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review 2018-05-04 14:29
Semi-Cute
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet. - Katharine McGee,Jennifer L. Armentrout,Dhonielle Clayton,Katie Cotugno,Huntley Fitzpatrick,Jocelyn Davies,Nina LaCour

Your mileage may vary with this collection of short stories, for me though, I just found only a few of the stories, 5 star worthy. The rest were all over the place. I think the biggest issue is having a collection of short stories by 14 different authors definitely showed who can craft a well thought out short story and those who cannot.

 

According to Urban dictionary:
"Scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the better)."

 

"Siege Etiquette" by Katie Cotungo (2 stars)-No sorry. The first story in this collection did not start off strong at all. And I would argue barely met the definition of a meet cute. You had the two teens in this story one of which is named Wolf. At that point I was worried I had stumbled into some sparkly vampire nonsense, but nope. We just read how the main character in this story (Hailey) is part of the super popular crowd or used to be until something happened. It takes a long time (for a short story) for the reveal to happen. That said, Hailey and Wolf already knew each other since they had been in elementary school with each other. I didn't really even get the sense that she had plans to talk to him again after they finally got out of their "siege" situation.

 

"Print Shop" by Nina LaCour (3 stars)-This does meet the definition of a meet cute to me. We have the main character (Evie) who goes to work in a print shop because of reasons. There's a mention of her breaking up with her girlfriend and her obsessively checking her ex's twitter or was it Instagram. I don't know. Either way she ends up fixing a print shop order gone wrong and meeting someone new. It was alright, didn't blow my socks off or anything.

 

"Hourglass" by Ibi Zoboi (3 stars)-This whole story pissed me off. I felt like it needed a stronger ending too. The main character is an African American girl named Cherish. Cherish has a selfish asshole friend named Stacy. The biggest issue for me is that I don't think the character of Cherish realizes how wrong she has been done by Stacy. Stacy ends up choosing to be with a boy who has gone after Cherish due to her race. At that point I would be popping smoke and telling Stacy to shove it. I just ended up feeling frustrated by Cherish still obsessing over telling Stacy everything that has gone on with her. 

 

"Click" by Katharine McGee (3 stars)-Shrug. I swear I feel like I have read a similar story to this one before. This story takes place in 2020 and we have a new dating service called Click. It floats back and forth between two characters, Alexa and Raden. There were no real surprises here, I can't lie though, I could see this as a total rom-com. 

 

"The Intern" by Sara Shepard (1 star)-Sorry, this was among my least favorite of these stories. I was not engaged during the entire story-line.

 

"Somewhere That's Green" by Meredith Russo (2 stars)-I swear, this was another storyline that ticked me off while reading. We have one girl (Lexie) who attacks a transgirl (Nia) at her school and talks about safety and a variety of other things that is about her not being allowed to use the bathroom. And somehow this turns into a thing where Lexie is fighting against who she really is or something. 

 

"The Way We Love Here" by Dhonielle Clayton (5 stars)-This was so good. I loved the fantasy elements incorporated into this story. I loved the various ways that you can see how the characters (Sebastian and Viola or Vio) lives can change and how it is left open-ended to see what path they may take knowing what can happen between them. 

 

"Oomph" by Emery Lord (4 stars)- I thought this was an adorable meet cute taking place at an airport. I liked how the story was set up and the ending. 

 

"The Dictionary of You and Me" by Jennifer L Armentrout (1 star)-Sorry from beginning to end this story just didn't work for me at all. It just felt unfinished somehow. And I never want to read the word "zazzy" again. 

 

"The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love" by Jocelyn Davies (5 stars)-You get some math/stats and a young girl determining how likely is it that she is going to see a guy she viewed via another train window. I loved the discussion of soul mates (her parents were hilarious) and how the story is developed. 

 

"259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan (3 stars)-Okay story, after the last one though it was a let down.

 

"Something Real" by Julie Murphy (2 stars)-I know I read this, but I still had to go back since I couldn't even recall this one. It felt like there was too much going on with this one. Okay story, just didn't really enjoy it as much as I did the others.

 

"Say Everything" by Huntley Fitzpatrick (3 stars)-I was surprised I didn't like this one more since I loved this author's book "My Life Next Door."

 

"The Department of Dead Love (5 stars)-This was so good. This is another fantasy short story where people can go and determine why the love between them and another person died. You get interviewed by Heartworkers who diagnose you. Don't want to spoil, but I loved the entire idea about this story. 


