness vs. newfangled online life and this super-cute couple put a smile on my face!
OOMPH by Emery Lord
This story takes place in an airport, which is such a great place for a chance encounter meet cute! Cass is at in the security line at JFK when she’s given a mysterious flyer by a TSA agent. This leads to a lot of witty banter with the passenger ahead of her in line. They’re on different flights, but at adjacent gates, and Cass saves her mysterious new friend from one of those overly chatty fellow travelers. OOMPH was a cute and flirty story that won my heart.
Something Real by Julie Murphy
June is the president of the Official Dylan Fan Club International, which has won her the chance to compete on A Date Come True, a show where ordinary people try to win a date with a celeb. June is vying for a date with … you guessed it: Dylan, a singer who was plucked out of YouTube obscurity by a record label. I don’t want to say too much more about this story except that it was full of surprises! Meet cute with a twist.
TALK TO ME IN COMMENTS! Do you have a favorite meet cute from YA or the movies? Have you read this or do you plan to? How do you feel about short story anthologies?