Date Me, Bryson Keller
Kevin Van Whye
Bryson’s got a dare going – he has to date the first person to ask him out on a Monday morning. Kai has a secret – he’s gay, and perhaps a nice guy will notice him eventually. When Kai basically blurts out that Bryson should date him for a week, he doesn’t actually know what the week will have in store.
This came in the door, I read it right there and then, and then failed to review it. What can I say, COVID-19 has been sapping my energy because I spend way too much time in front of a screen. This is a heartfelt romance that starts out just as I would expect it to. Gay boy falls for straight boy, but there’s no gay baiting! Beautiful.
Kai is such an empathetic individual that it almost made me cry at times. I couldn’t bear it when he was hurt! And Bryson goes from a popular kid on a pedestal to being, well, human. Both are full realised characters that I enjoyed reading about.
I also really liked the cover. Mine was an ARC so it didn’t exactly match the one here, but it was cute. Oh, and did I mention that the Penguin on the spine (because it’s published by Penguin Random House) has a rainbow background? It would be easy to browse a (physical) bookshop and find a Queer novel that’s suitable for a young person in your life.
This novel is a cute love story that still manages to cover queer-phobia and coming out without being trite. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a teenage read, gay or straight. If you are looking for a gay novel that is a little more racey, try Jack of Hearts or CAMP. Oh! Or The Gravity of Us. There are some really excellent novels out there at the moment.
My only hope is that this book doesn’t trick young queer people into thinking that they can bring people over to being queer! But then, I imagine that they are already sick of reading straight romances where the queer person is the best-friend/side-kick/support-person. I had to resist rereading this again when I was going to review it, so it’s 5 stars from me.
Penguin Random House | 2nd July 2020 | AU$15.99 | paperback