Opinion,  Style

Serendipity: Worth The Read?

Chloe Yokitis

Staff Writer

Serendipity is a short story collection focused on ten different romantic tropes, edited by New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer.

Even though I’ve never been a fan of short stories, I decided to give Serendipity a try. With stories by well-known authors such as Sandhya Menon, Abigail Hing Wen, and Anna-Marie Mclemore, I was looking forward to reading stories from some of my favorite authors as well as discovering new ones as well.

Each of the stories in the book, which is marketed as “ten romantic tropes, transformed,” focuses on different tried-and-true cliches— like a fake relationship or a secret admirer. Many of these stories followed the trope completely, while it was a bit of a stretch for some. 

To my dismay, this book was hit-or-miss, with a few entertaining stories sprinkled in with the average and, regrettably, subpar ones (particularly Leah Johnson’s take on the “stranded together” trope, which was a struggle to finish). But a handful of stories were captivating and enchanting. These are the top three stories from Serendipity that are worth your time:

Auld Acquaintance by Caleb Roehrig

Based on the friends-to-lovers (or as the table of contents says, “the best friend love epiphany”) trope, Caleb Roehrig’s short story is both engaging and heartwarming. It focuses on Ollie and his best friend Garrett, who are celebrating New Year’s Eve at a school-wide party at their high school. Before the story begins, the two make a pact that they will be each other’s New Year’s kiss unless they are able to find boyfriends (spoiler alert: they’re not).

Both Ollie and Garrett are funny and relatable teenagers who were completely enamoring. With side characters such as Layla, Ollie’s best friend, and Kieran, who poses a competition with Ollie for Garrett’s affections, the story is well-rounded and entertaining. The characters’ realistic dialogue and thoughts (the story is told first-person in Ollie’s perspective) make for a level-headed though still enjoyable narrative.

Auld Acquaintance is one of the four LGBTQ+ stories in the book. At its heart, it is a sweet, memorable tale about how teenage friendship can turn into true love. 

Shooting Stars by Marissa Meyer

From Marissa Meyer, the editor of Serendipity but also a contributor, comes a charming story focused on two classmates during a school trip. Misty, the protagonist and narrator, has been “hopelessly in love” with Roman Spencer for years. When they and their classmates embark on a trip to Yellowstone National Park, their paths can’t seem to stop crossing. 

Meyer’s talent for writing both strong and likable characters definitely showed itself in this story. Misty, who was endearing and perceptive, matched perfectly with Romans’ gentle and caring personality. The last few lines of the story in particular are beautifully written and showcase Misty and Roman’s development throughout the story. Their relationship, as well as the fun romantic subplot between Misty and Roman’s best friends, easily made this story one of my favorites in this anthology. 

In a Blink of the Eye, Elizabeth Eulberg

Before reading Serendipity, I had never heard of Elizabeth Eulberg before. But after reading this short story, it is a name I will not forget. In a Blink of the Eye follows Morgan, who is visiting London on a choir trip, along with her best friend Dani and Dani’s boyfriend, Tyler. To Dani’s disconcertment, Morgan has never quite warmed up to Tyler, though he and Dani have been dating for months. 

This story, which is based off of the “trapped in a confined space” trope, was not what I expected, but Eulberg’s story was very well done. Morgan’s characterization felt very sincere and genuine, which made her an incredibly likable protagonist who I was rooting for throughout the whole story. I absolutely loved the ending of the story and thought it was a perfect conclusion to Morgan’s development. In a Blink of the Eye captivated my interest from the first page to the last, and was an absorbing and satisfying short story that was unquestionably one of my favorites from Serendipity

Featured photo courtesy of www.marissameyer.com

Chloe (she/her) is a sophmore at Alexandria City High School! This is her first year at Theogony, and she is an incoming editor for the 2022-2023 school year. She enjoys covering local news stories. In her free time, she likes to read, sew, and spend time with her family.