So I realized that I tended to like the fantasy/sci-fi elements short stories more. 

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review 2017-05-06 01:47
We Are Okay Book Review
We Are Okay - Nina LaCour

Meh. This has a lot of potential. It's certainly well written and very lyrical. But the plot felt a little meaningless. It's already been a week or so since I listened to the audio book and I feel like I barely remember what happened. I remember feeling very let down in the end and thinking, that's it? 

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review 2017-03-28 03:27
You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I thought this book was well-written and the plot moved along at a brisk pace, but honestly, even considering the fact that I am not a YA reading this, I found it unrealistic. There is endless talking and pining for love in this story (I found all the over-analyzing more like college students than high school, but maybe that’s just me) and yay, it’s a story of so many under-represented gay teens, but aside from that, not a whole lot happens. Well, actually, a lot happens in the span of just a few days, but I didn’t find it very believable. Having said that, I will admit that I loved the banter between the friends — I found it smart and funny and the authors established a nice rapport among them; but it was all smart and funny, barely an awkward pause despite the fact that most of them had only just met. I mean I get the whole fast friends thing, but there was a lot of that here – not just one relationship.

 

LaCour and Levithan had their hearts in the right place, but I thought the story that unfolded had the potential to be so much more.

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review 2017-03-23 18:24
We Are Okay
We Are Okay - Nina LaCour

This is how I felt about this novel, I loved the story but I didn’t care for Marin. Okay, I said it. It’s a weird combination because Marin really makes up the whole story but that is how I felt after reading it. The story flashes back and forth between the current time period and the end of her senior year. I enjoyed this small flip of the clock as I really got to see the full picture.

 

In the present time, Marin is living in her college dorm, alone, as everyone else has left for holiday break. Flashing back, we see Marin living with her Gramps before heading off to college. This novel is heavy with emotion, the words drawing themselves out slowly across the pages, and each relationship was vital and significant. I thought Marin’s relationship with her Gramps was strange: they got along great, he tried to instill life’s lessons on her, but their house seemed to be divided and there were issues that were never addressed. I had to wonder if Gramps was really okay, was there more problems that were not addressed. Marin felt like an island to me, she felt distinct and aloof, even with her own Gramps. As the novel became more emotional, it became all about Marin and nothing about the larger picture which I thought include many other individuals. I thought she was quick to blame others when she should have had been looking in the mirror. I also thought, she was running from herself on many levels. I did enjoy the relationship between Marin and Mable, it might have been too as Mable wanted her part in it but it takes two to make it work. Marin sees this relationship having many fronts but again I think Marin thought only of herself. Marin, Marin, Marin, the world is bigger than you.

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review 2017-03-16 03:54
Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
We Are Okay - Nina LaCour

Quick review for a quick read. Leave it to Nina LaCour to tug at my heartstrings every single time I pick up a book from her. For what it's worth, I did enjoy "We Are Okay" though it wasn't as strong for me as some of the author's other narratives (a.k.a "Hold Still"). It's the story of a young woman named Marin who escapes her life after a series of tragedies and has to come to terms with them as her best friend reunites with her over Winter Break while she's in college.

I wasn't surprised by Marin's actions given that I knew she was in a state of denial, grief, and anguish, but it was the reasons behind those emotions that kept me pushing through the novel to see them in full. I'll admit that at times the delivery of these story details is uneven and took me some time to push through, but I always respect and appreciate the genuine way LaCour's able to dig into the raw emotions of her characters. There's much that haunts Marin, and it takes an exploration of the past meeting the present to bring it together (trading between months of memories and present details). I appreciated the range of emotions and coming to terms that Marin shows through the narrative, and felt for her on the note of her relationships with her mother and grandfather, as well as her best friend Mabel and roommate Hannah. The narrative features a prominent character of color and a lesbian relationship with enough moments to feel for the characters even through the events that affect them. I enjoyed getting to know the range of characters in this book and thought it did a fine job of showcasing the dedication of people around Marin to let her know she wasn't lost or forgotten, though her journey after her experiences had her mentally wading through some dark places (some of which I'll admit resonated with me because I've been in that headspace as a result of loss - in more ways than one - before. I don't know if I'd even think to do what Marin did ultimately, but I could see the reasons behind her behavior.)

In the end, it was a solid reading experience for me, a story that I could definitely get behind though it did take some wading through slower, uneven moments in the narrative to get there.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

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