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The Realm of Possibility

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3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,022 Ratings  ·  1,006 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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Katalin Bártfai In "The Day" the writing is amusing."The Patron Saint of Stoners" is just so astonishingly beautiful a story. I think it will stick with me for a…moreIn "The Day" the writing is amusing."The Patron Saint of Stoners" is just so astonishingly beautiful a story. I think it will stick with me for a while. "Writing" is probably the most inspirational to me.
I could really relate to all these characters. I felt like I would think the same way in their situations. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Melanie
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Mini review:

Verse books tend to be a hit or miss for me, and in most occasions, I've found myself completely sucked into the story,The Realm of Possibilityis another one of those verse books that justwork.
I can't pretend to know what love is. It just is.

The Realm of Possibilityis a bit like an anthology,for it follows multiple people's lives--a different person per poem. The author particularly focuses the teenagers' love lives and life problems. As expected
...more
Claudia
Apr 29, 2008 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  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 really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of books in verse
Shelves: ya, verse, 2010, ala-ya-2005
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
Emily May
Jun 11, 2011 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, poetry, 2011

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
Ariel
Oct 25, 2014 Ariel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Colby
Dec 23, 2011 Colby rated it it was ok  ·  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
Jan 13, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Alarra
Nov 22, 2007 Alarra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, gblt
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
Norah Al-Tararwah
Jul 14, 2015 Norah Al-Tararwah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
This was a great experience! Such a wonderful book. I loved how it starts with Daniel and ends with Jed.
karly
It's David Levithan, what do you expect?
Nikki
Nov 12, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, lgbt
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
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
Kaje Harper
May 02, 2011 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ya
This is a book that should be in the library of every high school and middle school. All kinds of teenage relationships, problems and possibilities are explored in short autobiographical-style segments. The writing is sparse and lucid, and illuminates without preaching and with a minimum of sentimentality. There is hope, pain, acceptance, fear and love, and the clear message that all possibilities are human and shared. Highly recommended reading for adults too.
Lauren (Lauren Reads YA)
This was just not my thing at all.
Anna
Jan 24, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone looking for a thought-provoking, beautifully-written read
3.75/5

This book was written in verse, a collection of poems that feature many different characters leading many different lives. In terms of diversity and social issues, this is a good one. However, although I appreciate how the stories intertwined with one another, I found it hard to keep all of the characters straight. There were... I think around sixteen narrators? It took a bit of effort to figure out who was speaking and where we'd seen them in the story before. And, as a collection of poem
...more
Sophia
"I often feel I am living in fragments, skipping

Over words, leaving the rest of the sentence
Blank in order to move to the next page.
Maybe there is hope in fragments, that what is lost
Can always be filled in by someone who knows."

Every person is a planet with an atmosphere, that sometimes collides or fuses with other ones. If this book shows anything, it's that we never know what really goes on in people's minds, even when we think we figured it out (like we think in high school, where everythin
...more
Evelin
Aug 30, 2015 Evelin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never been more glad for being in a reading slump. Seriously.

The thing is: I've been reading Prince of Fools for about a month now. For two weeks out of that one month, I haven't exactly been reading it, since I haven't even touched it for once. I'm not sure what happened, because I didn't entirely lose interest in it, I just... I just couldn't pick it up again. So I went for something light, something short, something with a pretty cover - obviously, The Realm of Possibility was the righ
...more
Rochelle
Sep 15, 2015 Rochelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The Realm Of Possibility was such a beautiful, well-written book of prose poems. In it we get a glimpse into the lives of twenty teens. It is an emotion driven book and had real heart. It is divided in five parts, and at the start of each part is a list of four names. The first name is the author of the first poem, the second name is the author of the second poem and so on. I found myself having to flip back a lot to see who the poem was written by. That was my only small niggle with it, that an ...more
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
"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 are of our own world's devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us."

The Realm of
...more
dee
Sep 06, 2011 dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abeer
Jul 05, 2015 Abeer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, america, ya
often times we vainly tie the idea and realm of possibility to our own tight net of 'logic' and 'likelihood'
assuming our tiny human calculations are of any worth.

when i was younger I avoided young adult fiction like it was the fucking plaque. it was worthless to me, no artistic merit, teenagers are dumb. and literature written about them and for them is mega dumb.

well
it obviously isnt even close.
its hard to see the beauty in something when you are it but the truth is adolescence is a painful an
...more
Owen
Jan 25, 2013 Owen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Theresa Flores
Mar 11, 2013 Theresa Flores rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-review
To be more specific, 4.5 stars.

"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 are of our own world’s devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were onc
...more
Sandy
Nov 23, 2012 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
sara ahmed
Sep 12, 2012 sara ahmed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, very-special
so, i finished my second levithan book. this man is magic. i don’t know what else i can say about his writing and the way he makes me feel. he does this thing, where he has so many dynamic characters, that in the end, end up being linked together someway or the other. i just find it brilliant, that a writer can do that.

i’ve been stretching it for so long, only because i didn’t want it to finish. i didn’t want it to end, but i still wanted to know how it’s ending.

the book has more than 10 point
...more
Taylor
Feb 12, 2015 Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It was quick and very interesting. I had problems identifying the characters at first but halfway through i got the hang of it. This novel is written in poems by 20 different characters. For the most part I liked all the poems. There were a couple that I found to be too melodramatic for my taste. I liked how they all tied together so slowly and so naturally- it added to the beauty of this book. The reason why this isn't a 5 star book is because I didn't like having to g ...more
Yulenka
Jan 12, 2015 Yulenka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised by how much I liked this book. To be honest, I was a little disappointed when I opened it to find out it was poetry. I don't particularly enjoy reading the kind of poetry which just seems like a paragraph of text that someone broke up by hitting ENTER a lot, if that makes sense. However, not all of the poems were written that way, and although some were tiresome to get though, many were weirdly relatable.

There were little gems - quotable passages sprinkled through the book and it'
...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.

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“Remember that at any given moment there are a thousand things you can love.” 540 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.” 537 likes
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