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Date Me, Bryson Keller

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What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com! Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never re What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com! Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. Kai Sheridan didn't expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there's more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he's awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this "relationship" will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right? Kevin van Whye delivers an uplifting and poignant coming-out love story that will have readers rooting for these two teens to share their hearts with the world--and with each other.


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What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com! Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never re What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a '90s rom-com! Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new--the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. Kai Sheridan didn't expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there's more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he's awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this "relationship" will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right? Kevin van Whye delivers an uplifting and poignant coming-out love story that will have readers rooting for these two teens to share their hearts with the world--and with each other.

30 review for Date Me, Bryson Keller

  1. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Ramírez

    This book was ADORABLE. First of all, I love the fake dating trope, so I was excited when I read the synopsis! And the book itself did not disappoint. It's about this teenage boy, Kai, who is in the closet, he hasn't tell anybody that he's gay. Then there's this guy, Bryson Keller, who is very popular and is currently on a dare in which, each week, he has to date a different person. The most important rule is that the person has to ask Bryson to date them, and he has no choice but to agree. This i This book was ADORABLE. First of all, I love the fake dating trope, so I was excited when I read the synopsis! And the book itself did not disappoint. It's about this teenage boy, Kai, who is in the closet, he hasn't tell anybody that he's gay. Then there's this guy, Bryson Keller, who is very popular and is currently on a dare in which, each week, he has to date a different person. The most important rule is that the person has to ask Bryson to date them, and he has no choice but to agree. This is a school dare and every girl in dying to date Bryson, but with just a few weeks left in the semester, Kai unexpectedly asks Bryson to date him. Bryson agrees and HERE IT BEGINS. Just as I said at the beggining, this book was just too adorable and cute. I also would say is lighthearted, but it approaches some serious themes too. Near the end my heart was breaking for these sweet boys. I also loved Bryson Keller with all my life, he was like a Golden Retriever kind of person, I swear! He was always so supportive and kind and honest and HE HAS NOT A SINGLE BAD BONE IN HIS BODY. Which made him unbeliebably perfect. It was kind of unsettling for me, to be honest. On one hand I was enchanted by him, but on the other it bothered me a little that he had NO flaws. Not in the inside or in the outside. He was simply perfect. The other thing that sometimes bothered me was that there where scenes that really made me cringe because of the dialogue. I don't think real people talk like the characters in this book. And I'm usually not bothered by dialogue! But in this book there were some specific ones that really roll my eyes. Other than that, I really liked it and would recommend it. It will make you smile and your heart will melt. A more in dept review will come soon in my Youtube Channel. * ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kevin van Whye

    Hi everyone! This is my book. Yes, I did just 5-star my own book because I’m just so so super excited for everyone to read it! This has seriously been a dream come true for me! Anyway, I’m working hard with my editor to whip "Date Me, Bryson Keller!" into shape! In the mean time I thought I’d address something: The reason why I wrote this book and the inspiration behind it. The manga "Seven Days" was a jumping off point for me only as far as inspiration goes. There were themes that I wanted to ex Hi everyone! This is my book. Yes, I did just 5-star my own book because I’m just so so super excited for everyone to read it! This has seriously been a dream come true for me! Anyway, I’m working hard with my editor to whip "Date Me, Bryson Keller!" into shape! In the mean time I thought I’d address something: The reason why I wrote this book and the inspiration behind it. The manga "Seven Days" was a jumping off point for me only as far as inspiration goes. There were themes that I wanted to explore in a western setting and as an own voices writer. These were born from my own critique of the work with respect to actual and realistic LGBT culture, people and issues. I wanted to write a story for the LGBT reader, as told by my own lived experience. Though the set-up is similar, I can assure you that the two works are very much different. More so than just being of different mediums, the two works also set out to do/accomplish two very different things. "Date Me, Bryson Keller!" follows 17-year-old, gay but not out, Kai Sheridan as he navigates high school, his family and being closeted all while fake-dating another boy. The romance and set up are background to the two characters’ coming out narratives. These are two links that really informed my writing process and choices: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph... https://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/... Thank you for reading this! And thank you to everyone who has added my book already (and all those who will hopefully add it in the future!) I can’t wait for you all to find out more about this book and this story and my two boys who really just want to be happy despite what society has to say!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Nuckles

