Maybe With a Chance of Certainty (Tales from Foster High #1)
Dreamspinner Press, October 19, 2011
Links: Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here
Kyle has worked hard at being the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad is the baseball star at Foster High. Both boys are damaged in ways that the rest of the world can’t see. When they bond over a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks that maybe his life has taken a turn for the not-so-lonely.
He finds out quickly that the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you’re gay and falling for one of the most popular boys in school, and if being different is a sin in high school, then being gay is the biggest sin of all. Now Kyle and Brad need to come to an understanding amidst the scrutiny of their peers or their fledgling relationship will crash and burn before it ever gets off the ground.
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, First love, High School, Jocks, Nerds, Life, Abuse
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 1.5 out of 3
Reviewed by Lis:
The short story Maybe With a Chance of Certainty was previously released as part of an anthology. This edition is an extended version of that story. I haven’t read it before but I liked the backblurb because as a rule I like first love stories, though not necessarily in a High School setting (all that teenage angst…).
I was pleasantly surprised by this story. It’s a character driven story that gives much insight into the main character Kyle. His thought process and how he sees the world around him – which is quite jaded, I might add. Kyle is a child of circumstance. Growing up poor, without a father and an abusive and alcoholic mother, he has no one he trusts and no one he lets in close. He keeps to himself and it isn’t until he’s approached by star jock Brad that things start to change.
Suddenly Kyle’s life is uprooted. He finds himself dealing with his sexuality, a possible first crush, bullying and coming to terms with who and what he is.
For such a short story, these themes were well explored. Some of them resolved, others not. As I said this is very much a character driven story and I found it to be more about Kyle than it was about Brad or Kyle and Brad together. The scenes between Kyle and Brad are brief and we read more about Kyle’s thoughts than the situation at hand. The only insight into Brad’s character is from Kyle’s point of view.
As a result we have a biased view of Brad. We know his home situation is not as well as his star jockey life lets everyone belief, but we never really get to see the real Brad or his motives, though it is implicitly understood that he is very much rooted in the back of the closet and that drives his actions.
What I really liked about this story is that Kyle is not one to be messed with. He may not stand up for himself all the time, but when push comes to shove, he doesn’t take shit from no one, not even Brad.
Kyle is just one of those kids you want to hug and keep safe from the world. His conversation with the principal was just so jaded that I wanted to shake the man and tell him to help Kyle. Alas, we can’t step into a story. If only.
So, to wrap it up Maybe With a Chance of Certainty is a nice start of a series with some insightful and realistic views on High School and life. This is not a sweet, romantic story, but neither is it dark or depressing. It’s just very real and a nice change of pace to read.