Reviews

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you Random House Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right? Kevin van Whye delivers an uplifting and poignant coming-out love story that will have readers rooting for these two teens to share their hearts with the world–and with each other.

I hadn’t seen this book at all until my friend (Cody is awesome) showed it to me. Just from the, this book seemed like something I wanted to read. It’s very obviously queer, which is amazing. Plus, it looks absolutely freaking adorable. A boy joins in a dare, asking out a super popular boy. Kai is closeted and he thinks Bryson is straight. The relationship only lasts five days, but Kai is starting to fall for Bryson. It sounds incredible and I’m so happy I got the chance to read it. Trigger warnings: homophobia, forced outing

I really enjoyed this one. It’s cute and fluffy, but it’s also very real and raw in conversations about sexuality and identity. It’s simple in a way. It’s very straightforward in its plot and it sticks just to that. It works for this book.

The relationship was something I really, really liked. It was seriously so cute. It takes all the cuteness from the cover and amps it up a bit, if that’s even possible. It’s about two boys falling in love. They become friends and their relationships progresses from there. It takes place over a short period of time, but it didn’t feel rushed. It developed at a great place and I loved seeing their bond form. Plus, they are seriously adorable together.

I also really liked the hard instances in this book too. It shows the real reality that queer people still have to face, of why the closet exists, of homophobia that exists, and how acceptance is sometimes out of reach. There is a forced outing and there is homophobia and there are emotional scenes regarding coming out. Though, with these things, there is a lot of love.

Kai has a younger sister, Yazz, and she was one of the best characters. She’s thirteen, but she acts like a middle aged women sometimes. It was great. She was hilarious, but she was also a really great sister.

Kai’s family was complicated and imperfect. I liked that part of them, even though it was hard to read some scenes.

I also really liked Kai’s friends! They were so supportive and I loved them so much.

There were a few things that I didn’t love. It felt like there was a lot of filler in the writing, like some things were described too much. It wasn’t too noticeable, but it was still something I saw from time to time. There was also a few plotpoints that I felt didn’t quite go anywhere and I would have liked a bit more of. I would have liked to see more of Kai’s play and I would have liked for his friends to be a bigger part of the book.

Still, I really liked this book. I wouldn’t call it a straight romcom or just a fluffy book, since there are some things that are heavier. They go hand in hand and they create a really great book. The relationship is adorable, there are great, hard conversations, and there were some amazing characters. I really did like it.

Date Me, Bryson Keller comes out May 19, 2020! You can add it on Goodreads or pre-order in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!

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