Title: There Has to Be a Reason
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Genre(s): New Adult Romance
Page Count: 206
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Dave is enjoying his junior year at a big New England university, even if none of his relationships have been especially satisfying. He plans to hang around with his best friend Joe and focus on his studies until he graduates, and then he’ll figure out the rest.
Meeting Noel changes his plans.
Noel is strikingly beautiful and unlike anyone Dave knows. Something about Noel draws Dave to him—an attraction Dave doesn’t feel ready to label. And even if he was, why would Noel be interested in Dave? And what about Joe? He hates Noel and everything he represents, and he might hate Dave if he finds out about Dave’s secret desires. So Dave will have to keep those feelings hidden—along with his relationship with Noel.
But Noel has fought too hard for his identity to be Dave’s dirty secret. Will Dave tell the truth and risk the life he’s always known… or live a lie and risk losing the love of his life?
The spring of Dave’s junior year at WMU (Western Massachusetts University) is a perfect storm of sorts. Dave’s been dating cute perky Britney for a few weeks, but isn’t really feeling it. Then he runs into a guy crying in the bathroom and the first thought that crosses his mind is God, he’s pretty. And when Dave is assigned a coming-of-age book in his English class, it calls to something inside himself he has kept buried down deep:
I put the book down and thought about Jerry’s [the author] revelation, the moment when something he’d never even spared a thought for suddenly became not only a possibility but what he wanted most in the world. […] Jerry wanted men, was drawn to them, and attracted to them […] reading the scene, all I could think about was Noel.
What follows is a touching story as Dave comes to terms with his bisexuality and enters into a relationship with Noel. But Dave is terrified to come out to his family and friends and Noel will not be Dave’s secret. “I believe you when you say this is not just a phase, that you like me enough to get invested in a relationship, but I can’t just keep going as we have been. Something has to change if we’re ever going to move forward. But if you plan to keep me quiet forever, I can’t do it. I can’t. It hurts too much.”
McMurray writes beautifully about Dave’s slow steady realization he is queer and as he agonizes over coming out, but I was really surprised to learn that the book only had 206 pages – it seemed much longer. I disliked Dave’s Big Misunderstanding regarding his BF / roommate Joe and his reaction. Dave stresses over this and similar issues for great chunks for the book and I wanted him to just USE YOUR WORDS and honestly communicate. But the heartfelt ending really pulled the book together and I loved the epilogue.
I encourage you to give this a read … just stick with it in the middle! There Has to Be a Reason is definitely worth it and I give it 4 stars.