    I read this in four hours so I think it’s safe to say I liked it

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sahil Javed

    Date Me, Bryson Keller is a contemporary upbeat and heartfelt gay romance. At Fairvale Academy, there’s a dare. Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new, the first person to ask him out on a Monday morning. Not many people think he can do it, but Bryson has been consistent with the dare. That is, until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. This book made me realise just how much we need cute gay contemporary romances. We need so many more books like this and I’m so glad we’re finally Date Me, Bryson Keller is a contemporary upbeat and heartfelt gay romance. At Fairvale Academy, there’s a dare. Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new, the first person to ask him out on a Monday morning. Not many people think he can do it, but Bryson has been consistent with the dare. That is, until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. This book made me realise just how much we need cute gay contemporary romances. We need so many more books like this and I’m so glad we’re finally getting them. So, the novel starts with introducing this dare that Bryson Keller has agreed to do, which is to date someone new every week, whoever asks him at the start of the week. And Kai Sheridan, who is currently in the closet, decides to ask Bryson on a date. And he’s the first boy to ever do so. These two characters were unbelievably cute and I can’t express just how much I loved them. I’m so glad the author didn’t turn Bryson into one of those cliche jock-type characters, because although he plays sports and is really popular, Bryson couldn’t have been cuter if he tried. He was beyond lovely, really understanding about Kai’s wishes not to be out yet, and just the sweetest character I’ve ever encountered in a contemporary novel. And Kai. I think Kai is basically me? Daydreaming about potential events with his crush? Me all over. I really, really enjoyed Kai as a protagonist, all of his anxieties and worries over his own personal problems and Bryson just felt so real and it was refreshing to read about. I have to announce that Kai Sheridan and Bryson Keller are my OTP and I am hopelessly in love with both of them. The amount of cute moments between these two were never-ending and I literally swooned so many times. I read this book within a day, as soon as I finished it, all I wanted to do was erase my memory so that I could read it all over again for the first time. The cute moments between the characters, the dates they went on, the realistic issues they both discussed with one another, all of it combined to make such an enjoyable novel that was so much fun to read. I recommended that fans of Jenny Han and Becky Albertalli absolutely pick this one up. You’ll love it. My favourite aspect of this book was its honest portrayal and discussion of sexuality. I like reading books where sexuality isn’t a big deal and where labels aren’t given much importance. Kai doesn’t think that he has a chance with Bryson because he thinks Bryson is straight and Bryson himself just says that he likes girls and now he’s realised that he likes boys as well because he’s formed a connection with Kai. And I loved that. I liked that it wasn’t a big deal and that there was no pressure for Bryson to label himself immediately. There was also this moment when Bryson asks Kai why he assumes that every guy is straight and I honestly loved that conversation. The refreshing view of sexuality in this book warmed my heart and made me feel unbelievably happy. Overall, Date Me, Bryson Keller is one of the cutest contemporary novels I have ever read. The characters were really well developed and felt really good together, the discussion and portrayal of sexuality was really honest and authentic. I would recommend that everyone picks this book up when it comes out on May 19th. The cuteness will overwhelm you and the minute you finish it, all you’ll want to do is read it again. Kevin van Whye is seriously an author to watch out for.

