sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 25, 2012

into the stacks: girl meets boy
posted by soe 3:39 am

Everyone, thanks for your responses to what you’d like to see reviewed. I’ll get to work on those, but in the meantime, here’s one for a Cybils nominee I finished tonight:

Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides To Every Story, edited by Kelly Milner Halls

From the jacket: “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. Stories of love and heartbreak … teach us that relationships become complicated because there are two sides to every story.”

My take: In this interesting collection of 11 paired short stories, we are given both the guy’s and the girl’s perspectives on the same moment in a relationship to show how sometimes what seems obvious to one person is not remotely so clear-cut to another. What might seem like manipulative behavior to one person, for example, turns out merely to be confusion by the other.

These are modern stories for modern teenagers. There’s cell phone stalking and IM conversations and (a lot) of hormones in various degrees of control (or not). Race and religion and sexual orientation come into play. Bullying and family farming and difficult home lives are touched upon.

With the likes of Chris Crutcher, Ellen Wittlinger, James Howe, and Rita Williams-Garcia telling the stories, you know the writing and characterization will be tight. What’s pleasantly surprising is that the concept holds together throughout, creating a compelling need after finishing the first of each paired stories to immediately find out what was going on in the second person’s head. The final story, which alternates voices (and authors) rather than pairing consecutive stories, offers a bit of a surprise and perhaps a lesson about the internalization of the book’s theme.

Pages: 204

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