How They Met

How They Met, and Other Stories
by David Levithan
YA short stories. 244 pp.
Knopf. 2008.

flap copy:

Where did they meet?
It was on a plane. It was at Starbucks. It was in physics class. It was during the war.

How did they meet?
It was a setup. It was completely random. They were dancing. One of them ordered a pizza and the other showed up.

What happened?
It was instant. It took time. It was a disaster. It lasted.

In this new gathering of stories, award-winning author David Levithan writes all about love, and about all kinds of love. From aching for the one you pine for to (reluctantly) being the one pined after, from standing up and speaking up for the one you love to the pure joy and happiness delivered on the smile of someone else, these stories explore the mysterious magnetism that draws people together in ways both expected and unexpected.

Love is a varied, complicated, addictive, volatile, scary, wonderful thing . . . and it's all on display in How They Met, and Other Stories.

When I heard that Levithan was doing another Valentine's book, I was way excited. But then the Devil's Den screwed up and didn't bother to get the book to me until after Valentine's Day. Lame.

Regardless, the book eventually showed up. And it's brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. Then again, I have a tendency to think Levithan is brilliant as it is. The best part, though, is that through this book we discover that Levithan has always been brilliant:
This book starts, bizarrely enough, with me in physics class.

It was my junior year of high school. Despite the best efforts of my physics teacher, I was continually bored out of my wits. I needed something to do besides pay attention, and passing notes to my friend Lynda only occupied about half the time. So I decided to write a story, going through the physics book (it would look like I was being studious!) and finding as many romantic notions as possible within its pages (I would not be studious at all!). I think I started in November, and by February I had finished the story. I decided to give it to my friends for Valentine's Day. The next year, they wanted another. And so on, for all the years after.

Not all of these stories are official valentine stories . . . but when putting together this book of stories about love ("love stories" has the wrong feel to it—I prefer "stories about love"), I decided to go all the way back. . . . Instead of trying to rewrite them as I'd write them now, I've decided to leave them as I wrote them in high school, give or take some punctuation and an awkward last line.

See? Utterly brilliant.

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