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The Bravest Thing

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  78 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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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  ·  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 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
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.
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.
Moony Eliver
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, y-a, romance, 2018, lgbtqia
3.75 stars. 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 discussi
Gabriella (Gabi)
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, m-m, 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  ·  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 myself. And if y
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Me ha gustado mucho. La trama no es nada que no hayamos visto antes en el YA pero está muy bien escrito. A Hiroku y a Berlin los entiendes y los sientes cercanos. En general una lectura muy agradable.
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
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
3,5 básicamente porque hay partes que no me han convencido y otras que me han gustado muchísimo, pierde gas hacia el final, una pena porque toca temas muy interesantes.

Cuando lo empecé parecía que iba a ser otro tipo de historia, más ligera, de hecho me costó enganchar, lo tuve en parón una semana y ayer lo retomé. Hacia el 50% te da un mazazo tremendo y te gira las tripas del revés uf, qué mal rato pasé, una pena que como digo, se desinfle y que Berlin quede en un segundo plano, Hiro sufre, sí,
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
Elsa Bravante
Una sorpresa muy agradable, no conocía a la autora y me ha gustado mucho, estaré pendiente de ella.

Hiro, de ascendencia japonesa, con su media cabeza rapada, sus pierciengs y su eyeliner aparece el primer día en un instituto de una ciudad perdida de Texas y la vida de Berlin, futbolista y que lleva su homosexualidad en secreto, cambia para siempre.

Para mi hay dos partes diferenciadas en la historia. En la primera parte vemos como se conocen los MCs y establecen una relación, se conocen mutuament
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo que confesar que lo dejé reposar al 35% porque para mi gusto, la historia venía serpenteando entre lo simple y lo trillado. Por suerte leí que a partir del 50% la cosa mejoraba, mejor dicho empeoraba, pero con estilo y la verdad que sí, una valiosa sorpresa encontrar un libro con tanta carga emocional y tanto conflicto bien narrado y bien encarado. Así es, para las que buscan una historia conmovedora, The Bravest Thing, es el libro indicado.
“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.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
Si este libro hubiese seguido la misma tónica del primer 40% mi opinión final sería muy distinta. No lo habría odiado ni mucho menos, porque está bien escrito y la pareja es genial, pero no habría sido muy distinto de otros libros sobre jóvenes que se enamoran en un entorno hostil. Pero es a partir de cierto momento donde hay un giro bastante oscurillo y la autora también tiene sus pasajes para denunciar en boca de sus personajes la homofobia, el bullying y lo peligroso de las relaciones abusiva ...more
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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