  5. 4 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: mixed-race gay mc, mlm li, gay side character, Indian side character tw: homophobia, bullying, fights, outing, another very public outing, unsupportive parents ARC provided by the publisher. Review also on my blog. In a word, in a phrase? It’s a preachy bulshit. If you’re looking for a light, cute gay romcom, you should keep looking. This book is not it. The thing we can all agree on is that stories need angst to actually make sense. You can call it conflict or whatever else, but something in rep: mixed-race gay mc, mlm li, gay side character, Indian side character tw: homophobia, bullying, fights, outing, another very public outing, unsupportive parents ARC provided by the publisher. Review also on my blog. In a word, in a phrase? It’s a preachy bulshit. If you’re looking for a light, cute gay romcom, you should keep looking. This book is not it. The thing we can all agree on is that stories need angst to actually make sense. You can call it conflict or whatever else, but something in the plot has to stop working for a while, for the whole book to start working in the end. The problem is, the cause for that can’t feel like bordeline tragedy porn, can’t feel like kicking one already down, repeatedly. That’s what Date Me, Bryson Keller failed to grasp. Kai, the mc, is a closeted gay high school senior. So far so good. He’s terrified of coming out to his parents, mostly because his mom is Catholic and very religious. Still fine. He never came out to his two best friends he met at the beginning of high school, because when he was thirteen he came out to his best friend at the time and was ghosted. Kind of a lot for a kid not to have a single person he’s comfortable with, but that is sometimes our reality. But then, what else happens to this kid? He gets outed, multiple times, including to his mother and to his whole school. His mother turns out to be as homophobic as you would expect from a straight Catholic, and needs literal days to come around. Both he and his boyfriend get in fights with homophobes. Oh, and all this in the span of three days. (The whole books takes two weeks, so we don’t have a lot of time.) You could say, well this still happens to LGBT youth! To which I say, you’re totally right! But it’s a matter of choosing how to write about those things. Books are not real life, they need to have some balance. If you have unsupportive parents, consider having another supportive figure in mc’s life from the start. If you decide to out your mc, stop to think why are you doing that. Is it solely to show the few characters who are better than the asshole who did the outing? Is it so those characters can make a speech about how bad outing someone is? All the bad things that happen in Date Me, Bryson Keller feel like they only happen so that someone can condemn them. (Also so that Kai feels more lonely.) I said the book is a preachy bulshit and that is exactly what I meant. No opportunity is wasted to include a paragraph or two of someone defending an idea, and all of them have the subtlety of getting pummeled in the head with a sledgehammer. It’s also present in the narrative at other times, when Kai explains to readers how difficult it is to be a gay teen and how he hates it because love is love. Throughout the whole book Kai keeps asking himself if Bryson can possibly be gay, too. That is because so far, during the dare, Bryson only dated girls, but he also held Kai’s hand without being asked. Not once does Kai consider that Bryson might be bisexual or pansexual. Over 300 pages and Kai keeps thinking of sexuality as a binary: you’re either gay or you’re straight. He does that to other people as well. He has a crush on a boy whom he never really talked to and knows nothing about. (Which is the nature of crushes, of course.) And the whole time he just assumes that said boy is straight. Because straight is the default and people can ever only be straight or gay, right? He actually gets called out on it, but then just keeps doing it for the rest of the book. The word “bi” is used once (!) in the whole book. Not even bisexual, just bi. And not as an actual label someone decided on, just thrown in as a possibility in a stressful situation and never brought up again. Not all of us use labels, obviously, but Kai is very adamant about using “gay” to describe himself (to the point where he’s afraid kids will only see him as “the gay one”, instead of his actual personality) and yet his love interest never gets to have a label. It would be different if it was actually addressed by the narrative, but alas. Having a personality is actually another problem in this book. No one really feels… like they do… It’s more like a few traits slapped together to make a shape of person. A quirk here or there, because those are supposed to make characters more believable. And that’s the best case scenario. The worst? Making a character a racist, homophobic caricature because the author needs them to do something shitty to move the plot forward. Meet Shannon. Meet Dustin. Kai is obviously the best example of that, though. We’re told (by him, since the book is written in first person pov) that he’s shy, but then we literally not once get to see it. We’re told he’s not popular, but his two best friends are part of the popular crowd and he gets invited to parties thrown by those kids, and the most popular guy in school knows his name. It’s impossible to pin down anything actually real about Kai. (Apart from the fact that he’s a pretentious asshole, like a lot of teenagers are, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t actually author’s intention.) All this to say that Date Me, Bryson Keller is just very poorly written. Not only in terms of nonexistent characterisation, but also the style itself. The dialogues read like the author never heard teens talk before in his life. The descriptions are overly detailed, even in places that don’t really need any descriptions at all. There are constant repetitions of words, phrases and ideas, usually in space of a few pages. As if the author wasn’t sure we got what he was going for the first five times. The tone is very preachy, as mentioned before, but also basic and not nuanced at all; sounds more like an adult telling the story. The most important part of writing YA books is nailing down teens’ voice and this book failed at that miserably. It’s cringy and embarrassing, and takes a lot of effort to get through. That Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme? That’s exactly this book’s energy. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cute parts in this novel! Kai and Bryson go on dates, have fun, get overly romantic & sappy. It’s sweet at times! Bryson’s mom and sister are very cool with him not being straight (in stark contrast to Kai’s mom). It’s not all bad. Is it worth to read the whole thing for a few cute scenes, though? Well. At the end of the day Date Me, Bryson Keller feels like it was written not so much for closeted gay kids who might need something good and shiny in their life, but for the straight audience to teach them a lesson. I thought we’re past that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    3.5 rounded up to a 4 bc this was VERY FUN. It was the perfect mix of light hearted fun and sassy drama and honestly it was exactly what I was in the mood for. Highly recommend if you want to read something that is the best kind of fluffy YA rom-com.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    This adorable, good-hearted debut novel by Kevin van Whye totally hit the spot! It was the perfect antidote for all of the heaviness and emotion I've been experiencing lately. Bryson Keller is captain of the soccer team at Fairvale Academy and the most popular guy in the senior class. He’s never really dated anyone because he isn’t sure he believes in love, and he's afraid of hurting people. One night at a party his classmates come up with a dare: he has to date the first person who asks him out e This adorable, good-hearted debut novel by Kevin van Whye totally hit the spot! It was the perfect antidote for all of the heaviness and emotion I've been experiencing lately. Bryson Keller is captain of the soccer team at Fairvale Academy and the most popular guy in the senior class. He’s never really dated anyone because he isn’t sure he believes in love, and he's afraid of hurting people. One night at a party his classmates come up with a dare: he has to date the first person who asks him out each week. They're to date Monday-Friday, then when the next week rolls around, he'll date someone new. If he falls in love or says no at some point over the three-month period, he has to ride the bus to school. It becomes quite a contest, and soon every girl wants to ask Bryson out. While the rules weren’t explicit, he’s certainly not expecting Kai to ask him out. And Kai, who is closeted and blushes at the drop of the hat, shocks himself by asking Bryson out. But rules are rules, and Bryson is willing both to keep Kai’s secret and show him a good time for a week. The more time they spend being fake boyfriends, Kai realizes there’s so much more to Bryson than he thought. And even though he knows Bryson is straight and this whole fake relationship thing is just for fun, Kai starts falling for him. But a little piece of him can’t help but wonder. Is Bryson straight? Is it just for fun? This book mostly follows the path you imagine it will but it has such a wonderful heart. There's drama, bullying, some family dysfunction, and lots of sweet moments. I love how Kevin van Whye incorporated so much of his own life, including his South African heritage, into this book. What a lovable and fun book for Pride Reads!! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    Cute, awkward, full review to come

