Sunday, May 17, 2020

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


Date Me, Bryson Keller
By: Kevin van Whye
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
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Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com!

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.

 

My Thoughts:

Date Me, Bryson Keller was such a sweet and cute love story, and while I expected this, it also delivered a depth to it that gave me so much more!  Bryson Keller appears to be the stereotypical wealthy, and popular sports star. At Fairvale Academy, all the girls fawn over him, and all of the guys want to be his friend. 

While at a classmate's party, Bryson accepts a dare.  He will date the first person to ask him out at the beginning of each week for five days.  This dare will span for three months, and if at any time Bryson doesn't get asked out or gets tired of dating, he loses the bet.  The price of losing is having to forsake his beloved white jeep, and instead riding the school bus for the rest of senior year.

Kai Sheridan has known he was gay for several years, but has been in the closet.  He's not popular like his best friends Donnie and Priya, but prefers to stay under the radar of his classmates.  On a whim, Kai asks Bryson out, and thus begins an adventure in to self- discovery, friendship, romance, heartache, and best of all, love...

I adore the fake relationship trope, and was so excited for Kai to have the chance to experience a fake boyfriend/undercover relationship.  It was obvious from the beginning that there was so much more to Bryson than Kai had originally thought.  As Kai learned more about the many layers that made up Bryson, I fell in love with him, right alongside Kai.  Bryson was very thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and governed his life by a strong sense of fairness.  The strong friendship that Bryson and Kai developed had me excited and giddy, as I saw it begin to bloom into more!

Kai was trying to figure out who he was as a person.  He was of mixed ethnicity, as well as being closeted, which lead to his inner struggle.  Bryson made him stronger, and braver.  He helped Kai find his voice, and the both of them were a strong sense of support for one another.  The secondary cast of characters were fantastic. I loved Kai's best friends, as well as Bryson and Kai's families.  However, my favorite secondary character was Kai's 13 year old sister, who was like a little mini grown-up. She managed to deliver pep talks, life lessons, and sass, at times when it was needed most!  I loved this little girl's spirit, and sense of self.

I could tell that Date Me, Bryson Keller was an #ownvoices story.  It came through as being sincere and authentic.  This story tugged on my heartstrings, and more than a few times, my husband wanted to know why I was crying.  It was such a beautiful story, and I can't recommend it enough.  The story balanced out the adorable, sweet and swoon-worthy moments, with the challenges, emotional pain, character growth, and life lessons.  If you are looking for your next good read, look no further!






About the Author:

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. 





26 comments:

  1. I have a weakness for the fake dating trope and Kai and Bryson sound like a couple I would certainly root for! Great review.

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  2. Glad you had a good time with this one. Great review.

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  3. What a sweet sounding book. I am glad that you enjoyed this!

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  4. This one sounds all kinds of adorable. I love that it's sweet and fun but also manages to have an emotional impact. I definitely want to pick this one up!

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  5. Awe sometimes you just need a sweet romance. glad you liked it Lindy

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  6. wonderful review. i usually like some murder or horror with my romance, but you make this sound too good to miss
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  7. I was offered this one, but could just not fit it in. It sounds not only adorable, but heartwarming. Library wish list! :)

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    1. Yeah! I love getting wish list books from the library! It's always a fun surprise when they have the book you want :)

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  8. Kai's sister owned me. She was so fabulous, and I want her to have her own book.

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    1. I agree Sam! She would be spectacular in her own book :)

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  9. I love it when a sweet, swoony romance also packs an emotional punch. In a good way, of course. Glad to hear you loved it! Fab review, Lindy! :)

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  10. The fake dating trope gets me every single time. I definitely need this book in my life!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Yes, I'm a huge fan of the fake dating trope!

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  11. I love this trope and it sounds like this had some nice depth and growth. Great review!

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  12. This sounds like a really cute read for the summer! Glad to see that you enjoyed it. And happy belated birthday!!!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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