The Realm of Possibility
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The Realm of Possibility

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  8,490 ratings  ·  719 reviews
Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility—
it is always expanding, it is never what you think
it is. Everything around us was once deemed
impossible. From the airplane overhead to
the phones in our pockets to the choir girl
putting her arm around the metalhead.
As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist
within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits
...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published August 10th 2004)
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Claudia
Apr 29, 2008 Claudia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My novels-in-verse fans
Recommended to Claudia by: Laura
OMG! Levithan is a genius. This book, a novel in verse, has 20 narrators, all students at the same high school. Each tells his or her own story, and they all are inter-related. Some are friends, some are enemies, some are romantic interests. As always, Levithan includes gay and lesbian characters with respect and affection. Each student has a distinctive voice and we grow to love all of them. To fully see the relationships, I created a chart to show whose story was whose, who they liked and didn...more
Tatiana
Aug 31, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of books in verse
Shelves: ala-ya-2005, verse, ya, 2010
I didn't know this novel was written in verse when I borrowed it from my library, but no matter, I love the format and David Levithan certainly has solid poetry-writing skills.

The Realm of Possibility is a collection of 20 stories told by the students of the same school, each written in its distinct voice and style - song lyrics, linebroken prose, free verse, etc.

These stories and lives are interconnected in very interesting and often unconventional ways. It is a pleasant surprise that Levithan...more
Ariel
Being a teenager is such a time of possibility. You can completely change your philosophy on life every other day and no one will care. In The Realm of Possibility, David Levithan presents 20 different poems, from 20 different characters, all illustrating the different problems and thoughts that teenagers have.

This is not the kind of book I would pick up.. I'm just not one for poetry! But this was a gift from a friend (Thanks Jacob!) and I'm really glad that I read something so different. I real...more
Emily May

I'm not sure what it is about these books in verse that really does it for me but I'm yet to be disappointed by one. I've read some of those by Ellen Hopkins and Lisa Schroeder and I found that writing in verse only added to the emotions I felt as a reader. Maybe it's because it hones in on the point and it's all laid out within a few stanzas instead of meandering about.

Whatever the reason, The Realm of Possibility was no exception and I was constantly pulled through a rollercoaster of emotions...more
Colby
Dec 23, 2011 Colby rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy verse novels
How to describe this book...
It's about a bunch of people.
Who go to the same school. And they talk about stuff. So much is covered in this book, such as eating disorders, boys who feel the need to be big and strong, sex, homosexuality, and all that jazz. There are 20 different voices, one for each 'chapter'. Basically, the reason this gets such a low rating is that the characters would each talk for about ten pages (which, in verse, isn't very much.) and then it would move on to the next characte...more
Caroline
I don't know how David Levithan does it. But he does.

This book may look odd at first. You flip through the pages and find that it looks more like a collection of poetry than a novel. But that's the beauty of it. The unique quirkiness of it that allows for 210 pages of words floating along a river of human emotions. Or something like that.

I found myself trying to keep track of the name of the character while reading each poem-like prose. But as I went on, I realized I didn't need to try so hard...more
stephanie
this book is a fantastic work of art.

20 separate people, united in this book, tell a story that is more than just about them, but about their school, society, friendship, love, and being a teenager.

i was very skeptical when i picked this up because usually verse-books don't do it for me. however, since this is my trip of reading David Levithan, i opened it. and man, am i ever glad!

it works kind of like a mystery - who is talking to who, who's name is what, how everyone intersects - but it's n...more
Nikki
I didn't mean to read this in one go, it just sort of happened. I wasn't sure at all about the form, particularly: it's very hard to please me with poetry because I look for very specific things. And honestly, I'm still indifferent to that choice even for this book, which I enjoyed quite a lot. On the one hand, it works: poetry is so personal, and it brings out the different voices in this interlinked collection -- and being poetry, some of it is very dense and allusive. I enjoyed figuring out t...more
Alarra
I actually liked this quite a bit, but the low rating is for the unwieldy format. It's 20 interrelated prose-poems, each from a different character's POV, and as the book progresses we pick up different plotlines through hints back to earlier events in earlier poems (though some go nowhere, and that really annoyed me). The poems are a bit hit and miss in quality, and the stories they tell are the same, but there's a lot of heart in the characters. I particularly liked Anton and Gail's story - I...more
Thomas
The Realm of Possibility is the story of twenty diverse teenagers all attending the same high school. Their stories are sad, meaningful, and touching - they weave within one another and connect in the places the reader would least expect.

