A Stella Review: How We Began Anthology by Edie Danford , Alexis Hall , Delphine Dryden , Vanessa North , Amy Jo Cousins , Annabeth Albert , Geonn Cannon


RATING 4 stars out of 5

How We Began Anthology coverHow 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 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.

How We Began is a sweet and interesting young adult anthology. All stories are really well done, I found some of my favorite authors and a couple of new to me writers. It has a perfect mix in plots, characters, genre and feelings. I particularly liked how each story has a “DearAuthor” at the start. Each very thoughtful.

The purpose of this anthology is really honorable and for this it deserves more than 5 stars but I’ll try to be honest in my review.

TruNorth by Alexis Hall 3,5 stars

Noah and Callum sing in a band called TruNorth. One night after a concert in New Berlin, Noah sees Callum sneaking out from their hotel and follows his mate to a place called Eldorado. Here Noah will find Aisling.

It’s not a news I’m a huge fan of Alexis Hall’s works, I’m sorry to say this dystopian tale is not his best but the magical atmosphere of his words is still there, no worries. Surely  the story is too short to be more developed but what I more missed were some specific elements in the setting and a connection with the MCs. I liked them together and how the story easily carry on till a right and sweet ending.

Unexpected Dragons by Delphine Dryden 4 stars

This is an unexpected surprise by a new to me author, I liked it a lot. For being so short this fantasy story worked so well to me, it has loveable  characters and a great defined world building, not many informations but what the author give me is more than enough to understand this dragons’ society. While it focuses more on the first shift for Zev and the romantic story between Rook and Zev is just outlined, there is space for some second characters like Zev parents that added emotions to a well done story. I want more!

A Song for Sweater-boy by Vanessa North 5 stars

Only Vanessa North could have picked an autistic young man as Jamie, high IQ, sweet and loyal to his family and Ash, an ambitious musician, beautiful and in probation, mix them in a prison-knitting program and score an awesome sweet and clever story, full of emotions and the unforeseen tears at the end. One of the few shorts I read so far that I’m feel really satisfied, I almost don’t want to know more about these boys, cause I know they are enjoying their HEA and I don’t want to disturb them. Really well done.

The Taste of Coffee and Cream by Amy Jo Cousins 4 stars

I had a hard time to get into this one and I’m really not sure why, cause at the end I realized this was the most complex, delicate and hurtful story. The writing style (hard to like) caught me unprepared for the beautiful development of Jude’s life. Her strength is clear in the braveness she has when each week takes a trip to another town to be the one true Jude. But her pain is weakened with the help of her savior, Owen and his mother, the most amazing woman in the world.

First in Line by Annabeth Albert 3,75 stars

First Line is an easy and quick story, just reading the title it brings me a smile on my face. The author was good at showing us how a shy farm boy like Ethaniel can collide (literally) with the force of nature is Nesto, out and proud and so supportive, and not only survive to his first day at college but easily coming out from his closet cause he is now in the right place. There are a lot of struggles but it is mostly a short full of positive feelings.

Extinction Level Events by Geonn Cannon 3,5 stars

This was my first ever FF story, I had no idea and I have to say I liked it a lot, especially the writing and the dialogues, engaging and never boring. I get the purpose of the author, to write about be brave to come out to the people who love us. I liked the characters but it needed a little more in the romantic part, I appreciated the beautiful friendship between Cassandra and Natalie but I wanted a couple of more pages about Cass’ new life and love.

The COVER is well done but I’d have preferred something different. Two boys can’t well represent an anthology with these variety of characters.



Kindle Edition, 297 pages
Expected publication: November 9th 2015 by Pink Kayak Press LLC
Edition Language English