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Book of the Month > May 2014 BotM - Us Three *spoilers*

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message 1: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments Our May 2014 Book of the Month is Us Three Us Three by Mia Kerick by Mia Kerick

Feel free to discuss the book or related topics and post reviews. This thread may contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the book yet, proceed at your own risk. I look forward to discussing this with the group.

message 2: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments I'm very excited to discuss my novel, Us Three, with all of you this month!! I was a bit nervous to unveil this book as it involves a threesome at the Young Adult level, which may seem risqué. However, I feel the relationship that develops between the three boys is natural and beautiful and rather sweet. Love to know what you think! Also, the bullying is of a boy by a group of girls- what do you think of this concept?

LOVE to talk about these things and anything else to do with Us Three with you!!

message 3: by Kaje (last edited May 06, 2014 02:05PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments It's good to have you here - did you happen to check the winner for the picture poll this month? (It's not up in a thread but if you click the poll you'll see it ;)

As for the threesome concept, I wrote a YA short story about three boys together a year ago (it's in my collection of shorts) so I'm all for it. Love is love, as long as everyone is on board voluntarily.

message 4: by Lori (new)

Lori (lorix) | 59 comments This book is amazing, I absolutely loved it. The characters were fantastic and all worked so well together.

message 5: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (myfictionnook) | 48 comments OOOOH!!!! YAY for Mia! This book was great. It handled a difficult subject with great care and respect, and the characters were so wonderful together.

message 6: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 715 comments Wow, threesomes in YA?

I know this is a specialty press, but is this the first YA book with threesomes and group sex? I don't think I've ever heard of one with straight characters.

message 7: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (myfictionnook) | 48 comments Yes, it's a threesome, of sorts, but it's not graphic at all. More a love story between three very different characters who all find something in the other two.

message 8: by Destin (new)

Destin Hicks (dhicks) | 48 comments WHOA, turns out, I need to add this book to my "Want to Read" list immediately. Thanks for this information. :)

message 9: by Mia (last edited May 07, 2014 08:06AM) (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments The boys meet through a random grouping for a project at school and through this, their eyes are opened to each other's positive characteristics. They actually SEE each other for the first time, although they'd known each other for years. Falling in love, very naturally, was a next step. Casey, Nate, and Zander do explore some aspects of intimacy, but not in the way of graphic sex. Mainly, my intention is to demonstrate that love can be beautiful and viable and strengthening in even very unconventional forms.

message 10: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments Kaje-
I just went and looked at the picture poll- how awesome!! That picture would have been a great cover for Us Three as well!!! Glad to see YA is open to unconventional love!

message 11: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments I read this over the weekend. I really liked the way the three guys each had their own voice - they were distinct and believable, and I became especially fond of Nate.

I think it was great that the main bullies were girls. That was refreshing and plausible - high school girls can be just as cruel as boys, although usually in less physical ways. (view spoiler) The bystanders' dilemma was well-portrayed, and is especially acute in these situations where it is easy for adults to blow it off as "teasing" because there are no bruises to show.

The guys came together in a way that was nicely slow, tentative, and yet not unbelievably slow for teen boys. The level of physical intimacy was well judged and described, and fit my definitions of YA plot-relevant situations. The emotions seemed real, in the context of these three boys and the way they were thrown together.

The story had a very YA feel, perhaps because it was straightforward and prototypical in the way characters and plot interacted. There were a lot of potential complications that just didn't arise or were not addressed. Of course that would have been a much longer book.

The one that I was disappointed not to see more on the radar was Nate's home situation. (view spoiler)

There are very few YA stories about polyamory - really loving more than one person at the same time. I welcome this very credible addition to that small, small number. The author makes you believe that these three boys belong together.

message 12: by Mia (last edited May 18, 2014 06:38PM) (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments Kaje- I appreciate your comments on Us Three and I am seriously considering each one. Just a FYI, I have recently completed a sequel to Us Three called One Voice and it deals with exactly what you pointed out- the violence in Nate's home. He and Cindy live with the violence, and the potential for violence, throughout high school then all hell finally breaks loose and, yes, the boys experience regrets that they did not deal withe the violence in the DeMarco home sooner.

I also understand what you said in regard to bullying by females as being mainly psychological, and that is what it was, for most of Us Three. (spoiler) But in some cases, girls will resort to brutality, and I tried to show that one girl was driven to that point.

I don't like labels, although I sometimes use them, even in this book- a jock, a nerd, a stoner. I don't intend to say "this is the correct recipe for love" although I sometimes do this, as well. But I hope readers keep in mind that polyamory is a romantic option for adults; it is also an option for young adults. In Us Three my goal was to show how the love of three worked in this particular circumstance for these three teens.

message 13: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments I'm glad there will be a sequel. I am very interested in how things will play out for the guys as time goes by. Relationships are hard, especially after the first glow wears off. There is so much room for more, from the basis in this story. I appreciated that the parents played a role, to some degree, too. Too many YA stories seem to leave the parents totally out of the equation. I look forward to seeing the guys and Casey's parents dealing with the new challenges, and seeing the guys' relationships and roles becoming more complex.

message 14: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments I finished and submitted the sequel, One Voice. It is more Nate's story and involves Cindy's situation. Once again, in One Voice Casey's parents are involved and helpful.