The unorthodox writing style confused me at first, but once I got into the characters the book took off. I did not absolutely love or hate any of the poems, but enjoyed some more than others.

Overall, a good book, recommended for people who are looking for unique...more
dee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca

Sometimes I read a book by an author and I find myself wanting to read everything else they’ve written. That’s exactly the case with David Levithan, after I read Every Day. I fell in love with his writing style - it’s simple yet beautiful, and poetic in a way. One of the first books that came to my attention was The Realm of Possibility, which again blew me away with its writing.

I’m not a huge fan of poetry, so at first I was a little skeptic of the format of the book’s prose. Written in free-ve...more
Owen
As a fan of David Levithan, I was intrigued when I found out this book was written in verse, a compilation of poems. I was anxious to see how he would recreate the minds of teenagers in writing about love, life, etc. After reading it, I realized that it is just like any other collection of poems or short stories: some are better than others.

I am sad to say that I found the characters in this book very unrealistic. Teens don't act like this is in 2013, and I highly doubt they acted like that in...more
Sandy
I picked this up at the library because I really liked his work in Will Grayson Will Grayson with John Green. I almost put it down right away when I realized that it was all written in poetry since I really disliked the only other narrative YA poetry books I've read (Hopkins). But, I'm glad I didn't. This was great--little sections and snapshots from different, sometimes overlapping stories. The poetry adds some interesting layers to what I know about the characters, and I really liked it. Some...more
Caitlin
This was overall a mediocre book. I only really liked a few of them, most of them were mediocre. A lot of them I don't understand why they were even written as poems, because the formatting into a poem didn't add a single thing (and most of the time took away from it). In the end, I enjoyed reading about Jed and Daniel, but most of the other stories didn't stick with me.

(view spoiler)...more
Mikey T
Getting what you want is just as difficult as not getting what you want. Because then you have to figure out what to do with it instead of figuring out what to do without it.
The Realm of Possibility is a novel that uses free verse to allow us into a realm of characters that are looking to discover themselves through love.
A lot of this book has to do with finding out one’s identity. From the girl who wants to find herself after being hit in the face with a lunch tray to the message-writing gir...more
Richie Partington
28 November 2003 THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY by David Levithan, Random House/Knopf, August 2004, ISBN 0-375-82845-1

"...I want to be strong I want to laugh along
I want to belong to the living
Alive, alive, I want to get up and jive
I want to wreck my stockings in some juke box dive
Do you want - do you want - do you want
To dance with me baby
Do you want to take a chance
On maybe finding some sweet romance with me baby
Well, come on..."
--Joni Mitchell, All I Want

(Jed)
"Here's what I know about the realm of...more
Alana Massa
David Levithan has done it again. He has written about a large spectrum of topics that most authors shy away from. After reading several of his novels I have found a common theme of homosexuality. This book is filled with poems written from the standpoint of teenagers. These twenty or so teens write about subjects that teens face everyday, in every city, of every state, in every country around the world. Teenage love,homosexuality, smoking, alcohol,peer rivalry and peer pressure. Who hasn't thou...more
Kristyn
I loved this book and it is an especially great read for a young adult reader. The different forms of poetry were beautifully done and captured the personality and emotion of each of the characters. This book was done using the perspective of 20 different high school students, each at a crossroads in their lives. Each of the characters had their own voice and were so believable I felt like I was in High School again suffering through the turmoil of adolescence. The author also beautifully incorp...more
Michael Fitzpatrick
5Q, 3P, J/S: Writing almost entirely in verse, Levithan artfully relates the story of twenty fictional high school students in their own words. Each of the five chapters includes entries by four students. Each student’s contribution has the feel of a journal entry, telling their story from a deeply personal perspective. The students’ entries take various forms; from song lyrics, to highly structured poetry, to a humorously desperate rant by a boy whose girlfriend loves Holden Caulfield far too m...more
Angie
I think that The Realm of Possibility had an interesting concept. It's a collection of "short stories" all written in free verse. Unfortunately, I don't think it worked out too well. The stories are all way too short, so as soon as I was settling in to that character's tale, it would end. The book's format was also odd and doesn't make sense. There are five parts, each labeled numerically followed by a list of four characters. Then the poems start, and after the first person's poem I'd forget wh...more
Sydrian Sharpe
What is was
It was slow going at first but by the end of the first story i was in love.
It was an explanation.“I'm not good at relationships I always manage to find the flaws sometimes in others but mostly my own. I foretell the ending then go and create the cause save myself and end up alone”

It was a reminder I have begun to see things as potential absences. The things I love will become the things I'll miss.”

