“The Way We Love Here” from Meet Cute
Alloy Entertainment, 2018
Hardcover, 23 of 314 pages
Trigger Warnings: mild sexual references
About the Author:Dhonielle Clayton is the author of The Belles and The Everlasting Rose, and co-author of Shiny Broken Pieces and the Tiny Pretty Things series. She is also the Chief Operating Officer of We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization that offers support to writers and booksellers with the goal of diversifying YA and children’s literature. Finally, she is the co-founder of Cake Literary, a literary development company which creates diverse content for readers of middle grade, YA, and women’s fiction.
But everyone who lives on the island has one. It marks us as belonging to this place. This is how we find love here.
“The Way We Love Here” is a short story in the YA anthology, Meet Cute. Clayton’s short story is set on the island of Meridien, where their love is determined by a red coil wrapped around their ring finger. The tattoo-like mark changes as the person grows; the less coils around their finger, the closer they are to meeting their soulmate. Viola, the story’s protagonist, is particularly anxious as her coils decrease in number. But after meeting Sebastian and taking a peek into their future, her story ends with a more optimistic note.
“The Way We Love Here” is one of the most magical stories of Meet Cute’s collection. The story’s world is particularly fascinating, and Clayton provides multiple avenues of curiosity – the coils, the island’s lore, the ability to see into the uncertain future. Viola’s uncertainty is refreshing, and her anxiety towards love may resonate with others who aren’t sure what love is, or if it’s even for them. This story’s plot revolves around the two character’s meeting, but is so full of wonder and excitement that the audience begs for more of this world.
PRR Writer, Matty Ortega