It Could Happen, by Mia Kerick
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 5, 2017
Three misfits, mismatched in every way—Henry Perkins, Brody Decker, and Danny Denisco—have been friends throughout high school. Now in their senior year, the boys realize their relationship is changing, that they’re falling in love. But they face opposition at every turn—from outside and from within themselves. Moving to the next level will take all the courage, understanding, and commitment they can muster. But it could happen.
Henry is a star athlete and the son of religious parents who have little concern for the future he wants. Brody is a quirky dreamer and adrenaline junkie, and Danny is an emo artist and the target of bullies. Despite their differences, they’ve always had each other’s backs, and with each of them facing a new and unique set of challenges, that support is more important than ever. Is it worth risking the friendship they all depend on for the physical and romantic relationship they all desire?
In this unconventional new adult romance, three gay teens brave societal backlash—as well as the chance that they might lose their treasured friendship—to embark on a committed polyamorous relationship.
Friends to Lovers
This book… I’m not going to lie, rating it was hard. I read it a week ago and finally settled into a three star rating. What it came down to was, while I thought the likelihood of the three boys starting a relationship their senior year of high school and it surviving all the obstacles they ran into was unlikely, I really liked the boys. I could at least see how the three might try.
When the book initially starts we are introduced to Henry Perkins, Brody Decker, and Danny Denisco, which from the start, even as friends, it seemed like an odd threesome. Henry is one of two black seniors, a track star and son of EXTREMELY religious parents. Danny is the only out kid in his high school, the son of an alcoholic mother, poor and apparently a goth beauty with a sarcastic attitude who wore black leggings & tunics while dating mostly older guys. Brody was the last of six children being raised by rich retired parents who appeared to be mostly hands-off or checked-out. Brody was an adrenaline junkie from what I could tell, friendly and a bit hyper.
Through a series of events, the boys find themselves embarking on a less platonic path after Danny’s boyfriend roughs him up. Danny’s boyfriend basically tries to bully him into not being friends with Brody and Henry, isolating him from his friends, and then becomes physical. Danny admits that he would rather put up with lying, cheating, abusive boyfriends than be alone. I think this was something that made me believe he would be willing to engage in a threesome at his age; two boyfriends were definitely better than one. Danny is gay from the start, out and proud. I liked how his character was portrayed.
Henry… there were things that made sense to me about Henry and things that I think weren’t fully developed. I think it’s hard to write a black male without being a black male. We end up finding out Henry is gay. Obviously there is a religious reason he can’t come out; his parents are beyond strict. The author barely touches on the reasons for an athlete determined to get a college scholarship to not come out. Even if it was track, I’m assuming that sport is no different, and being gay may make things harder. Where I think Henry was a fail to me was there is nothing said about the backlash that Henry would face as a black man being gay. I’m black, I’m pansexual, I have a gay uncle and… while my family is open for the most part, many of them still believe black people just aren’t gay. They accept us while also kind of… consider us a defect… cause black people aren’t queer. For the bulk of the book Henry just didn’t feel black to me.
Brody… I liked him while also finding him beyond annoying. I want to say that the author tried alluding to the fact that Brody may have been pansexual. My issue is it was never explicitly said. He doesn’t even come to the conclusion that he’s bisexual or demisexual, which I can understand since he’s barely 18 and living in a place where sexuality appears to not be discussed, but ugh. I was annoyed. Brody ends up going into the relationship more so wanting to protect Danny in my opinion. I do think Brody is looking to belong. He does have issues; basically I think our rational is supposed to be that while his parents are good people, them being so hands-off has caused Brody to have intimacy issues while also desiring companionship.
My last thoughts on the book is that while it does end with as much of a HEA as you can when writing about three 18 year olds, it felt unfinished to me. When the book wraps up the boys have graduated high school and are off to the same college. If ever there was a book that deserved a sequel, this would be the one I’d vote for.
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.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.