It was a the answer to 'why' “I have taken advantage of other people's weaknesses in...more
Sarah (YA Love)
I’m a huge fan of David Levithan’s work. Until The Realm of Possibility I’ve only read one of David’s stand-alone books- Boy Meets Boy. I’ve read many of his dual-author books like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His characters are always honest, witty and laugh-out-loud funny. The Realm of Possibility shows a much different side to David’s writing ability. It shows a writing ability and style that makes me want more (not that I d...more
Infinite Playlist
Themen
Liebe, High School, Freundschaft

Inhalt
Dieses Buch bietet 20 Momentaufnahmen von 20 Teenagern wie sie unterschiedlicher nicht sein könnten. Sie gehen alle auf die gleiche High School. Einige von ihnen sind befreundet, andere lieben sich und manche begegnen sich nur kurz aufgrund eines bestimmten Ereignisses. Sie alle berichten in ihrer eigenen Stimme von dem, was sie bewegt.

Rezension
The Realm of Possibility ist wieder mal ein Musterbeispiel für David Levithans unerschöpfliches Talent. Diese...more
Melinda
Melinda Dye - Poetry

"The Realm of Possibility" is a fictional novel that features teens who tell their stories, some painful, some full of faith and joy, all written in verse. The poems all come full circle in the end, revealing secrets and worries, hopes and fears, and when two are involved, show both sides of the story. There's Mary, suffering from anorexia and too scared to ask for help; Gail, a girl of deep faith who sees the good in all people; Daniel, experiencing acceptance and love in hi...more
Chandler
you live each day one at a time
you live every day all at once
you live with the possibility of goodbye
you move on


The collection of stories in The Realm of Possibility are sweet, sad, honest, heartfelt and endearing. Not only is every character relatable but their stories are charming and they each have their faults but you love them all the same.

This novel sort of reminds me of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I kind of love that I'll be able to go back and re-read Anne's story or Clara's story or Zac...more
Mary
Take Spoon River Anthology and change the setting to a contemporary American high school, and you get this book. Twenty teens tell their stories, their thoughts, their feelings about themselves and one another through poetry. Boyfriends and girlfriend and best friends and former friends and potential friends and brothers and sisters and people who have never spoken a word to one another. Each voice is different, the writing styles vary, but one thing remains true throughout: no matter how alone...more
God  O'Wax
In twenty poems in twenty different voices and styles, this book lays out what it means to be a teenager. Loves are begun, continued, and ended, friendships are formed, changed, and lost. The characters’ stories intersect and merge in expected and unexpected ways, and out of twenty different stories, one complete picture emerges of the relationships bred among a high school class. Themes include fitting in and breaking out, friends, family relationships, body image, religion, sex and most freque...more
Beth
This novel in verse is strong and diverse, with clever turns of phrase and interesting connected characters that keep it from being mediocre. The story follows a group of students through their daily lives, tinged with assorted teen angst and beauty: a dying mom, a multicultural romance, love, consummated and unrequited. Grouped into sets, each section lists the voices that contribute to the section, and Levithan deftly conveys each speaker without naming him or her.

Occassionally the experiement...more
Dana
This book is a series of poems, each told from a different person's point of view. I haven't realised it when I bought the book, or else I wouldn't have bought it (poetry is not exactly my cup of tea). And yet, I really enjoyed the book and am glad that I bought it.
I decided to divide my reading to a poem-a-day kind of rhythm (as you can see, it took me 20 days to finish the book), and I think it really helped me in distinguishing the different points of view, so I would recommend doing this.
Alt...more
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

More about David Levithan...
Every Day (Every Day #1) Boy Meets Boy The Lover's Dictionary Two Boys Kissing Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

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“Remember that at any given moment there are a thousand things you can love.” 459 likes
“I never felt the urge to jump off a bridge, but there are times I have wanted to jump out of my life, out of my skin.” 456 likes
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