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I'm tired of male authors profiting off the ideas of women of color... This is extremely reminiscent of Seven Days by Tachibana Venio (author) and Takarai Rihito (illustrator). Seven Days is a two-volume Japanese graphic novel series—otherwise known as manga—that features a high school romance between two male characters. The plot follows the most popular boy in school who has a reputation for dating the first person who asks him out on Monday morning, then breaks up with them at the end of the I'm tired of male authors profiting off the ideas of women of color... This is extremely reminiscent of Seven Days by Tachibana Venio (author) and Takarai Rihito (illustrator). Seven Days is a two-volume Japanese graphic novel series—otherwise known as manga—that features a high school romance between two male characters. The plot follows the most popular boy in school who has a reputation for dating the first person who asks him out on Monday morning, then breaks up with them at the end of the week. Despite this, he acts as a kind, devoted boyfriend the entire time he dates them. When another boy asks him out, their week begins and both of them end up developing feelings for each other. The similarity is uncanny. Seven Days: Monday → Thursday

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mrinmayi

    *4.75 For The FANS OFRED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE This fluffy goodness has it all Fake dating Awkward but Hilarious MC Friends to lovers Hufflepuff x Gryffindor relationship Cute moments Amazing side characters Swoon-worthy love interest ME AFTER READING THIS BOOK My favourite part: GRYFFINDOR X HUFFLEPUFF We need more of this Now for the sorting Ceremony!!! Bryson - Gryffindor Kai - Hufflepuff Priyanka - Ravenclaw Donny- Gryffindor Yasmine- Slytherin Shannon - Someone lock her with Bellatrix in one room!!! P.S.- *4.75 For The FANS OFRED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE This fluffy goodness has it all Fake dating Awkward but Hilarious MC Friends to lovers Hufflepuff x Gryffindor relationship Cute moments Amazing side characters Swoon-worthy love interest ME AFTER READING THIS BOOK My favourite part: GRYFFINDOR X HUFFLEPUFF We need more of this Now for the sorting Ceremony!!! Bryson - Gryffindor Kai - Hufflepuff Priyanka - Ravenclaw Donny- Gryffindor Yasmine- Slytherin Shannon - Someone lock her with Bellatrix in one room!!! P.S.- This author also seems like a fan of HP Just wanted to point out that majority of the characters were already sorted into Hogwarts by the author Trigger Warning: Homophobia , forced outing

