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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poems about love, identity and interconnectedness as humans
David Levithan's THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY is a collection of interrelated monologues written in free verse. Each poem is a glimpse into the private world of one of twenty different characters, all attending the same high school. While each person may be separated in school by the usual social boundaries, they privately share many of the same desires, fears and...
Published on September 7, 2004 by Teen Reads

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3.0 out of 5 stars Wished it got here sooner
I know the expected delivery would take a while, but I waited a long time to receive this item. I also wish there was a tracking number on it so I could have looked up the status of the book instead of just waiting anxiously for it. The book itself is in pretty good condition, but it was a bit sticky when I took it out of the package.
Published 1 month ago by Pen Name


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poems about love, identity and interconnectedness as humans, September 7, 2004
By 
David Levithan's THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY is a collection of interrelated monologues written in free verse. Each poem is a glimpse into the private world of one of twenty different characters, all attending the same high school. While each person may be separated in school by the usual social boundaries, they privately share many of the same desires, fears and longings.

The poems range from the humorous, "My girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield" or the darkly hilarious, "Suburban myths," to more serious subjects such as "The Patron Saint of Stoners," about an honor society student buying marijuana for her terminally ill mother. One of the book's highlights is a poem called "Gospel," about what happens when Gail, a deeply Christian choir singer, shares her music with Anton, the school's resident outcast.

As one gets further into the book, the interconnectedness between the poems and the characters becomes apparent. The book begins and ends with poems about the same relationship, from two different points of view. While many of the characters feel isolated and alone, they are in fact part of a vibrant, interrelated community.

David Levithan is also the author of BOY MEETS BOY, set in a comparably tolerant community. Like THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY, it focuses on the similarities between characters instead of their differences. Both books treat sex preference as a normal expression rather than as a problem or source of trauma. This approach is a relatively new development in young adult literature; Levithan's books are a marvelous example of how homosexual themes are being integrated into mainstream young adult literature.

THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY contains many possibilities: in the events occurring to the characters in the book, in the lives of its readers, and in its promise for the future of YA literature. The use of free verse to convey plot, character and meaning is a brilliant and intuitive choice. The poems read like they are written by young adults, and Levithan clearly delineates characters using different styles and tones. While there are a number of novels in free verse written for younger readers, THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY may be the first in this form intended for young adults. This book is likely to be the source of inspiration for many budding poets.

THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY is about love, identity and our interconnectedness as humans. Each poem is about discovering oneself through love, and speaks to the idea that as long as our hearts are open, we are never truly alone. As Levithan writes in the title poem, "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."

--- Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The threads that tie us together..., May 6, 2006
I admit it: this book totally sucked me in. The characters are realistic, and I was able to find something about a number of them that I could relate to. And I found a number of them that I simply fell in love with, for all sorts of reasons. My favorite sections were the ones written by Anton, Charlotte, Lily, and Jed.

I found the book somewhat confusing at times, because I kept coming onto names I'd seen before. So i actually went back and made a little list of characters and their relationships, which I shall put up here for anyone that's intested. So *spoiler alert* for the next section of this review (just in case you want to pick up this book knowing NOTHING whatsoever about anything in it... I'm not giving away anything really important):

Daniel: is Jed's boyfriend and is neighbors with Pete

Mary: suffers from anorexia, is Pete's girlfriend

Diana: is in love with with Elizabeth, writes love songs for her

Megan: is in love with Diana, watches her loving another girl while she plays the part of a devoted friend

Tyler: rants about his girlfriend's love of Holden Caulfield

Anton: a seemingly troubled youth- sits in the back wearing black and earphones and writing poetry

Gael: relgion is important in her life, hates injustice, stands up for Anton

Jill: possibly Tyler's boyfriend, stole Cara's boyfriend, feels she doesn't deserve him and regrets the person she is

Anne: nice poetry about random things

Jamie: has just suffered from a breakup, is zack's brother and jed's friend

Pete: Mary's boyfriend

Clara: perfect student lacking a positive homelife, interacts with Jed and Toby

Charlotte: writes haunting messages ("you are foolish in your unhappiness") around school, mesages deeply affect some people, intrigue others (Daniel)

Elizabeth: lives in sister's shadow, tormented by people who disliked sister (Cara), Andy's girlfriend

Cara: loses respect after an incident involving Elizabeth, has fake friends (Jill)

Lia: friend's with Clara, korean, in love with delivery boy

Zack: Anne's boyrfriend, Megan's friend

Karen: no obvious hints as to her relationships

Lily: is close to Jed, although they don't spend much time together, her poetry style is unlike any of the others presented in this book

