C.G. Drews's Reviews > Date Me, Bryson Keller

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye
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bookshelves: contemporary, young-adult, ya-male-narrators, read-2020

This book just asked you on a date for soft warm cinnamon waffles and told you that you're doing your best. 🥺 It's a soft one, peoples!! It's got: fake-dating, sexuality questioning, coming out when your family is religious, being mixed-race in a mostly-white highschool, and all the super cuuuute dating tropes your heart could want. Kai is the most adorable blushing disaster gay who spends like 10mins looking at a text with a kissy emoji from his crush and being like "THAT WAS PROBABLY AN ACCIDENT DOES HE LIKE ME???"

I definitely call this a cute feel-good contemporary, but it's not all perfect and easy going. The ending tackled some deep harshness but it leaves such messages of love and hope.

Did I mention it has FAKE DATING!??! Bryson Keller (loveable golden retriever style popular soccer player) agrees to a dare where he dates someone new each week for 3 months. But other people have to ask HIM. It's all superficial and fun and the highschool is in on the game...until Kai Sheridan (resident awkward writer) gets annoyed and asks Bryson Keller to date him. This is complicated because Kai is closeted. But, for some unknown reason, Bryson says yes. And look, we know up front our son Bryson cannot be super straight (he's like the DREAM kind sweet boy too by the way; your new fave unproblematic white boy) and I so appreciated the unpaking of "not knowing". Some people just don't know or think to question their sexuality, so I appreciated how the book tackled this.

I also hear people say they've "read enough coming out stories", but it's a conversation that still needs to be said and there are still so many versions to tell. Kai is mixed race (South African dad and Caucasian mother) and they are also heavily religious. My heart wrenched for Kai as he wondered if he could tell his happy-easy-going-jokey parents this deep and pure truth of himself.

You can also see how deeply #ownvoices this is with all the love and aching on the page (the author's note in the ARC is amazing; about how he wrote this to encourage teens and to inspire more POC and queer authors to tell their stories).

There's also several times in the book where someone talks about how unfair it is that gay teens can be outed, or treated badly, or rejected, or abused. "I can't believe it's still happening!" they say. Which is, you know, super privileged to even utter. It does happen still, all the time. The anxiety that queer teens face every single day is represented so palpably in this book; it IS unfair and ridiculous, but it's not a thing of the past.

One thing I would've liked to see, though, is a bit more flow to the dialogue, and while I think romcoms are cute, I personally prefer a little more plot?

Super cute, feelsy and loveable -- this is the kind of #ownvoices queer romcom that you need to try! It will definitely make you smile and your heart just go sQUisH.
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Reading Progress

November 1, 2019 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
November 1, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read (Kindle Edition)
May 5, 2020 – Started Reading
May 5, 2020 – Shelved
May 5, 2020 – Shelved as: contemporary
May 5, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 5, 2020 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
May 5, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
May 5, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Yuli Atta Just finished it and I absolutely loved it. How do I even review it? 😭❤️

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