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The Realm of Possibility

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  15,396 ratings  ·  1,332 reviews
One school. Twenty voices.

Endless possibilities.

There's the girl who is in love with Holden Caulfield. The boy who wants to be strong who falls for the girl who's convinced she needs to be weak. The girl who writes love songs for a girl she can't have. The two boys teetering on the brink of their first anniversary. And everyone in between.

As he did in the highly acclaimed
Paperback, 210 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Ember (first published August 10th 2004)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  15,396 ratings  ·  1,332 reviews

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Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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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 Possibility is another one of those verse books that just work.
I can't pretend to know what love is. It just is.

The Realm of Possibility is 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 expe
Emily May
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2011, poetry

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
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of books in verse
Shelves: 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
Anish Kohli
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anish by: Yamna
9/1/20: Final review up
“Is love the gospel, or is the gospel love? Only the Lord knows, and the Lord isn’t saying. It’s up to the rest of us to make it out. To make it work.”
This book is not something that I would read normally. And what I do read normally, I have been away from that for almost a year now. The sole reason for that is how a small decision opened up a whole new world for me. One book made me look for more books like it and broadened my horizons. And I find myself trying out n
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 12, 2012 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
Read this book four months ago and still trying to think of a suitable review.
But I've decided that I can't.
I just can't.
This book has too many sides, too many stories interwoven to form a lovely nest and too many topics for me to cover in a review.
And that's why I loved it.
I would have called it the best of 2017 but I'm afraid another book has taken its place.
In a high school, you always find questionable characters, lonely people, evil friends, backbiters, depressed kids, suicidal thoughts,
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"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
Jul 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book seemed extremely promising especially since it is a David Levithan book, but I am completely done reading about Teenagers who believe that their life is terrible(When it is pretty much regular) and go on Complaining about it. The issues mentioned here are so goddamn petty that I couldn't help rolling my eyes .
It's hard to believe that I was a teenager just two years ago ! I feel so old and matured already .
Neil (or bleed)
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A novel-in-verse with 20 POVs. I like it as it's style is unique and unconventional but I didn't like it either since the characters didn't linger that much on me. The thing with these kind of books is that the connection built get lost fast. But it still a good book, anyway. This book made me feel what the teens truly feel as an individual and as a human. ...more
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
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave
How to Be Alone
Remember that at any given moment
There are a thousand things
You can love
this is my favorite david levithan book (which is saying something) and one of my favorite contemporaries. i've read it a million times and every time i appreciate something new!
Ignoring all the strange roads that led to us
being in the same time and place, there is still
the simple impossibility of love. That all of our
contradicting securities and insecurities,
interests and disinterests, beliefs and doub
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books-ever
It's David Levithan, what do you expect? ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazing
"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
Jessica White
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review and more can be found at A Reader's Diary!!

I love teen fiction.
I love novels written in poetry form.
I love David Levithan.
But, I hated this book.
This was a fairly quick read for me, but nothing about it stuck with me. The main issue I had with The Realm of Possibility is that I couldn't keep track of the characters throughout the book. Each section started with a page listing all the characters that were going to be in that specific section, usually about 3 or 4 characters. See the p
Kaje Harper
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
"You think you know your possibilities. Then other people come into your life and suddenly there are so much more" ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, queer
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
Nov 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
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
Norah Al-Tararwah
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a great experience! Such a wonderful book. I loved how it starts with Daniel and ends with Jed.
3.5 srars rounded down to 3.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Rissa Flores
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Realm of Possibility is a book of collated poems. This is really an interesting read because all of the poems made up by each character are bound to fall into such similarities they all have, despite of the boundaries the society has created. The book also covers a lot of important social themes - that's one of the main reasons I love this book. It might be a bit hard to follow along in the beginning because c'mon we're talking about David Levithan here he hates following the standard rules ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/5 stars.
I've read a few of David Levithan's books and I've liked them. And I liked this one.

This is a book of poetry, it's written beautifully and so simply as well. Many peoples stories are told in this short book and their lives all connect with each other's somehow.

This book was a great voice for all those angry teenage emotions, a voice for people who may not realise what others are going through.

A lovely short book with diverse characters and powerful messages.
Ksenia Anske
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful. A story of love told through poems of many voices—boys and girls from the same high school—trying out life and love and everything in between. Read it and smile and remember yourself at that age. We've all been there. ...more
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discussion 1 6 Sep 16, 2016 08:40AM  
Mentor Texts: mentor texts 1 2 May 08, 2016 09:28PM  
WSU English teach...: The Realm of Possibility, or Endless Possibilities--Book Review #1 4 9 Feb 25, 2016 08:26PM  
Crazy for Young A...: ✓ Pair 31: Nellie & Jamie-Jo (August 2014) 18 116 Aug 29, 2014 01:45PM  
Favorite Voice 4 42 Dec 15, 2013 07:06AM  

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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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