How they Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

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Text Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9781922147769.
The last review I wrote was for another book written by David Levithan, the spectacularly moving Two Boys Kissing, and now I review How They Met and Other Stories.
Upon researching this author, it seems there is a theme of love that runs through his work, and in my experience reading his work, his meditation on romance is always fresh and intriguing. I am particularly glad to see that David Levithan is inclusive of same-sex relationships in his writing, which are often overlooked in popular fiction. This work is no exception of this socially aware approach.
This anthology sets out to chronicle love of all kinds, and the many other emotions this one can conjure. In doing so, as always, Levithan is beautifully honest and unpretentious, and it the truthful nature of this work that makes it so compelling - Mills and Boon this certainly is not! Here, love is unvarnished, unglamourised, and presented to us in the messy and wholly recognizable game that we play in our own realities. We can relate to the tales of trial and triumph, where we understand and relate to each character. Rarely has there been such a variety of characters that I have so profoundly connected with in a book.
This work is, as the title suggests, a collection of short romantic fiction, but unlike many other writers in this genre, Levithan strives to and seemingly prides himself on his socially inclusive approach. And he should be praised for this.
It is refreshing to see written work for young people that is accessible and avoids the tired and expected trite, cliched approach. I hope to see more work coming from David Levithan, as in my eyes he is the most in-touch, and emotionally touching, young adult fiction author of the moment.
Henry Vaughan (Student)