Title ~ Us Three
Author ~ Mia Kerick
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 3rd April 2014
Genre ~ YA M/M Romance
Rating ~ 5 Stars
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
In his junior year at a public high school, sweet, bright Casey Minton’s biggest worry isn’t being gay. Keeping from being too badly bullied by his so-called friends, a group of girls called the Queen Bees, is more pressing. Nate De Marco has no friends, his tough home life having taken its toll on his reputation, but he’s determined to get through high school. Zander Zane’s story is different: he’s popular, a jock. Zander knows he’s gay, but fellow students don’t, and he’d like to keep it that way.
No one expects much when these three are grouped together for a class project, yet in the process the boys discover each other’s talents and traits, and a new bond forms. But what if Nate, Zander, and Casey fall in love—each with the other and all three together? Not only gay but also a threesome, for them high school becomes infinitely more complicated and maybe even dangerous. To survive and keep their love alive, they must find their individual strengths and courage and stand together, honest and united. If they can do that, they might prevail against the Queen Bees and a student body frightened into silence—and even against their own crippling fears.
Mia Kerick isn’t a new author to me, I’ve read her novel Out of Hiding not too long ago but after reading the premise of Us Three I had my doubts. A Young Adult ménage? How would that work? Frankly I wasn’t too keen on starting this one but my curiosity finally got the better of me and after reading only a few pages I couldn’t put it down!
I totally lost myself in this book, it’s a sad tale, especially as one of the sweetest characters ever, is the target of the most vicious bullying I’ve experienced in the pages of a book, but I liked how Mia showed us Casey’s struggles with his emotions, and how he grows as a character, opening up to the friendship and love of both Nate and Zander, who despite having personal issues of their own, they are there for Casey. These boys are incredibly endearing and I just loved them so much.
“Us three. Most people’d say that just the idea of it was fucked-up. And I’m not talking ’bout the gay part. Folks’d say that love was meant for two. That huggin’ and kissin’ and holdin’ each other and shit was meant for two, not for three.”
Casey is such an adorable boy and he has so much to endure. His high school time seems to be a complete nightmare. Those Queen Bees are just evil, spiteful bitches, bullies at their worst. I never realised that it’s not always the guys that are the bullies, girls are even worse. *shudders*.
Mia Kerick describes the relationship development between Casey, Zander and Nate beautifully. All three of them are so cute… and the way they come together and figure themselves out is wonderfully written. Their journey through hell together is a real tearjerker, so brace yourself for a bumpy ride to high school hell and back. No graphic sex btw… but lots of touching and intimacy, Mia’s writing of this is excellent.
The story is told in a very original way, we get the thoughts of Casey, Zander and Nate from three different and very unique points of views. Each boy shared with us what was in their hearts and what they were going through, and that worked just perfectly for me. By the end, my heart was filled with hope for Casey, Nate and Zander’s future, trusting all would be alright in their world.
“It’s us three now. We’ll figure it out.”
Overall, Us Three is powerful, moving, thought provoking and flawlessly told story, and these boys will now and for always have a special place in my heart. If you're looking for a book about finding true love in the oddest of places and about standing up for yourself and what is right for the the people you love, this truly is a must read. Parents, love your children, cherish them, listen to them. Teachers, schoolmates, give bullying no chance… and add this book to your reading list! Highly recommended!
Running Away from Home
Hi and thank you Tina for inviting me over to Sinfully Sexy Blog.
The teen years are most definitely angst-filled for many of us; jam-packed with questions and self-doubt.
Who am I?
Do I fit in here?
Why do my parents get to control me?
Why is Person X so mean to me all the time?
Am I pretty enough?
Am I smart enough?
Am I athletic enough?
Am I cool enough?
Should I stand up for what I believe in or just go with the crowd?
I could go on all day… the list of questions is pretty close to endless. And sometimes, as a teen, you just want to get away from all the questions. You know, to escape it all.
The idea of escaping brings to mind my attempt at escaping from my troubles when I was sixteen-years-old. I, against my parents’ knowledge, had been dating a boy—okay a man—who was twenty-one years old, for a year or so. Toward the end of the year of sneaking around, and feeling very “Romeo and Juliet”, I must admit, I confessed my true love to my mother, who proceeded to forbid me from ever seeing Mike A. again.
To start with, I guess maybe you are curious why I was dating a twenty-one-year-old (who I met at the roller skating rink in the next town over) in the first place. The reason, in general, was due to the teenage angst I mentioned earlier. In specific, it involved the second question, “Do I fit in here?” And in regard to my high school, the answer was no. I was a pretty girl, involved in chorus and cheerleading. I had excellent grades and was well-liked by my teachers. But no, I didn’t fit in at all at my school. I was too open and honest and I wore my heart on my sleeve where it was often spit upon. It was easy to make me question myself, and easier still to make my cry. I had very few, if any, true friends, so I found my friendships and my love relationship outside the walls of my high school. Hence, my twenty-one-year old rock and roll drummer boyfriend.
When my mother forbid me from seeing Mike A., I will admit, my options looked very limited. The question from above, “Why do my parents get to control me?” loomed in my mind.
They don’t understand. They don’t care. They don’t love me at all, and, well, Mike A. does.
So I decided my best option was to run away from home. Here is how it went down:
**No one was home at the time of my departure, but I still felt it would be a good idea to jump out of a window to make my escape instead of just walking out of the front door. SO, I hoisted the window of my first floor bedroom, started to struggle my way outside, and the windowsill came slamming down on my hand, effectively breaking two of my fingers. Not a good start to my “running away from home” journey, but still, I persisted.
**I lived in a woodsy, suburban and very upscale community about 45 minutes north of Boston. Where was I to go? Easy. I would go to the house of the naughtiest girl in town (I’d long ago been forbidden to associate with her)—Donna M. Donna lived for rock and roll, and speaking of rocking, she rocked the highest hair in town(she even dyed her hair blonde with Sun-in, which was scandalous), and get this, she went to Tanorama. Not a traditional good girl, I figured Donna would take me in. So instead of just walking down the sidewalk, clutching my preppy boat-and-tote bag that was stuffed with whatever belongings I considered mandatory, I decided my best bet would be to creep through the woods on the side of the road, glancing sneakily around me every several seconds. And wouldn’t you know it, a police officer drove by me. He of course pulled over and asked me where I was going.
“Um…I’m going to my friend’s house, officer.”
“You don’t happen to be running away from home, do you?”
“Um…well, of c-course n-not.”
“Then you won’t mind if I give you a ride. Hop in, young lady.”
**I arrived at Donna M.’s house with a police escort. Not furtive…not at all.
**Donna’s mother was on the phone with my mother in short order and I was returned, with aching fingers, to my bedroom.
It is certainly not easy to be a teen, at the best of times. And at the worst of times it can be emotionally hazardous and even physically debilitating. In my new release, Us Three, three high school boys are caught up in a dangerous bullying saga. One is the victim of the bullying, one a bystander to the bullying, and the third, so socially outcast from the other students, that he isn’t even worth the effort it takes to bully. Casey, Zander, and Nate negotiate their way through the angst of their high school years, and as they do so, they learn valuable lessons about themselves and about the other boys involved in the bullying incidents.
Us Three compels you to ask yourself, “What would I have done under those circumstances?”
Would I have been brave enough to stand up for what I believe in? Or would I have run and hidden, in the same way that sixteen-year-old Mia attempted to escape her troubles?
About Mia Kerick
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
My themes I always write about:
Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them.