“It had taken them less than a semester to back me into a corner. I knew I’d never be free of this hunted feeling.”
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
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.
Few authors can capture the desperation, loneliness and resilient optimist of young adults quite like Mia Kerick. Us Three is the story of a trio of high school boys who make up an unlikely friendship and loving multi-partner relationship. Bullied Casey, loner Nate, and jock Zane find what they need in each other, and together they fight to protect Casey from escalating bullying. My heart constricted when reading Us Three. I was so uncomfortable that I wanted to put my Kindle down, but I was also compelled to discover if Casey was going to be all right and if Casey, Nate and Zane would stay together. I kept reading, silently saying over and over, “Please let Casey get his happy ending.”
Us Three also struck far too close to home. Bullying can happen to anyone, and for no rational reason. My own sweet daughter (who is now a happy young woman about to enter college) experienced harsh bullying from a girl who could have been a charter member of Casey’s tormentors, the Queen Bees. Within a few weeks of the start of her sixth grade year, I began to notice that my formerly bubbly and happy daughter was losing weight from her already thin frame, was sleeping more and acting tired, and her sweet, loving personality seemed to evaporate before my eyes. We eventually discovered a new girl had moved into my daughter’s school, and my daughter and her friends had welcomed the girl into their social group. The girl was undeniably charming (especially to adults), physically beautiful, and quite smart. As ridiculous as it sounds now, turns out she targeted my daughter likely because she wanted to “take” my daughter’s best friend to be her own. And target her she did — she systematically tortured her, started silly but hurtful to a sixth grader rumors, pressured girls who had been my daughter’s friends since she was a little girl to ignore her and react with silence if my daughter spoke, and she eventually elevated to physically kicking and tripping my daughter. We dealt with the situation the best way we knew: we insisted the school administration intervene, we made certain that this girl and our daughter were in separate classes, and most importantly, we found a wonderful counselor who specializes in adolescent issues to help our daughter reclaim her self esteem. But even today, my daughter who has experienced the death of two beloved grandparents, as well as endured serious health issues, will tell you the bullying she experienced in the sixth grade was the worst time of her life.
Mia Kerick’s Us Three is a gut wrenching reminder to us all of the very real damage done by hatred and bullying. Kerick’s Casey is loved and supported by Nate and Zane, and he does indeed get his very own happy ending (actually, it’s more like a happy beginning …). Kerick handles the boys’ relationship perfectly – there is no graphic sex, but there are sweet and touching scenes between the three. While they may be in a non-traditional multi-partner relationship, they epitomize the purity and commitment of true young love.
I highly recommend Us Three – Kerick is an amazing author who has brought forth a unique and powerful story. Please read this book – within it you will hear the voice of every bullied child. You will also hear the promise that each of us can offer by not turning a blind eye, and by not supporting bullying by passively refusing to become involved.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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