Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ARC Review: Here Without You (One Voice #2) by Mia Kerick

Here Without You (One Voice, #2)Blurb:
With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as what he wants battles against what he feels he must do.
Separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. But they are faced with separate issues. Casey copes with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. And Nate fights for his sister’s survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally.
Nate’s effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which threatens to blast their relationship apart before they can adjust to the changes in their lives. They must find their way back to a united path before it's too late.

Todd's rating:

I must say that I found book 2 of this MMM YA read every bit as enthralling as the first book in the series. I didn't want to put it down. And I REALLY didn't want to see the book end.

In the follow-up book to "Us Three", Casey and Zander are attending college in Boston, 2 hours South of their hometown in New Hampshire. Without Nate.

As much as Nate desperately wanted to accompany the two halves of his heart, he couldn't leave his 14 year old sister, Cindy, alone with their drunk, abusive and violent Uncle Rich, so he stays behind to protect her.

Right off the bat, a lot of this angsty story was very difficult to read.
Zander’ll be a kick-ass guidance counselor. Casey’ll be a top-notch doc.
I’ll be a dumbass gas station attendant. A fuel pumper.
And just sayin’, I know them two love me. I know I love them two.
There are as many weekend trips to Boston to be with his guys as Nate can manage, limited by finding places for Cindy to stay while he's out of town. Someplace safe, where Uncle Rich can't get his hands on (the eternally-annoying, ever-bratty and unendingly-selfish) Cindy.

Although everything works out well for a time, everything seriously goes to hell one weekend when Cindy returns home before Nate gets back from a 3-day trip to visit Casey and Zander.

Nate's guilt and insecurities are overwhelming and he feels that he doesn't deserve Casey and Zander, so he disappears entirely from their lives, which was just heartbreaking.
“Them two, not me. Them two, not me.”
The angst from that point on is palpable and your heart will break while Casey and Zander try to keep their own hearts from shattering, while trying to get Nate back and put his broken soul together again.
I miss Cindy’s whinin’.
Miss my guys.
Miss Casey’s soft sweetness.
Miss Zander’s
I’m-so-cool swagger.
Gonna go to sleep now.
If luck is with me, I won’t wake up.
This was *not* an easy book to read, but I really enjoyed the story of holding together a long-distance relationship that you know is just forever-and-ever right and putting in the hours to hold it together through the hard times.

But all things considered, I really loved getting this next chapter in the lives of "Us Three" and pray (please, please, please) that we'll see more books in the series.

We've now seen Casey's life fell apart, then Nate's, so my guess would be a book 3 where Zander struggling would be next.

4 1/2 *awesome-angsty* stars.

My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for a fair, unbiased review.

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