  11. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    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 ACCIDE 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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    ★★★★✰ 4 stars “But what does normal even mean? Who decided that? And why are gay teens still forced to keep secrets and live double lives?” It seems I'm not an Ice Queen after all...this book melted my heart. Date Me, Bryson Keller is an incredibly sweet and thoughtful YA romance that can be easily read in one sitting. Before I move onto my actual review however I wanted to address some of the bad rep this book has been getting. Some reviewers (who haven't even read it) are insinuating that thi ★★★★✰ 4 stars “But what does normal even mean? Who decided that? And why are gay teens still forced to keep secrets and live double lives?” It seems I'm not an Ice Queen after all...this book melted my heart. Date Me, Bryson Keller is an incredibly sweet and thoughtful YA romance that can be easily read in one sitting. Before I move onto my actual review however I wanted to address some of the bad rep this book has been getting. Some reviewers (who haven't even read it) are insinuating that this book is a rip off of Seven Days a BL manga. The two works do share the same premise and Kevin van Whye acknowledges this in his author's note. In fact he says that a number of stories influenced him: “I owe a great debt to all of them, including the Norwegian web series Skam (particularly season 3), To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (as well as the film adaptation, Love, Simon), the manga Seven Days: Monday-Sunday by author Venio Tachibana and illustrator Rihito Takarai, and the '90s romcom She's All That. Date Me, Bryson Keller is my #ownvoices take on these prior works.” YA romances are not renown for their originality so I'm not sure why some are crying 'outrage' without even having read Kevin van Whye's book. His novel reworks the 'popular guy dates different people each week' premise of Seven Days. These two works have very different characters, settings, and themes (also, most BL and GL mangas do not realistically portray the struggles of those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community). Anyway, moving onto my actual review: Date Me, Bryson Keller is a delightful and surprisingly heart-rendering read. Kai Sheridan narration is compelling and I deeply felt for him. In spite of his awkwardness he's capable of admirable self-respect. Due to a dare the most popular boy his private school has to date someone new every Monday. The first person to ask him gets to date him for a week. Although Kai wants to keep his head down, and is not ready to tell his friends and family that he's gay, he finds himself asking Bryson out. To Kai's surprise Bryson agrees. Over the course of the week the two secretly fake date. They meet up in the morning, go out for breakfast together, study together, and quite quickly they get to know each other. As Kai's feelings towards Bryson intensify he begins to question whether they are reciprocated. To begin with this struck me an impossibly cute and lighthearted story. Bryson is an actual Cinnamon Roll™ and it was so refreshing to see his relationship with Kai develop without any unnecessary angst. I also really appreciated Kai's character arc. Things do eventually take a turn for the worst, and Kai has to deal with a lot. Through Kai's story Kevin van Whye dispels this myth that homophobia' no longer exists or that if it does it never originates from young people. Kevin van Whye maintains a wonderful balance between love story and coming of age, and alleviates the more heart-rendering parts of his novel with humour. The interactions between Kai and Bryson had me smiling like an idiot. I will definitely be reading this again and I'm looking forward to Kevin van Whye's next novel. Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  13. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    Ohhh this sounds exactly like my kind of book! A dare and two guys dating? For only a week and they begin to like each other? I'm so here for this!!! Why is May still so far away?! (I swear I didn't mean to rhyme again! It's totally coincidental. It just... happens. *lol*)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 4.25/5 Stars Trigger warnings for homophobia, bullying, a character being outed Full review HERE This was such a heartwarming and fluffy read, it's definitely the feel-good book I needed right now and I'm so glad to have read it! The premise was quite fun and interesting, but what really did it for me were the two main characters, Bryson and Kai. I just liked them so much! Even though this book take The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 4.25/5 Stars Trigger warnings for homophobia, bullying, a character being outed Full review HERE This was such a heartwarming and fluffy read, it's definitely the feel-good book I needed right now and I'm so glad to have read it! The premise was quite fun and interesting, but what really did it for me were the two main characters, Bryson and Kai. I just liked them so much! Even though this book takes place in just two weeks I appreciated how Bryson and Kai's relationship started and then developed. Also, I was surprised to see that to me it did not feel rushed, it felt quite organic actually. Their interactions were everything and on multiple occasions I found myself laughing alongside them and deeply caring for these two young boys. Even though it was a fluffy book for the most part, there were also some awful moments that Kai especially had to go through. It was devastating to read and I'm quite glad with how things turned out in the end, even though some resolutions felt a bit rushed and easy. Overall it was a great read that I truly recommend!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

