Friday, April 18, 2014

Blog Tour & eARC Review: Us Three by 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.

Us Three
by Mia Kerick
Publication: April 3rd 2014 by Harmony Ink Press

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.

Book Links: 

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

It has taken me some time to collect my thoughts before I could even dream of writing a review for this one. This was a very well written story, one that I could not but rate lower a five. However, this was also a very different and difficult story to read as it contained issues and events that could trigger memories for those readers who had gone through some form of bullying in their lives. It is also quite dissimilar from all the other reads in that this involved three young men who found themselves in a menage, a situation that even adults cannot comprehend most of the time. Three young men in highschool.

This is a story told from three points of views: Casey's Real Life story, Nate's Diary and Zander's email communications to his brother. These three points of views were a bit confusing at first for the I immediately found myself reading about their days and lives without so much as an introduction beforehand. Once I settled into the writing style and theme, however,  it was only then that the story started to unfold in a beautiful but difficult and drama-filled way.

The story begins with Casey subjected to bullying by a group of top-dog girls in school whom he had thought were his friends. He ate lunch with them, chatted with them, exchanged ideas and so on, but one night, he was betrayed and subjected to a really nasty and cruel prank that turned my blood cold. I could not, for the life of me, believe what I was reading and yet, it was familiar and oh, so real and very, very painful. Casey survived but his life was changed from that night onward. He became the jaded Casey whose innocence hid but glowed from within and made him such a beautiful character to read. It is this beauty within him that attracted him to both Nate and Zander.

Nate and Zander are not victims of bullying. At least, not in school for Nate. He comes from a highly dysfunctional family and has had to fight his own battles, even within his own home. He is known as the 'scary burnout' because of his history with drugs. He is physically huge for his age and his size alone is enough to stop any thoughts or attempts of bully. As for Zander, well, he may be a popular jock and considerably higher ranked in school, but his family is just as dysfunctional. His saving grace is a close relationship with an older brother whom he communicates with quite openly and very regularly via email. As Nate writes out his frustrations in a diary, Zander does the same in his emails. The words are freely youthful, open and frank. No one other than us readers get to read these words. Not even Casey.

By some twist of fate, a teacher decides to group her students according to her wishes and Nate, Zane and Casey find themselves involved in a team effort that could make or break their grades. This is where the whole story of Us Three really begins: when the three young men begin their struggle in trying to survive the hazards of high school life and begin to learn that being a man does not necessarily mean being buff or cool. It is this time the three young men realize that what began as a beautiful but unexpected friendship, was turning into something different. Something inexplicable. Something beautiful. 

Something that could destroy their school reputations should the truth be found out. It could also turn the school into dangerous grounds.

This may have been a difficult read at the beginning but once I found the rhythm, it was soon clear that I was reading something that could change a whole lot of lives. It changed my perspective on things, that is certain. I found that I was not reading some sappy or pure romantic fiction; it is definitely not erotica. This is a story of growth, learning, loving, acceptance and tolerance; beautifully written and told through the eyes of three young men. Mia Kerick takes her readers to take an in-depth look into the horrors of highshcool life and came up with a beautiful story of friendship, love and a hopeful future between three young men whose unconventional relationship may not be norm or acceptable but is true all the same.

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  1. Thank you so very much for having me to your blog spot!! And I so appreciate the awesome review!!

  2. It was a pleasure! Thank you for the opportunity :D