Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Girl Meets Boy - Edited by Kelly Milner Halls

Synopsis: What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories-he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated-because there are two sides to every story.


I love the idea behind this collection. Two authors - a male/female team - pair up to tell both sides of the same story - brilliant. While I don't think that reading this particularly sheds light on the mysterious gap between the sexes, it's an interesting look at all the different ways you can look at a relationship. I do think there is something in not knowing the other side - more room for the imagination, you know... but, sometimes you really do wonder what is going on in the other person's head. 


The first set of stories was seriously intense and very gritty. I was surprised - the cover is so adorable and cutsy. If it had just been the story that this collection opened with, I'd say someone thought the cover was some kind of irony. The first story dealt with a lot of issues that aren't often openly discussed, and quite frankly, not something I like to willingly read every day. 


But each story as I went further on in the collection got better and better. I also completely love that this short book contained so many different characters from all walks of life - different races, sexual orientation, and other backgrounds - are varied and well represented. You have the Muslim boy in Iowa who loves a pig farmer's daughter. There's the sweet white boy who's in love with a black girl. There's a gay boy who's looking for another boy to love and the girl who's looking for someone to show her that not everyone is a terrible human being. You have you're good old stereotypical jock who falls for the girl who uses sex as a manipulative tool and as a guard. And the tough Native American basketball star who defends the seemingly weak boy who's just waiting for the right time to break out his karate skills. And I won't even tell you who the characters are in the last story - because that was my favorite one and finding out who they are is the best part. I thought the online story was my favorite until I read the last one and I totally fell in love. Sigh. 


This is an impressive collection and it's worth reading, wonderful to disperse with other readings. It's a small, condensed collection. I just have to inject, I loved reading something else by Terry Davis, who wrote the wonderful Vision Quest - and who attended my own alma mater, Minnesota State University, Mankato. I loved Vision Quest, and I'm always proud to read authors who've attended MNSU (not YA - but Nicole Helget, author of Turtle Catcher and Christina Olsen, author of the collection of poems, Before I Came Home Naked are also products of MNSU and wonderful, just saying...) Anyhow, don't get turned off by the first couple of stories - they are by far the most intense, and my personal least favorite. Keep going. Honestly, the last story is worth reading all the rest of them. Of course, you don't have to read in order, I just find it hard to read anything out of order. 

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Girl Meets Boy - Edited by Kelly Milner Halls

Synopsis: What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories-he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated-because there are two sides to every story.


I love the idea behind this collection. Two authors - a male/female team - pair up to tell both sides of the same story - brilliant. While I don't think that reading this particularly sheds light on the mysterious gap between the sexes, it's an interesting look at all the different ways you can look at a relationship. I do think there is something in not knowing the other side - more room for the imagination, you know... but, sometimes you really do wonder what is going on in the other person's head. 


The first set of stories was seriously intense and very gritty. I was surprised - the cover is so adorable and cutsy. If it had just been the story that this collection opened with, I'd say someone thought the cover was some kind of irony. The first story dealt with a lot of issues that aren't often openly discussed, and quite frankly, not something I like to willingly read every day. 


But each story as I went further on in the collection got better and better. I also completely love that this short book contained so many different characters from all walks of life - different races, sexual orientation, and other backgrounds - are varied and well represented. You have the Muslim boy in Iowa who loves a pig farmer's daughter. There's the sweet white boy who's in love with a black girl. There's a gay boy who's looking for another boy to love and the girl who's looking for someone to show her that not everyone is a terrible human being. You have you're good old stereotypical jock who falls for the girl who uses sex as a manipulative tool and as a guard. And the tough Native American basketball star who defends the seemingly weak boy who's just waiting for the right time to break out his karate skills. And I won't even tell you who the characters are in the last story - because that was my favorite one and finding out who they are is the best part. I thought the online story was my favorite until I read the last one and I totally fell in love. Sigh. 


This is an impressive collection and it's worth reading, wonderful to disperse with other readings. It's a small, condensed collection. I just have to inject, I loved reading something else by Terry Davis, who wrote the wonderful Vision Quest - and who attended my own alma mater, Minnesota State University, Mankato. I loved Vision Quest, and I'm always proud to read authors who've attended MNSU (not YA - but Nicole Helget, author of Turtle Catcher and Christina Olsen, author of the collection of poems, Before I Came Home Naked are also products of MNSU and wonderful, just saying...) Anyhow, don't get turned off by the first couple of stories - they are by far the most intense, and my personal least favorite. Keep going. Honestly, the last story is worth reading all the rest of them. Of course, you don't have to read in order, I just find it hard to read anything out of order. 

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