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Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye ~ Book Review


Photograph of the book Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye on a bookshelf. The cover is bright yellow with white and blue lettering and features two boys in school uniforms side by side. One boy is tall and pale skinned and is straightening his tie, the other is brown skinned and resting his head on the other boy's shoulder. A rainbow stands on the bookshelf beside the book, along with some shiny pebbles and a Come Out For LGBT pin-badge.

Blurb:

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?

What I Thought:

This was a warm hug in a book. It reminded me of all the feel-good 90s rom-coms – with fun characters, laugh-out loud mishaps, cliff-hanger will-they-won’t-they moments, and the happy ending you’ve been rooting for from the moment you met the main character.

It wasn’t entirely silly fluff, though. It also handled the less pleasant side of being outed as gay in high school – but a thing I loved was the reactions of other characters in the book, because there was a very human spread. Some people were like ‘well yeah, we knew you were gay but didn’t want to say anything until you felt comfortable enough to tell us’, others were vile and called him names or refused to talk to him all of a sudden, others had knee-jerk reactions of negativity but accepted things with time, and yet others tried to be supportive but cluelessly.

It’s the first time I’ve read a book where it wasn’t just a 50/50ish split of ‘oh that’s cool’ and ‘ewww dirty gay’ and it made the whole thing feel much more relatable and honest.

If you want an adorable romance that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy, this is the book for you.

My Rating: 5/5*

About The Author (taken from GoodReads):

Photograph of Kevin Van Whye, a young, mixed-race man with a bald head and neatly trimmed beard. He is wearing a black jacket and stands before a black background.

Kevin van Whye is a writer born and raised in South Africa, where his love for storytelling started at a young age. At four years old, he quit preschool because his teacher couldn’t tell a story. Kevin’s love affair with stories led him to film school to study script writing. Kevin currently lives in Johannesburg. 

3 thoughts on “Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye ~ Book Review

  1. I think I’m going to get this book for my daughter (and for me too!). I liked the sound of it on your round-up post, so it’s good to read a more in-depth review of it.

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