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How We Began

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  67 reviews
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, six authors explore the beginnings
ebook, 297 pages
Published November 9th 2015 by Pink Kayak Press
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  204 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Julio Genao
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies
all proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the trevor project, which supports LGBTQ youth in crisis.


i'll be reviewing these as i read them; stay tuned.

TruNorth, by Alexis Hall.

excesses in voice and lapses in copy editing and proofing proved extremely distracting, while obvious parallels to current pop-culture touchstones were sometimes as unintentionally funny as they were effe
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
All proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to support the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

THREE BIG CHEERS to these authors for dedicating their time and talent to help such an important cause.

This is a young adult, with an emphasis on the YOUNG, collection of stories that range in length from approximately 600 to 1,200 locations. There is no steam in this book, and I do mean ZERO. Most of the MCs are under 1
Vanessa North
May 27, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
***5/9/2016 --How We Began is ON SALE for 99 cents!***

It's release day for How We Began! I was thrilled to be asked to participate in such a special project, for such a wonderful cause.

My contribution to this collection is a YA M/M novella called "A Song for Sweater-boy," and this is the mini-blurb:

Ash Cooper has made a mess—an angry prank turned into a criminal mischief charge and now he’s on probation. Jamie Allen has a talent for pattern recog
Kat, short for Clara

ALL the proceeds from any sales go to The Trevor Project - need I say any more?



Alexis Hall, Vanessa North, and Amy Jo Cousins contributing stories to an antho where all the proceeds go to charity?

I am on it like a car bonnet.
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bbs, anthology

I was so very lucky as to receive an ARC for this charity anthology of YA short stories. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project's work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.

I think that's enough reason to buy this book—and I will, too, once it's out on Nov 9—but it's also a great opportunity to read a book by an author you already love or maybe by one you weren't so sure if you should buy a whole novel from. Well, this is the exact case for
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it

"All of the proceeds from this volume will benefit The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people ages thirteen to twenty-four."

The cause alone is more than enough to buy this book. And if you 're a YA lover, all the better.

Each story is different and unique, and explores the beginning of a relationship. I particularly liked the authors' notes before each story, that explain to the reader his/her purp
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
 photo XGoilu8ZpqTG_zpsn25012pw.gif

I'm normally not a big anthology reader I'm always hesitant to read them because I'm afraid the length of the stories will be too short leaving wanting more. This one I wanted to read for two reasons:

1. 100% of the proceeds will support The Trevor Project. A group that works with youth in crisis and suicide prevention.
2. The authors involved with the project.

I'll be honest, not all of the stories worked for me so I will only focus on the ones that did.

TruNorth by Alexis Hall
Beautiful writi
BWT (Belen)
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit, not all the stories are super-fantastic, mostly they're sweet, or cute, and there are definitely a couple of standouts...BUT the CAUSE is great. The cause is totally worth it - because 100% of the proceeds of this anthology go to The Trevor Project's work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. BUY THIS BOOK!

TruNorth by Alexis Hall
He’s the nice one. Everybody’s third or fourth favourite. His name is Noah and his job is to
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was so happy to receive an ARC for my honest review... Honestly, if you buy want to buy a book right now, this is the one. The proceeds are going to The Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

How We Began is a book filled with stories. These are the kind of stories that make the world go around. These are the kind of stories that teens all over the world need. These stories tell truths, build hope, expand hearts, sh
4 Stars

So far I've only had the pleasure of reading two stories in this sweet anthology, but I hope to read the rest soon enough.

I was initially drawn to this anthology for two reasons:
1) the earnings go to a good cause; and
2) Annabeth Albert has written yet another N/A story set at Cathia College (like all the stories in the enjoyable Campus Cravings: Higher Learning MM Boxed Set).

Albert's current offering, First in Line , was yet another easy and sweet read to add to her collection.

Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There were two stories i really enjoyed ALEXIS HALL's I absolutely LOVED.

5⭐️ for TruNorth by Alexis Hall. ❤️❤️❤️ This story melted my heart, so beautifully worded, It was unique. Noah was so confused, and aimless at the beginning of the story. Watching him develop through the story is increadible, the writing is memorizing.

4⭐️A Song for Sweater-boy by Vanessa North

This was a sweet high school story, I liked both the M/C's, their interactions, the challenges they faced and they way it was handle
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Full Buddy-Reviewage on Prism Book Alliance®

Yup, my co-reviewer Q and I decided to do this one together, in that I read three stories they read three stories LOL

Tru North by Alexis Hall 3.5*

This story is told in first person and starts out rather dour and dry, almost like reading an itemized list of the things taking up Noah’s life and what it’s become over the last few years. It culminates in Noah feeling lost, separated from himself. He feels alone even when surrounded by thousands. I understa
Shira Glassman
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens looking for LGBT positivity, people looking for trans romance
Recommended to Shira by: Xan West
A cute collection of LGBT YA; I give all of the stories four stars except for the first two which earned the collection my five star rating, "TruNorth", an exquisitely beautiful, subtly futuristic teen trans f/cis m romance with a musical theme and a happy ending, and "Unexpected Dragons", cis m/m fluffy high fantasy set in a village where reaching puberty means learning to shapeshift into one's dragon form and what happens when it comes late or at an inconvenient time (the metaphor is strong wi ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-mm
4.25 stars

I bought this anthology mainly to support the cause - all proceeds are going to support The Trevor Project's work- and ended up being very pleasantly surprised.