    It’s all so unfair: because you’re so-called different, you need to stand up and say that you’re so-called different. What makes everyone else normal? Who gets to decide that? Story 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Bryson Keller thinks dating in high school is stupid. So a bet is placed. Bryson will date for three months, each week it’s a new person and it only lasts from Monday to Friday. No attachments. No touching. He will date the first person who asks him out. He can’t ask himself. Everything seems fine until Kai com It’s all so unfair: because you’re so-called different, you need to stand up and say that you’re so-called different. What makes everyone else normal? Who gets to decide that? Story 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Bryson Keller thinks dating in high school is stupid. So a bet is placed. Bryson will date for three months, each week it’s a new person and it only lasts from Monday to Friday. No attachments. No touching. He will date the first person who asks him out. He can’t ask himself. Everything seems fine until Kai comes along and brings chaos with him. That was so so cute. I really really liked it. It was an cute romcom with serious topics like racism and homophobia. People have an idea of what love should be, and my parents loving each other doesn’t fit into everyone’s perfect vision. Dad has always said that racists are sad people trying to make the rest of the world just as sad. Character 🌟🌟🌟🌟 For me, though, it feels like I’m waiting for my very own letter to my very own Hogwarts. Magic and adventure await me, too, in a city where no one knows me, and where I can be my true self. It’s a powerful fantasy. I’m not so sure what to say about the characters. On one hand I loved Kai, Yazz, Bryson, Priya, Donny... I cared what happened to them. But I’m not so sure I loved them. I can’t explain why. I did love Bryson Keller. He was the perfect boyfriend, supporting, caring - a nice understanding cinnamon roll. I would’ve loved to have a boyfriend like that in my high school time. Relationships 🌟🌟🌟🌟 I don’t have a Prince Charming on a white horse. Instead, I have one in a white Jeep. Have you ever seen a movie or a tv show where there are two people (like two girls or two boys) and there is this sexual tension everybody probably feels between them? And those two had a lot of tension going on. I liked it. I loved those super cute moments between them. It made me so happy and giddy. But sometimes it felt like too good to be true. Still it was nice to read it and to believe in something so pure and cute. Writing style 🌟🌟🌟 Even though I had fun reading this book, I think the writing definitely could’ve been better. It was like someone was telling me a story word by word. When you start reading the book, you’ll probably get what I mean. It was a pretty simple writing. Still serious topics were mentioned and put into the spotlight. All in all I liked this story and can recommend it you want to read some cute fluffy story. I know that my family loves me, but I’m a puzzle that’s incomplete. If they ever see the full picture, will they feel the same way?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

    Where's the com in this romcom? I was waiting for it. I wanted it. But not one chuckle did I have. Ironic since this story bursting at the seams with social justice issues one of which being how queer kids never get the romcoms, HEAs and the like, instead being relegated to the funny friend or killed off. So I was surprised that not only was Date Me, Bryson Keller not funny but Kai, our protagonist, was put through the gauntlet. Don't get me wrong the relationship between Bryson and Kai is sweet an Where's the com in this romcom? I was waiting for it. I wanted it. But not one chuckle did I have. Ironic since this story bursting at the seams with social justice issues one of which being how queer kids never get the romcoms, HEAs and the like, instead being relegated to the funny friend or killed off. So I was surprised that not only was Date Me, Bryson Keller not funny but Kai, our protagonist, was put through the gauntlet. Don't get me wrong the relationship between Bryson and Kai is sweet and romantic which I enjoyed and kept me engaged but (a) I wish it was more the focal point and (b) every time I turned around Kai was being subjected to yet another awful event in his short life. Kai is the narrator and, though his narration is a bit choppy and oddly formal for a 17 yr old initially, he is likable which integral to this story. He's tenderhearted, loves his friends and family, is awkward in that adorable, blushing way and is terrified of being rejected once he comes out. Bryson is king of the school who was dared into "dating" anyone who asks him out on Monday for one week. Though we don't get his perspective it's clear he's kind, generous, honest, loyal and incapable of artifice. I liked him a lot. I also loved the secondary characters: Priya, Donny and Kai's amazing and possibly preternatural sister, Yazz. Where the quibbles arose for me is... probably my annoyingly erratic inability to suspend disbelief. So the location of this story which is (as far as I can deduce) about 15-20 minutes outside Los Angeles in contemporary times. They attend a prestigious private academy wherein all the students are vying for spots at places like Stanford. California is arguably one of the most liberal and open-minded states in the union and these students are the new generation so the notion that the vast majority of the student body would not only be homophobic but viciously so was a bit hard to swallow in California. Maybe Alabama or Idaho but Cali? Big city, intelligentsia Cali???? I also found it far-fetched that Kai's parents didn't have an idea whatsoever given all the telltale signs pointing to his sexuality. However, what I did appreciate about this story was the differing trajectories of Kai and Bryson coming to grips with their sexualities; the bit about there being no right way to get to the destination I thought an important one. And did I mention how sweet they are? They are cute together so much so I wouldn't be averse to catching up with them in the future. Even though Date Me, Bryson Keller wasn't perfect I did enjoy the journey and will be on the lookout for this author's sophomore offering. Triggers: homophobia, violence An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ If you know me you are aware that I’m not much of a television watcher. Especially since the invention of subscription services - mainly because I’m terrified that I might become one of these people . . . . At this point in quarantine I’m finding myself easily getting through a book in a day and since I am an old lady my eyeballs be B.U.R.N.I.N.G. and begging for a reprieve. Now comes dilemma #2 – the husband and I have remained (f Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ If you know me you are aware that I’m not much of a television watcher. Especially since the invention of subscription services - mainly because I’m terrified that I might become one of these people . . . . At this point in quarantine I’m finding myself easily getting through a book in a day and since I am an old lady my eyeballs be B.U.R.N.I.N.G. and begging for a reprieve. Now comes dilemma #2 – the husband and I have remained (fairly) happily married for nearly 25 years due to the fact that we accept that we are complete opposites and don’t attempt to fix things that aren’t broken. I’m the reader, he’s the television/movie watcher. We come together for the occasional Survivor episode, but he pretty much just wants to watch shoot ‘em ups or films where only about five other words aside from “fuck” are used in the dialogue and me???? Well . . . . . And if you think there’s any chance of our old fat asses indulging in some “Netflix and Chill” you are sadly mistaken . . . . The good news? Kindle not only provides me easy breezy reading at the push of a button, but I just discovered there’s also a Netflix app. Now we can sit in the same room, he can watch his mafia hitman do their thing and I can watch movies meant for teenagers. And when I find myself needing moremoremoremoremore of the light and love while I’m trapped at my computer waiting for work requests to be emailed? That’s where books like this come in. A tried and true trope of “dating on a dare” turned into a possible lurrrrrrv match. This time starring two boys. It’s just the thing my old miserly heart looks for in a teenage romcom so I thought it was adorable. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mai

