Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story

Edited by Kelly Milner Halls. Chronicle, $17.99 (204p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0264-1
Twelve writers answer Halls’s question: “What if a group of authors took on the challenge of perception—boys versus girls?” Together, they create a thoughtful collection of paired short stories (and one joint offering) that give two distinct perspectives on the same events. While romantically themed, the stories do not all end in love connections. In James Howe and Ellen Wittlinger’s stories, a gay teen learns the person he has been chatting with online is actually a girl; meanwhile, in Sarah Ryan and Randy Powell’s joint story, “Launchpad to Neptune,” a teen reunites with his first crush, only to find Stephanie has transitioned to Stephen. The most compelling twin stories may be from Terry Davis and Rebecca Fjelland Davis, which center on a Muslim immigrant and an Iowa farm girl in love; Rafi’s story explores prejudice and being caught between cultures, while Kerry begins a protest when she learns about a hog factory that will destroy their community. This story best exemplifies a theme that runs throughout: it’s impossible to know everything someone is thinking and feeling—even when you are in a relationship together. This important idea is executed with finesse throughout. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 12/01/2011
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