Parents' Guide to

How They Met and Other Stories

By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Love story collection is sweet but edgy.

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There is quite a variety in this short story collection. And, as you might expect, readers are going to relate more to some of these stories -- and characters -- than others. In one installment, Levithan recounts the sweet stories of how his grandparents met, while in another, two gay boys involved in a mostly physical relationship decide to crash their prom, mostly to find new places to have sex.

Readers are sure to be impressed with Levithan's creativity, from his turns of phrase (such as calling a bored coffee server a "boreista") to his ideas about love's random turns. Teens may be less bothered than adult readers by how juvenile some of the stories are -- both in concept (an old woman time travels back briefly, remembering what it was like to be young and in love) and in emotion (a boy so devastated by the recent end of his relationship that he breaks into his ex-boyfriend's house and falls asleep on his bed). But even these sophomoric stories are sweet (or, as it were, bittersweet), and showcase Levithan's reverence for love, in all its forms.

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