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The Bravest Thing

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  284 ratings  ·  86 reviews
High school junior Berlin Webber is about to reap the fruits of his hard work and land a football scholarship—if he can keep his sexuality a secret from his best friend, Trent, and their homophobic coach. Then Hiroku Hayashi swerves into the high school parking lot on his tricked-out motorcycle like some sexy comic book villain, and Berlin knows he doesn’t stand a chance. ...more
ebook, 228 pages
Published April 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  284 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judith by: Jan
4.5 Stars.

Just Brilliant.I honestly don't know why I waited so long to read this,I read this in one was captivating.The writing sucked me in from the first page.

The story of Berlin and Hiro...two high school students who couldn't be more different ....

Yes,it's YA which definitely isn't my thing but it most definitely doesn't read like one.

Berlin is an all American boy.Blonde,gorgeous working towards his football scholarship.He's gay but knows he must hide it if he wants to achieve
4.5 stars

Four days later and i still have no words to describe this book. I loved Hiroku and was still hangover when coming into this one.

This book gutted me, the extreme homophobia got to me. Ugh! then they go to church every Sunday to justify their bigotry using the Bible.


The writing is stellar as always.

I loved Hiroku.

I loved Berlin, he was so good for Hiroku.

I disliked Hiroku's choices.

I hated Seth in this book, hated Trent, hated almost everyone.



Overall it was a wonderful rea
☆ Todd
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Holy crap. This story was about the furthest thing from an easy read as I've tacked in a while. So if you're looking for angsty, step right up, folks.

After a drug overdose and a stint in rehab, followed by his family moving from Austin to rural Texas, Hiro had (at least momentarily) escaped his abusive, controlling, older, ex-boyfriend, Seth.

Only to begin his Junior year of high school and immediately pop up on the singularly-focused radar of the bullying, homophobic quarterback of the new sch
Review updated 24/Jun/17

It's been a few days since I finished this and yet I can't seem to let this go. The story is still with me. The author created such unique and beautiful characters. They keep popping in my mind from nowhere. For that, I feel that I need to change my rate to 5 Stars. It's more than fair.

5 Remarkable Stars


The Bravest Thing was a damn hard pill to swallow, a heartwrenching story.

It evoked in me a
June 6, 2018 : amazon 0.99$ sale alert! get this one before the prequel drops.

I've rated this an A for AAR which is equal to 4.75 stars.

I don't know who put The Bravest Thing on my radar but whoever it was, please feel free to find me and collect a reward for a job well done.

Laura Lascarso is a new-to-me author, one I'm sorry to say I hadn't even heard of before picking up this book, but I knew by the opening chapter (truthfully, the very first page) that it was going to be something sp
Quite frankly this is gonna be a grumpy review and a dissenting opinion, so maybe just chuck this one up to me being difficult?!?
Because JEEBUS ROLLERBLADING CHRIST what a weird book and what a ridiculous 'ending'...

First of all: Hiro and Berlin are teenagers, but at times their 'voices' read like grown adults, and it sort of threw me off again and again.
When Hiro (towards the end) mentions he's 17, I am sitting there gobsmacked, clutching my imaginary pearls and judging small-town-America, as

The Bravest Thing by Laura Lascarso took me completely by surprise. I devoured this book! Once I started, it was unputdownable, and I read it one sitting. I became in engrossed in this touching story of two high school students living in small town America. Berlin was born and raised in this little Texas town and knows that to get a football scholarship, he must hide his sexuality. Hiro was forced to move because his parents felt it'd be a new beginning for him and will keep him away from the ba
Rachel Reads Ravenously
A nice read but not really original. Loved the first half but the second was meh for me so rounded out to 3 stars.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ele by: Jan
Shelves: ya-na

This has been sitting in my kindle for a while. It was totally depressing but I'm glad I read it. Will be reading more by this author.

I wish Hiro has seeked out more professional help for his issues, though...

Also, let Trent and Seth burn in the pit of hell.
Moony Eliver
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a, m-m, 2018, lgbtqia
Why is it that the best books are the hardest to review? Give me a book I hated, and the diatribe flows out of my fingers without effort. But when it's amazing, sometimes I just don’t have words to do it justice.

