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The Bravest Thing


4.19  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  111 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
Paperback, 228 pages
Published April 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Buddy reread with Ele, Jan and Moony. 😍💞 Thanks for the awesome time.

Bumping my rating to 5 stars.. I loved it even more.

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.

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
☆ Todd
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 n
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
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, lgbtq, ku
BR with, Ele, Moony and Shile. Dec2019 Thank you, my lovelies!! 💖
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. For that, I feel that I need to change my rate to 5 Stars.


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

It evoked in me a blast of feels! Sadness, impotence and rage consumed me. There were ugly moments and one in particular where I thought I wasn't strong enough to read it and almost skimmed
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
Moony Eliver
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished my second read, and although I see where I was coming from with my original review, I appreciated this book even more this time. I was initially pretty hard on Berlin's characterization, and I felt better about him on my reread. I loved this book, and the one that comes before it, and I need more. Amen.

Shout-out to my BR partners! Much love. Ele 🖤 Jan 🖤 Shile


Why is it that the best books are the hardest to review? Give me a book I hated, and the diatribe flows ou
h o l l i s
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
4.5 stars

I’m afraid of saying it out loud and ruining it, but I think I might have found a keeper with this author. Two great books out of two seems like a very good sign and if you consider that they’re both YA, it’s pretty much a miracle.

It’s difficult for me to review The Bravest Thing without taking into consideration Hiroku, I really can’t say if this book would have worked as well for me if I hadn’t already read the prequel (which was written second, but it’s best read first, in my opinio

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.
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
This is my second outing with Laura Lascarso and with her character Hiroku. I'm not mad, and I'm sure I'll be up for more from this author, but here's the thing ...

Though this book was published first it's sort of sequel to Hiroku, so at the urging of friends and because I'm absolute slave to chronological order I read in order of events. I'm glad I did. In Hiroku the voice of the character was so all consuming & convincing that I read it in a fugue-like state. I forgot that, given the age of t
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
Xia Xia
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
True Loveislovereview
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  ·  review of another edition
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 my
Sam (AMNReader)
I enjoyed reading this, but it also is not exactly for me. Berlin is a super sweet hero, and ultimately lovely partner to Hiro, but he's a little too perfect. (Though I have issues with, like, everyone in this book). There was an on-page, horrific act of hate, which made me weak and sick to my toes. There's more acts of abuse-and I guess I'm an idiot because I thought this book had enough going on without that particular bit.

But one of the number one things I hated? Internalized homophobia from
Brutal. Honest. Painful. Beautiful.

Those are my main thoughts about this story. Angsty stories were always my thing, in books but also in real life. There’s only one rule— HE. The story ends with hopeful feelings, but the journey was almost too hard for me.

Is that what happens out there in the real world? This is how homophobia looks like? Those are the questions I’m asking myself while reading this. I hope not. I mostly afraid it is. Innocent me, huh?

I’m not gonna say anything about the story
Jun 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Laura Lascarso’s writing is phenomenal. It just draws you in. This one didn’t pack in as much of a punch as the prequel did, but I appreciate that. All the gut wrenching emotion I felt in the first one couldn’t and shouldn’t be replicated. I liked Hiroku’s character development. I was all for him. The other characters also had a certain feel to them, which made them oh so realistic.
The fact that the author did proper research and nothing felt showy or ignorant, makes the whole series a win-win f
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
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lgbtq
4.5 stars

This book was pretty intense, but beautiful at the same time.
I loved both MCs, especially Hiro. Such a unique character! I could definitely read more about him.

I also wouldn't mind learning more about Seth. I found him quite intriguing.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Hiro and his cowboy...

Being a gay teen in a small town is not easy especially when you're on the football team and no on knows. For Berlin being in the closet is his way of surviving as long as he doesn't rock the boat or let his secret out it should be fine. It is fine until Hiro arrives to his school and the world Berlin Webber once knew shatters.

This story is not an easy one to read. It has bullying, drug abuse and physical abuse. Not my usual cup of tea but well worth the read.
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! ...more
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

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.
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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 Avatar: The Last Airbender, and trying to convince politicians to act on climate change. She l

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Hiroku (2 books)
  • Hiroku

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