Why I read this book: Mia Kerick is a fairly new author to me, but I have been enjoying the recent YA books that have been coming out, and this particular book caught my attention due to the subject matter, It is about three teens, bullying, AND the development of a polyamorous relationship during high school. I was curious how all of these could co-exist in a YA story, and still have a positive message. Well, the author did a FANTASTIC job of covering all scenarios and making the progression of the relationship seem very natural. And the bullying was addressed in a quite positive manner.
Caution: This story may bring you to tears a few times, but hold out ‘til the end. It’s definitely worth it
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Cover: This cover is simple yet poignant. These three boys are there for each other and the embrace reflects it all. There is nothing ugly or torrid about the relationship. Just caring and love with some intimacy, but very little and feels age appropriate.
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.
Publication Date: April 3, 2014
From the very first paragraph, the story grabbed me.
“18 months ago
I WAS down again… flat on my belly in the grass this time. There was no use in trying to get up. I was outnumbered, and most of them were bigger than me. Something sharp smacked into the back of my head. This time it was a high-heeled boot; it tumbled past my face. I pushed my chin harder against the ground and stuffed my head under my arms. “
I guess I wasn’t expecting a tear-jerker, but oh my gosh! The meanness of high school girls…Good grief. I wanted to kick some serious ‘you-know-what’ after the prologue. It basically gives us a preview of what Casey went through during his freshman year in high school with what were SUPPOSED to be his best friends…right after a wonderful, happy trip to the mall, and ice-cream… What they do to him, well just…no. Casey, so kind, sweet, clueless, happy, and naïve…
Continue story. He is now a junior. And he has a reputation of being the smartest kid in class. His ‘friends’, the Queen Bees, have dibs on him, or so they think. He is back at school after a year and a half of being home-schooled:
““You are sitting with us, hon’.” The girls basically wrestled me into a seat at their table. “No arguments.”
Well, it’s not as if I have anyone else to sit with….
I sat down, and I’m going to make a confession: I felt a little bit giddy because I was surrounded by people who wanted me with them, like I actually counted for something. But at the same time, I was more than slightly anxious. Because I’d been here—I’d done this “friendship” thing with these very same girls before—and it had turned out ugly. Uglier than just plain ugly, to be honest. More accurately, it had been horrifying. It had changed my life. I shuddered again. “
So how do these boys actually work things out with all three of them? You’ll just have to read the story to find out!
To give you a better picture of each of the other two boys, the author does a creative job of breaking up the story into 3 individual POVs, It flowed rather well and allowed me as a reader to fill in the blanks of the in between time. Basically this reads as Casey’s story, but we get to tune in to each of the other boy’s minds via two creative means:
Nate’s Diary – This is something that Nate’ therapist requires Nate to write/journal to help him deal with his anger management issues. He is big, rough looking, and everyone gives him a wide berth. He has absentee parents, an abusive uncle, and 13-yr old sister he has to keep an eye on for her protection.
“Dude Least Likely to Keep a Diary.” Out of the whole junior class, that’s what I’d be voted.
But in your face—cuz here it is! Yup, Nate DeMarco’s Diary. Nate’s feelings. Not gonna make no excuses for it. And I sure as shit don’t owe nobody no explanation, even if there was a soul alive who cared to hear one, but I figure that this journal is gonna help me keep my shit together.
Zander’s emails to his older brother, Dan. Dan has gone off to college and he’s the only one that knows his little brother is gay. And get this. Zander is the popular jock who is part of the same ‘in-crowd’ that messed with Casey. We never hear ‘directly’ from Z’s brother, but his responses to Z’s emails are alluded to in a way that we can guess what advice he is giving Zander.
Dan the Man – Soccer season’s gone, gone, gone, as Phil Phillips would sing. (Not a bad tune—you think?) Wish like hell you could’ve seen me play, though….
….And there’s this one really smart kid in Survey who gets ranked on so frigging badly, Dan. It’s tough to watch. (Remember that thing I told you about me? You know, how I think I might be. This kid, Casey Minton, is definitely that way. And he can’t hide it, or even tone it down, I don’t think.)
These little ventures into each of the boys’ thoughts give this book a contemporary ‘young’ vibe, and I can see a teen connecting with any one of them. This story wouldn’t be bad if it just ended at how they all become friends, then boyfriends with their various backgrounds and interests, but it gets better. It seems the author wants to use this as an opportunity to show how kids can actually ‘make it better’. I really appreciated the examples used to turn this into a life lesson for many who are not just victims of bullying, but also the bystanders, who, by just standing there, are passive-aggressively taking part in the activity. And it especially helped that it didn’t come across as preachy.
In fact, it felt very realistic. Hurrah to the author for addressing this prevalent issue that goes on in all walks of life and in various schools across the country, and probably globally as well. Unfortunately, I know it goes on in elementary and middle schools too, but this is a great start to addressing a problem we all know is there, and hopefully will help young readers think again before just turning and looking the other way.
The only downside for me was the lack of closure for the reader as to how the boy’s handled everything outside of school after the initial issue was resolved. I don’t get the impression their home lives changed much, other than now, at least they have friends and a support system. But then the book would have had to be longer than 180 pgs J
9/10 pots of gold
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2 thoughts on “MtSnow gives 9/10 Pots of Gold to ‘Us Three’ by Mia Kerick [Blog Tour Review]”
Cant wait to read this book. Love mia’s work.
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