Hiroku was one of those perfect books for me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel any closer to being able to verbalize my thoughts and feelings about it. Maybe after my next time through.

But yes, I haven’t forgotten that this review is about The Bravest Thing. :)

A lot of discussion has happe
Wow. This is an intense and traumatic story about Hiro and Berlin - teenagers in a small football-is-God town, and being gay is a sin that can be prayed away. I hurt so much for Berlin and Hiro. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, and I knew that things between Hiro and Berlin would suffer. But I still wasn't prepared for how bad things would be, or what Hiro would do in the aftermath (view spoiler).

I highly recommend this story and give it 4.25 star
When I finished Hiroku I was convinced I should've read this book first, but now I'm glad listened to others, because this was the right order for me after all.

Hiroku's relationship with Berlin wasn't as explosive as with Seth. And I think that's exactly what he needed. He had enough intense shit going on with Seth, and after that disaster he needed someone who didn't rule over his life. Berlin was perfect in that regard.

However, living in a bigoted small town in Texas is not a fairy tale for g
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, 2017, 5plus2017-read
5++ read - Hiroku and Berlin
A delicate Japanese and a bulk from Texas

I didn't know what to expect from this title I just wanted to read the new one from Laura Lascarso her mind. While writing this review I had goosebumps and my eyes blurred.
This amazing good read.

Being addicted is hard to deal with. And Hiro's reflections are so real, raw and honest. So determined but so undermined by his own fears and his fragile state of mind.
But he is strong, getting stronger, much stronger th
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Elsbeth by: Katerina
*4.5 stars*

Brilliant!! Loved this.

This book is still working through me. Some books will do that to me. They'll keep me thinking about it. So as a review I'll just leave some amazing quotes here;

Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is be honest with yourself about who you are and who you love.


Sometimes some people are bad for us. And Seth was toxic for Hiroku.

"There’s no air in the room when you’re around, no space in my mind for my own thoughts or will. You make me hate myself. And if y
Xia Xia Lake
Welcome to Hillbily Hell, where the gays are so far in the closet they practically reached Narnia.


I am officially obsessed with Hiroku and Seth (and Berlin but he was more of a balm to Seth's scorching fire). I sat on this review for 3 days just to test if the obsession will fizz away. But 3 days and two other very good books later, they are still there with me and I can't seem to let them go.

So whenever a book makes me so obsessive with the characters it gets a 5+++ from me.

There is a discussi
Lovely, brutal and hopeful. This is the sequel to Hiroku, although this was written first.

I loved being able to follow Hiroku’s story to his HFN, because if anyone deserves one, it’s him.

Fresh out of rehab, Hiroku’s parents have moved to a new town on the outskirts of Austin to make a fresh start and remove Hiroku from temptation.

His new town is small and homophobic, and his presence and actions stir up angry tensions at school to disastrous results.

If you’ve read Hiroku, this is a must read. I
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you think you deserve.”

That was so good that I can't put it into words. And I'm not trying to do it.
It was perfect. And I love this book about everything.
I hope the paperback will arrive soon. The beautiful cover is indication enough that it is something very special.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always clung to the shadows. It feels like Berlin is trying to drag me, kicking and screaming, into the light. At any moment he might change his mind and
Pianka *call me PIU*
4.5 stars

I discovered Laura Lascarso last year when I read ‘Andre in Flight’. I simply fell for her writing. The story was unique, emotional and just beautiful all over. I was looking forward to her next work and ‘The Bravest Thing’ once again made me a fan.

This is not just a small-town story about ‘coming out’ or ‘fighting the odds’. It was so much more than that. It is gritty, dark, emotional and then finally hopeful and sweetly romantic with a perfect ending.

Berlin is a star-athlete of his hi
This book is powerful, profound and brilliant. Berlin ( struggling with his sexuality and an all American boy) and Hiro (exotic, and fragile) make for compelling MCs. It's an unforgettable story of love, addiction, weakness and redemption. Highly recommended!

4.5 stars

A wonderful read, I totally bought these guys, loved how they came to know and respect and help each other, loved the interracial relationship. Hiroku is an awesome character, tough, feisty, troubled, and sweet. The first-person dual POV also worked nicely with two distinct voices. I’ll definitely be looking for something else to read by this author.
4.5 wow filled stars!