Jed: is celebrating his one year anniversery with Daniel (it's so sweet!), also- title of book comes from his poem
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the realm of amazement, July 1, 2005
I saw this book at Borders and read the first few pages. I rarely ever buy books, but I knew absolutely had to have this one. As soon as I brought it home, I couldn't put it down. I tried to read it slow so I could properly enjoy it, but it just kept me turning page after page. the realm of possibility is now tied as my favorite book of all time. It's simply amazing. It properly describes so many feelings and situations high school kids are in without trying to dramatize things or pinpoint emotions. Everyone who reads this will love it and be moved.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Are Happy Even If You Are Afraid To Admit It - secret to all good YA books?, January 1, 2007
Though this book drags in a few of the poems, it's mostly very readable, as free-verse poetry tends to be if you read it quickly. Sexuality and sentimentality - or, if you like, adolescent angst - are heavily featured, but Levithan is so good at rendering them that the book hardly ever feels trite or emotionally abusive. However, the standout entry is clearly "The Patron Saint of Stoners," which deals with a far more serious issue than most of the others, in far less dramatic terms. The narrator of the poem, Clara, is an excellent student who has trouble trying to find some pot; but the important question for the reader is not the how, but the why. "Gospel," told from the perspective of Gail, a fervently Christian and compassionate girl who befriends an outcast, and "Writing," in which a Goth girl, Charlotte, literally puts "the writing on the wall" in a surprisingly uplifting way, are also very good.

Like "Boy Meets Boy" and "Are We There Yet?" the tone of the book is - not relentlessly, but insidiously positive. No one is worse off at the end of their poem or the book than at the beginning; even the 'bitchy' character who gets her comeuppance also has a personal insight.

One thing Levithan never addresses is why the twenty characters are writing these poems, or if they even are writing them down. Interesting, because he could have written it off with a throwaway line - for example, "Mr. So-and-so is making everyone write a free-verse poem for English class" - but instead he leaves it unclear whether they are simply internal monologues or poems the characters actually write.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, I can't get over this novel., July 23, 2006
I love everything about this book! Even the length was just right. Every line was so insightful and we can all relate to each character in the short stories and poems. The form of all the poems was really creative and I respect the writer for putting on paper the feeling of so many different human beings. This book is simply amazing- you just have to expirience it for yourself.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book That Defies All Limits, June 19, 2005
A Kid's Review
This book is the most heartfelt book I have ever read. It moved me to tears every time that I have read it. Instead of the symbolism stuff and the boring poems they teach in our school, they should teach young adult poetry like this book here. It freely deals with issues such as being an outcast, homosexuality, religion, and breakups and crushes. It is a wonderful book for teenagers to read, and maybe if people who are homophobes read it, they can gain a better understanding of the issue they vehemently oppose.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Changing Book, August 24, 2004
By 
Hannah (Boston, Ma, USA) - See all my reviews
This is one of the most poignant books I have ever read. David Levithan somehow knows exactly how high schoolers feel, act and just are overall. I was blown away by his beautiful, flowing free verse poetry. He so perfectly describes first loves, the awkwardness of the social scene in high school, and he addresses the issue of gender and sexuality in an appropriate and understanding manner. Working at a bookshop, I got the advance copy of the book to read back in December and was immediately in love with this book. The funny thing is, I'm not usually one to read poetry, but this book defies all of the cliches and usual poetry stereotypes. It is, quite simply, a wonderful and perfect book that embodies all of the feelings an adolescent goes through, something that is not easily captured by simple words. David Levithan tells these peoples' stories in a flowing and beautiful manner. This is definitely a good read, and recommended to all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It!, June 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Realm of Possibility (Paperback)
From a person that loves to take care of her books and hates to have even a scratch i was happy it came in great cpmdition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book, June 23, 2014
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This review is from: The Realm of Possibility (Paperback)
Perfect poetry book! I love it so much although I haven't even finished it. There are so many good quotes in this book so make sure to have a pen or post it notes to mark the poems that get to you. :)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wished it got here sooner, May 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Realm of Possibility (Paperback)
I know the expected delivery would take a while, but I waited a long time to receive this item. I also wish there was a tracking number on it so I could have looked up the status of the book instead of just waiting anxiously for it. The book itself is in pretty good condition, but it was a bit sticky when I took it out of the package.
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The Realm of Possibility
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (Paperback - May 9, 2006)
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