    It's really offensive to take a Japanese woman's work and try to pass the story off as your own. You can write #ownvoices and critique Japanese queer works without stealing another author's plot. Give credit where it's due. EDIT: The author only provided justification after the comments called him out on being heavily inspired by SEVEN DAYS. This is still a hard no from me. The Japanese gay comics industry is riddled with issues, but you have no place as a Westerner to take this work and reclaim It's really offensive to take a Japanese woman's work and try to pass the story off as your own. You can write #ownvoices and critique Japanese queer works without stealing another author's plot. Give credit where it's due. EDIT: The author only provided justification after the comments called him out on being heavily inspired by SEVEN DAYS. This is still a hard no from me. The Japanese gay comics industry is riddled with issues, but you have no place as a Westerner to take this work and reclaim it as your own. Your work is not more valid and realistic than the original when the premise isn't yours to being with. Regardless, justifying this novel like this as a critique of the Japanese comics industry is quite laughable when you are writing for a Western audience IN THE FIRST PLACE. Own up to these issues with your novel without making excuses for yourself. Future readers are better off reading fanfiction if they want to read something derivative.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    the fact that this isn't in my hands right now makes me very sad | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram the fact that this isn't in my hands right now makes me very sad | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  20. 5 out of 5

    love, tappkalina

    19 June 2020 You know you spent your time wisely when the book you've just finished makes your whole body grin. Also, Bryson is on the sweetheart boys list with Nathan from I Wish You All The Best. At every 10 percent I needed to post how this is the softest shit ever, that I'll die from softness and I'm too sigle for this. If that hasn't convinced you to pick this up, I don't know what will. I have to tell you, I hesitated to pick this up despite being one of my most anticipated reads, because I s 19 June 2020 You know you spent your time wisely when the book you've just finished makes your whole body grin. Also, Bryson is on the sweetheart boys list with Nathan from I Wish You All The Best. At every 10 percent I needed to post how this is the softest shit ever, that I'll die from softness and I'm too sigle for this. If that hasn't convinced you to pick this up, I don't know what will. I have to tell you, I hesitated to pick this up despite being one of my most anticipated reads, because I saw a one star review that said something about outing. It's my fault probably for not reading the whole thing, but I didn't want to read any spoiler and all this time I thought the love interest will out him. I was so nervous through the whole book but fortunately it didn't happen. I mean, the outing did happen, but not the love interest did it. He was a sweetheart. To say something serious, too, I'll leave here two quotes. 'And every gay kid has heard the stories and watched the movies. We’ve been told we aren’t normal for so long, been punished and ridiculed, that hiding who we are is second nature to us. Sometimes hiding is the difference between life and death. It’s why the closet still exists. It keeps us hidden and, more important, it keeps us safe.' 'My coming out might have been less than ideal, but even so, I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I will survive this.' When the bar is so low you only have to survive to count as lucky... All in all, if I had to describe this book with one word it would be sweet. ❤ 13 November 2019 I really don't want May to come, because I'll have exams, but I need this book in my life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    hima ☾

