Monday, November 9, 2015
Review & Flash Giveaway: How We Began | Supports The Trevor Project
How does love begin? A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.
In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, seven authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples.
All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
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What I thought about How We Began
TruNorth by Alexis Hall is the story of a TV-created boy band. The members are molded and shaped by their handlers, until two of them decide they've had enough and want to be true to themselves. That creates havoc with their career and they have to make a huge decision. There’s a definite futuristic feel to this story, and I loved the tone and voice to this sweet love story. It had a definite lyrical quality that fit the music theme of the story. Nicely done. I will be looking forward to more from this author.
In Unexpected Dragons by Delphine Dryden, sexual orientation wasn’t really the main theme of this story. To me it was more about accepting differences in each other, and not being too hard on yourself when you make mistakes, which is a great message for the young adult age group. And the fact this was a dragon-shifter story made it even more fun to read.
A Song for Sweater-boy by Vanessa North is about the budding relationship between two students, one on the autism spectrum and the other identifying as bisexual. It’s an unlikely story and I’m not sure I believed it all, but what I adored about this was how this author portrayed others interacting with Jamie, the autistic young man who knits to handle overwhelming situations. He’s not treated any differently because of his autism, and I thought that was really a great part of this story.
The Taste of Coffee and Cream by Amy Jo Cousins is a wonderful transgender story where a boy identifies as a girl, and struggles with living freely and openly. There's a serious struggle here with her ultra conservative family, forcing her to travel outside of her hometown to just "be". After another in their community comes out and ends up in conversion therapy, she's petrified of what might happen to her if she comes out. But a friend comes to the rescue and provides a glimmer of light and the ability to live as she feels. It's the contrast between acceptance and non-acceptance that struck me in this story, and how much courage it took this young adult to live as she needed to. This was one of my favorites in this anthology.
First in Line by Annabeth Albert is another story that illustrates the deep emotions and fears involved in coming out. Ethaniel Rhodes has moved away to college with the hopes of living his life honestly. His goals are simple, to live life honestly and to come out to his classmates and others, but it's a lot harder than he thinks to let go of the fears he's brought with him from his conservative home. But it's all worth it in the end, as he find the courage and lets go with a little help from his roommate and a friend down the hall.
Extinction Level Events by Geonn Cannon is the story of a young woman who has known she's gay for years but has kept it secret. Now that she's leaving for college, she wants to let her family and best friend know who she is. This coming out story is really a joy.
All of the stories in this anthology are so very well done. Finding and accepting who you are is such an important part of the young adult time of life, and these stories illustrate nicely the challenges and the joys that come with being true to yourself, and I absolutely loved that about the entire content of this anthology.
ARC provided for review.
About The Trevor Project
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
I'll gift a kindle copy of How We Began to the first three readers who send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me you want to support the Trevor Project by reading How We Began.
Be sure to include your email address, and your follow via twitter, facebook or email is greatly appreciated.
FLASH Giveaway has concluded.
About the Authors
Amy Jo Cousins