Twelve YA writers pair up to bring different sides to six different stories about love, growth, friendship and more. This he-said-she-said collection lets the reader know more about the relationships of the characters and gives more of an insight to teenage minds. They each give us the full story and remind us that there is always two sides to every story.
This collection was an interesting one. I hadn’t heard of any of these YA authors, I think this is likely because they are American, less well-known authors, so each story was fresh to me, I didn’t know what to expect but I did have ideas and what I got was completely different. I really enjoyed some of the stories but others left me unsatisfied and wanting more…
I think I expected more from this collection than I got… I expected it to be told in the way it was; either the male or females story then the opposites story straight after… but I expected the halves of each of the stories to be a lot different from each other… I know that might not make much sense so I’m going to branch off and tell you about each pairing.
Love or Something Like It by Chris Crutcher & Some Things Never Change by Kelly Milner Halls
These two were interesting… an overall story about two people who are together for very wrong reasons. It’s clear from Crutchers story that John and Wanda are not right for each other and I guessed stuff about each of the characters that I thought would be explored more in Milner Halls’ story… but I was wrong. I thought that Milner Halls could have done so much more, in essence I just read the exact same story but from the females point of view, nothing new was explored, nothing was built upon and even though you are getting Wanda’s point of view, everything about her was what was mentioned in the first story.
I liked the overall story and I think if I’d just read Crutchers part it would have been enough to satisfy me… Milner Halls’ addition didn’t do anything but bore me I’m afraid… I just thought she could have done so much more.
Falling Down to See the Moon by Joseph Bruchac & Mooning Over Broken Stars by Cynthia Leitich Smith
This pairing was better. A story about Bobby – a short martial arts trainee – Nancy – a tall, broad basketball player – and a lot of hidden feelings. I liked this one a lot better because there was more in the second story that wasn’t in the first one. I liked that we got Bobby and his feelings about Nancy then we got Nancy and her feelings… neither of the characters really knew the others’ feelings until the end of Leitich Smith’s story and that helped in my enjoyment of this.
I liked that little things that were mentioned in Bruchac’s story from Bobby’s point of view, were mentioned again in Leitich Smiths story from Nancy’s point of view but they were made different.
Want to Meet by James Howe & Meeting for Real by Ellen Wittlinger
This was my favourite of the pairings until the very last one… but I still loved it. Its about Max, a gay guy who hides his sexuality and Alex, someone he found in an online gay chat room, and their decision to meet up. It was really weel done and I loved how the two stories were completely different, different things mattered to the two characters and I loved how the oveerall story unfolded across the two pieces… At the end of Howe’s, which was from Max’s point of view, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to read Alex’s as I thought Alex was a bit selfish and up to something bad… But Wittlinger made me love Alex and for that I am glad… I really, really liked this one and if it wasn’t for the final pairing it would be my favourite of the six.
No Clue, AKA Sean by Rita Williams-Garcia & Sean + Raffina by Terry Trueman
This one was a little like the first… but there was more to it than just the two characters’ relationship so I enjoyed it more. The same story was told but in each of them there was more focus on the indivudal characters feelings and thoughts. I loved the race aspect to this and how it wasn’t an issue as such but little things were mentioned. I really enjoyed Trueman’s story from Sean’s point of view as it felt real, I can imagine all those things running through a teenage boys mind.
Mouths of the Ganges by Terry Davies & Mars at Night by Rebecca Fjelland Davis
I didn’t like this one… I can’t really explain it other than the fact that some of it bored me. I felt like Terry Davis’ story wasn’t much to do with the relationship between Rafi and Kerry and Rebecca Fjelland Davis’ was more to do with Kerry’s guilt about dating Rafi – as well as the owning up to things that you have done wrong thing… which was interesting but not enough for me to love. There were interesting aspects to the story like what it’s like for a Muslim and a Christian to be dating and I enjoyed that aspect but both the stories didn’t mesh very well with me and I just didn’t get anything out of this pairing at all.
Launchpad to Neptune by Sara Ryan and Randy Powell
This was the only pairing which chose to write one story but told from alternating perspectives and I think it worked wonderfully. It helped that I loved the story itself and I got the feeling that they wrote it by passing pieces of paper between each other, much like those stories were you used to write something, fold it over and pass it on to your friend for them to write something… only here they knew what the previous had written.
I loved the way this story panned out and the obvious topics that it covered… I’ve never read anything like it in YA before and I think it’s definitely something that could be covered a lot more! It was a brilliant story and I’m glad it panned out the way it did… I loved that the two characters, Stephanie and Gavin were actually in the same room for a lot of it but they don’t realise and It was definitely my favourite of the collection!
Girl Meets Boy was released on in Hardback on March 1st followed by a kindle edition on April 1st it is published by Chronicle books. Thank you to the publisher for a copy for review – this has not affected my thoughts.