As angsty as the first book I read by this author could get at times, it had nothing on this. But not much can beat drug addiction in the angst department. I knew the bad shit was coming, because it says it in the blurb, but it was still hard to read.

Berlin Webber has lived in a small town just a little ways away from Austin, Texas his whole life. It might be close to a big city, but it is still a small town in Texas. There's no escaping the extremely religious, conservativ
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, favorites
4.5 stars
In this book the story continues where it ended in Hiroku. Hiroku changed environment to escape bad habits and destructive relationship with Seth. Here in new town he meets Berlin, but it's very hard to keep away from addictive things.
In this book author was more focused on addiction, not only drugs, but also addiction to certain relationship. How already abusive relationship escalates even more with drugs, where it's hard to find ability to escape this black vicious circle and stop wi
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

I loved this more in the first half. I think I just didn't like the way a few things went down in the second half but I suspect that this is just personal and most ya m/m readers will really enjoy this.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very emotional story and I think the characters were very easy to feel empathy for.
The portrayal of addiction wasn't simplistic and I think it was a good tactic to make this a HFN, the two protagonists are quite young to commit to ever after and it is implied they will need to mature more although one could see how it might be sooner than anything, considering the things they went through and how hard lessons/situations can help build up your character and your ability to face advers
Riina Y.T.
Oh wow. I just shed a tear as I reached the final sentence. That was one lovely journey! Still feeling a little emotional.

The cover made me think this would be an adult Romance with lots of horses and cowboys (which are not my favorite, but do enjoy occasionally) but turns out it's a high school (!!!!!) romance - Which happens to be just my favorite thing!!

Also, there's not a lot of horses involved. I loved the short scenes with them though.

The boys are 17 and there are a few explicit scenes, d
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance
This is one of the better gay teen romances that I've read. Set in a high school in a small Texas town there is a good bit of homophobia in the story and the accompanying bullying and even violence. It's not always easy to read (trigger warning) but it is a very compelling. I loved how Hiro and Berlin were always good to and for each other, even in the midst of some rough going. The fact that Hiro is Japanese offered some diversity to the story and was important to his character.

I loved the sto
Wendy Ann
I think I was expecting something a little less adult given the ages of the MCs in this story, but the issues they faced and their experiences were very adult in nature; they were also heartbreaking. Personally, I think that teens today face many more challenges growing up among peer pressure than years ago, so it’s hard to imagine how much more intense and scary it can be when you add in being gay or different in any way and trying to deal with that in a rural homophobic small town.

It seems li
4.5 stars from me. I loved this tale of young guys finding each other set against the worrying backdrop of a closed-minded and bigoted small Texan town, and the apparently perfectly acceptable bullying of suspected gay kids that went on at the high school. The jock/farm boy from Lowry, and the Japanese bad boy from Austin, Texas.

I did have a 'thing' with Berlin's first name I have to admit, Berlin Webber is such a mouthful, but he was such a lovely kid, kind, respectful and a church-going Chris
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok, I wasn't fair when I rated it.

True, I didn't like the writing much, or the "we get the love we think we deserve " borrowed quotes.

But the Author's note made me reconsider.
As it wasn't about the book, but about something very personal in regards to addiction.
Especially that one sentence that stuck in my mind- There Is No Rock Bottom when you're an addict.
I couldn't agree more. The worst and most painful part is when you hope this person will finally experience something that will get the
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Laura Lascarso wants you to stay up way past your bedtime reading her stories. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of storytelling to heal and transform a society.

When not writing, Laura can be found screaming “finish” on the soccer fields, rewatching Veronica Mars, and trying to convince politicians that climate change is real. She lives in No
“Faith isn’t like a rule book. Just because one small piece of it isn’t working doesn’t mean you throw the whole thing out the window.” 0 likes
“I’m not much into evangelizing—I think people have to come to God in their own good time—but I hope that whatever Hiro believes, it offers him a sense of peace and connectedness. The world can be a lonesome place, especially when it feels like you’re only living for yourself.” 0 likes
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