edited by Marissa Meyer
Publication: January 4, 2022
**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
Serendipity is a collection of ten stories that incorporate different romance tropes in each story. From best friends falling in love to the one bed, some stories will feel familiar and others include an added twist–some twists I liked (even loved) and others I did not. In addition to different tropes, the stories are also diverse, including LGBTQ+ and racial/ethnic representation.
Generally, anthologies can be hits or misses. The stories in Serendipity are well-written and successfully feature their main trope, often in a different way than expected; however, only a few stories generated connections with the characters and their romances. This is also dependent on preference. I prefer short stories that focus on a small number of events that allow the author to focus on fleshing out feelings as opposed to cramming in a novel’s worth of events with a promise of happily ever after–I’m exaggerating a bit here. With only a few stories that stood out to me, the anthology was just a slightly better than average read.
I’ve provided ratings for all the stories, but I wanted to highlight my favorites: “Liberty” by Anna-Marie McLemore, “Shooting Stars” by Marissa Meyer, and “Zora in the Spotlight” by Elise Bryant. Not only were they well-written, but feelings didn’t feel rushed. More importantly, they allowed my heart to flutter within such a short amount of pages.
- A cheerleader gets a makeover in “Liberty.” I often roll my eyes when there are makeovers, but this is one makeover I loved. The story managed to leave me feeling empowered, and I wanted to immediately read it again.
- On a class trip, two students keep getting stuck with one bed in “Shooting Stars.” The tension kept building and building in this one, and there was even time for Misty to reminisce about her crush without feeling like there was too much happening. It never felt rushed. I was left with a goofy smile.
- Zora attends a dance with her two friends and receives a surprise grand romantic gesture in “Zora in the Spotlight.” The story concentrates on a single event, the dance, and the focus is on Zora. I was satisfied with the ending, but I wished this one had been longer so I could find out what happened next.
Stories and Their Tropes, Listed by Rating
- Liberty by Anna-Marie McLemore (The Makeover)
- Shooting Stars by Marissa Meyer (One Bed)
- Zora in the Spotlight by Elise Bryant (The Grand Romantic Gesture)
- Bye Bye, Piper Berry by Julie Murphy (The Fake Relationship)
- Anyone Else But You by Leah Johnson (Stranded Together)
- Auld Acquaintance by Caleb Roehrig (The Best Friend Epiphany)
- The Surprise Match by Sandhya Menon (The Matchmaker)
- The Idiom Algorithm by Abigail Hing Wen (Class Warfare)
- Keagan’s Heaven on Earth by Sarah Winifred Searle (The Secret Admirer)
- In a Blink of the Eye by Elizabeth Eulberg (Trapped in a Confined Space)