Genre: YA Romance, Short Stories Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
I would read absolutely anything with Marissa Meyer’s name on it, so when I saw that she was editing a collection of short stories, I was stoked! Serendipity is a collection of 10 short stories that each play on a different romance trope. The authors who contributed include Marissa Meyer herself, Julie Murphy, Leah Johnson, Abigail Hing Wen, Caleb Roehrig, Sarah Winifred Searle, Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Sandhya Menon. With a line-up like that, I knew I would find at least a few great stories!
It can be difficult to review a collection of short stories because each story can be rated individually, but also collectively. As a whole, I would say the book fell a little short of my expectations. The subtitle of the novel claims that the romantic tropes are transformed, but most of the stories didn’t add anything new or unexpected to these common tropes.
On the other hand, I felt like there was quite a bit of diversity within the stories, which I greatly appreciated! Many of the stories were queer, and I certainly think we need more stories that represent queer people.
My average rating for all the stories was 3 stars, but I had a few 2 star and some 4 star stories also. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like any of the stories were 5 stars because most of them didn’t put a twist on the romantic trope in their story, and some were also forgettable.
I would say my top two short stories in the novel were “Shooting Stars” by Marissa Meyer and “Liberty” by A.M. McLemore. I’m not sure what I can divulge in my review, but Marissa Meyer’s trope is one of my all-time favorites, and it was written in a surprising and fun way. Similarly, A.M. McLemore’s story was so endearing and I like the way they incorporated cheerleading into the story. Both Marissa and Anna-Marie embraced the “twist” on their romance tropes more than any of the other authors in my opinion.
“In the Blink of the Eye” by Elizabeth Eulberg was also great, but I didn’t particularly care for the ending. Essentially, the MC didn’t end up with who I wanted her to end up with, and it was strange that feelings she had felt for years literally switched to the opposite feelings within minutes.
On the flipside, my bottom two stories were “The Idiom Algorithm” by Abigail Hing Wen and “Auld Acquaintances” by Caleb Roherig. I felt like “The Idiom Algorithm” didn’t really make a lot of sense. Maybe with a longer story, the author could have changed that, but it felt rushed and random. I also didn’t really connect with the MCs in “Auld Acquaintances” and didn’t particularly care for the plot. Admittedly, that trope is not one of my favorites.
Overall, most of the stories were pretty good, and I definitely think this novel is worth reading! It was a quick read that literally put a smile on my face. I’m all here for the sappy love stories!