I also plan a final book in the series, which focuses on Zander's issues, including his becoming a target at school for being so outspoken on his beliefs.

message 15: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (myfictionnook) | 48 comments Mia wrote: "I finished and submitted the sequel, One Voice. It is more Nate's story and involves Cindy's situation. Once again, in One Voice Casey's parents are involved and helpful.

I also plan a final book..."

Happy dance!!!

Also, I volunteer as tribute pre-reader. ;)

message 16: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments Mia wrote: "I finished and submitted the sequel, One Voice. It is more Nate's story and involves Cindy's situation. Once again, in One Voice Casey's parents are involved and helpful.

I also plan a final book..."

Oh good, I look forward to that.

message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael (mgm58) | 41 comments What a great book! I was between reads and looking for something. Saw this was the BOM and bought it. I loved it!

I had the same concern about Nate and Cindy that Kaje mentions above and am stoked to find out that there is a sequel coming and a third one after that. Can't wait!

message 18: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments Hi Michael!! Thanks for picking up Us Three and joining in the discussion. I didn't deal with the situation at Nate's home very thoroughly in book one, and they all realize in book 2 that the violence went on for way too long. What did you think of the female bullying? Many readers were very happy to see that being brought out?

message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael (mgm58) | 41 comments The female bullying was no surprise. I am surprised that more people don't see it as a problem. There is a reason the quote Hell hath no fury... has been around for so long. (women, teenage girls especially can be vicious!)

Perhaps it's just my male sense of revenge/retribution but I would have liked to see Liz especially get more than transferred to another school. It makes it appear that since her family can afford it she just gets shuffled off to another school where she can start all over again. (reminds me of certain clergy members of an unnamed religious organization that's been in the news).

I can't wait for the rest of the books.

(Again, probably just my male chromosome but I hope either Nate clocks Uncle Rich, takes Cindy, and leaves or Casey takes him out somehow. I really hate that guy!)

message 20: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments Me too, so I think it's more your sense of fairness, than any chromosome effect.

message 21: by Mercedes (new)

Mercedes | 1 comments Oh! I am glad to hear there will be sequels to this. I am really looking forward to them!

message 22: by Mia (last edited May 29, 2014 09:22AM) (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments I guess my point was to show that the pain of bullying comes not just when it is physical. It comes in all of the subtle and less than subtle forms and I wrote about them based on my own experiences with female bullying. By the end of my senior year, I was afraid to go to school, and that wasn't because I was afraid of being physically harmed. I could no longer deal with the wondering- who would I sit with at lunch, who would I partner with in class, when would they so obviously examine me, from head to toe, and lean in to each other to apparently discuss my attire with the other girls who "mattered." All bullying hurts. Unfortunately, Casey had to deal with bullying in many forms.

message 23: by Riina (new)

Riina Y.T. (ibxxxriina) | 469 comments For me this was a wonderful, wonderful read! I so love these boys.
This story just worked for me most of all, because I felt - the hurt and anger, pain and love. I liked their friendship and how it slowly deepened, I also loved the way it was told, in those three different kinds of POV's - really enjoyable!

As for the female bullies, I thought that was a great part! (and god were those girls annoying me)

Personally, I enjoyed the amount of details given, meaning I didn't need to know everything about Zander's home situation or Nate's. Not that I don't care, I will love to read Nate's story!! Just for one book with three characters, I thought it was perfectly fine having Casey more or less in the center. It'll be great if we get two more books, I'm looking forward to the other boy's stories. I really like Zander and hope to see more from him. Nate was kinda my favorite... I love his voice/accent...

I've read a lot, a lot YA books, and this was something new, fresh even though really painful (for poor Casey) - I honestly loved it.

message 24: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments Riina-
I kind of like the idea of taking one book to describe the details of each main character's background and challenges, and as we learn about that character in detail we are able to see how the relationship between the three develops and grows. The second book in the series is called One Voice, which focuses on Nate's issues; it will be in the New Adult genre I believe, as will the third novel in the series. That one will focus on Zander's story- how he creates a place for himself in the school society, possibly in response to the fact that he never had a solid place for himself in his family, and in the process he becomes a target. In a sense the series will come full circle.

message 25: by Kaje (last edited May 31, 2014 08:35PM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16460 comments Interesting that you are going NA for the next two books - do you feel like you need any extra warnings to let readers of the first one know that the others are for older/more mature audiences? (This was true of the third book of Vivaldi in the Dark too; I wondered a little how that works to not upset people who read YA, especially to avoid adult levels of explicitness/content, or feel like you are leading younger readers to adult materials.)

message 26: by Riina (last edited Jun 01, 2014 12:44AM) (new)

Riina Y.T. (ibxxxriina) | 469 comments I like that concept. What time frame will you cover with all three books?

message 27: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments Although in the second book, the characters are 18, there is more sexually explicit content included. I think that One Voice could still qualify as YA, but I tend to keep my YA novels less explicit, and giving it a New Adult label does serve as a warning. We'll see what the publisher decides to do.

And the third book will be at the end of their college experience, so Riina, from beginning to end, the novels will cover five years- junior year in high school until senior year in college.

message 28: by Mia (new)

Mia Kerick | 76 comments Thanks everybody for an AWESOME discussion of Us Three!!

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