This anthology is all about first love. But it's also about growing up, coming out, being brave, and trying to become the person you were meant to be. So many of these characters and their stories really touched my heart.

If you enjoy LGBT y/a fiction AND want to support a great cause, I strongly encourage you to buy this antho
See status updates for thoughts on individual stories.


One of the best anthologies I've read, and all for a very good cause (although **mini rant coming up**, isn't it about time we did something like this here in the UK...and Europe for that matter?? The situation is obviously no better over this side of the pond and needs addressing...just saying) rant over. 5 stars overall from me.

Alexis' story Futuristic transgender story featuring boy band TruNorth, their slimy git of a manager (an extremely thinly veiled rip off of Simon Cowell - eek!!
3.5 stars

All proceeds will support The Trevor Project's work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.

This above and the fact that Alexis Hall is one of the authors were the main reasons I bought this anthology.
I didn’t realize until I started the third story that ALL the stories in it would be YA, which isn’t a genre I particularly like. You’d think I’d get a clue sooner, given the blurb clearly states “six authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new a
Kasia Bacon
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Review by KASIA BB
(ARC provided in exchange for an honest review)

This seems to be the year of anthologies for me. I reached for this particular collection, attracted – like a bee to a honeypot – by some of the participating authors. In addition, it is a charity anthology, published in support of the Trevor Project’s important work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention amongst troubled LGBTQ+ young people.

Only after having offered to review this compilation did I learn it was described
Mónica BQ
Removing review and rating because of reasons.

(view spoiler)
Veronica of V's Reads
This review was originally written for Joyfully Jay Reviews and can be accessed here:

This anthology is a series of coming out/coming of age short stories and novellas that all center around finding that first someone special. They range from futuristic fiction to fantasy to contemporary, and the characters are part of the diverse spectrum of humanity, that also happen to be LGBTQI. Because this book is geared toward teens, the stories are all written abou
Hot Stuff for Cool People
I was given an ARC of this book to read- this in no way affects the honesty of my review.

I was so excited for this book‐ a ton of great authors, writing YA (I love YA) and all of it for an excellent charity? It sounded perfect. But I was a little nervous, too. Shorter stories are… tricky. Some authors do them exceptionally well, but a lot, even authors who can write the most amazing novels, seem to… have a hard time with shorter stuff. Short stuff is difficult. And a lot of the time short storie
Molli B.
4.36 stars (averaged rating).

I don't remember the last time I read an anthology and genuinely enjoyed every story in it, but I did with this one. I thought they were all very good, very worthwhile contributions. I'll also say that I didn't absolutely adore any of them either, but I will happily take six 4.0–4.5-star reads over two 5-stars and four 2-stars. Also, it's really hard to beat the cause (The Trevor Project) (even if AJC mentioned "It Gets Better"... Attention to detail is an excellent
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Originally posted at For What It's Worth on 11/19/15

Overview of the anthology as a whole: This was one of the better anthologies I’ve read. There isn’t a bad story in the group and I was pleasantly surprised at the variety in both genre - sci-fi-ish future, dragons!, contemporary, YA, NA - and with the LGBTQ spectrum. This isn’t just M/M. There are Transgender, Lesbian, Bi, Gay and even Autism Spectrum stories and characters. I do hope we see more of this.

Most of the stories are YA, whi
Trader (RedHotBlueReads)
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-favorites
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 fr ...more
Christina's Bookshelf
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First off I love that this anthology goes to The Trevor Project which is such a great cause. Thank you to all the authors for writing such beautiful stories and to everyone involved in making this happen.

The second thing I loved about this anthology is the little blurb before each story from the author letting us know their inspiration behind the story; a background. Gave each short story a better understanding.

All this being said....

How We Began are short stories of the beginning of relations
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75* overall

Note: This is a Charity Anthology - Raising Money For The Trevor Project - It Has Been Beautifully Edited by Edie Danford. As A Charity Project There Is No Independent Proofing.

Tru North by Alexis Hall

There are so many things to like in this story of boy band Tru North. Of course it is about a fictional version of One Direction, but the author has been very clever. He gives us enough that we can see, sometimes comic, similarities whilst never over stepping the mark into parody. This
Joyfully Jay
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: veronica
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

This anthology is a series of coming out/coming of age short stories and novellas that all center around finding that first someone special. They range from futuristic fiction to fantasy to contemporary, and the characters are part of the diverse spectrum of humanity, that also happen to be LGBTQI. Because this book is geared toward teens, the stories are all written about teens and have teen-levels of heat. So, essentially none. Which is FINE, IMHO. Proceeds fro
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, anthology
I loved this anthology. Most of the short stories were really nice and the proceeds go to a good cause! I especially loved TruNorth, A Song for Sweater-Boy and The Taste of Coffee and Cream.
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-romance, ya
3.5 stars

Didn't read the dragon or FF story but liked what I read.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, queer, my-e-things
As is usual for an anthology, it's a mixed bag--there are two awesome stories, four pretty good stories, and one that really didn't work for me at all. I bought this because of the Alexis Hall story and it was worth it--that story was full of wonderful atmosphere and humour and a lovely use of language, and it was a bit barren and bleak at the same time. It's quite well done. My other favourite was Vanessa North's story, which was delightful and sweet and awkward and triumphant. Also very well d ...more
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