    oh man. i wanted to like this so bad. i set aside at least five other books in order to get to this one immediately. of course, i realize now that the plot seems to be taken from a japanese manga—and i am not connoisseur of japanese manga, so i can't speak to their similarities. what i do know that it was a massive, unbelievable disappointment. date me, bryson keller is about kai, who's gay, but closeted. in a funny turn of events he ends up in a fake-dating pact with bryson keller, one of the mo oh man. i wanted to like this so bad. i set aside at least five other books in order to get to this one immediately. of course, i realize now that the plot seems to be taken from a japanese manga—and i am not connoisseur of japanese manga, so i can't speak to their similarities. what i do know that it was a massive, unbelievable disappointment. date me, bryson keller is about kai, who's gay, but closeted. in a funny turn of events he ends up in a fake-dating pact with bryson keller, one of the most popular boys in school—who's supposed to be straight. what i did like about it: i managed to get to the end? and the relationship between kai and bryson is, like, fairly cute and respectful, i guess. the writing is amateur. like, it's readable, but readable isn't saying much. it's also desperately out-of-touch, as if authored by someone whose day job is writing disney channel originals, where it's normal for characters to say things like "suckage," and "dorkus," in the year 2020. i was shocked that nobody used the word "pwned," even once, because it would've fit right in with the rest of the outdated dialogue. they literally have a whole boring conversation about pineapple on pizza. and of course—OF COURSE they talk about harry potter. read!!!!!!!!! another!!!!!!!! book!!!!!!!!!! i don't want to hear about it anymore!!!! kai particularly hates leonardo dicaprio because... he wants to win an oscar. is this early-2010s tumblr? hating leonardo dicaprio does not substitute for having an actual personality—which is something kai distinctly lacks. there's nothing really logical about his motivations; everything he feels and does is to the benefit of pushing the plot forward, and not well. his few character traits are: the aforementioned hating leonardo dicaprio, blushing a lot, liking rock and indie music which his hip-hop and r&b-loving cousins inexplicably make fun of him for (he stans this one band in particular which just seemed forced), and being woke, which we'll get to in a second. there's this odd part where kai is absolutely floored by bryson having an iphone (p. 115) but they live in the heart of southern california and both seem to be from middle-class families—i mean kai's parents work in accounting and IT—so i don't know if the author just hasn't spent any time in the states, but that's a normal thing for people to have? there are entire passages in this book that are completely unnecessary, describing mundane conversations and fun facts for no reason. for example: (view spoiler)[ "i almost missed my morning workout because i overslept." bryson runs a hand through his damp hair. we both grab our menus. "their bacon and eggs are the best," bryson says. "is that what you're having?" "yeah." "cool, i'll have the same, then." my stomach growls in anticipation. the server comes. "morning, alice," bryson says cheerfully to the older woman. "you doing well, kiddo?" alice asks, and bryson nods. she offers me a kind smile. "what will it be?" we order. "how would you like your eggs?" alice asks me. "sunny side up, please." "same for you, kiddo?" she asks bryson. he nods. "and can i get an orange juice, please." he turns to me. "what about you?" "just a water for me, thanks." alice nods. "i'll be right back." (p.88) — "do you want anything to drink?" bryson asks. "we have water, juice, and soda." "what juice?" i'm standing at the island, leaning my hip against the edge of the counter. "mango," bryson says. "apple, orange, and grape are the only three juice flavors that deserve to exist in this world." i smile. "water is fine." bryson takes two bottles of water from the fridge. he places his down on the counter and holds out mine. "you have the strangest opinions." "thanks,” i say as i take it. (p. 111) (also, LITERALLY WHAT?) — i pull on my shoes and exit the house. dad drives an suv. just after i got my license, every time i borrowed this car, the vehicle would come back either scratched or dented. to this day i swear it was the tree's fault the first time. and the second time, the fire hydrant jumped out in front of me. i was banned for a while after those accidents, but i argued that the only way for me to get better was to practice. my parents allowed me to use mom's car instead. now, though, i'm a much more confident driver, so dad doesn't have an issue with my driving his car. (p. 209) (WHO FUCKING CARES????) (hide spoiler)] the plot doesn't make sense to me; it's weirdly cobbled together—like kai irrationally thinking bryson was to blame for his blazer being ruined, and his anger about that somehow being enough to propel him out of the so-deep-his-best-friends-don't-know closet he's in and leading him to ask bryson out? but... they're not telling anyone? but it's still fake? but then it's real? i would say i'm pretty well-versed in the fake dating trope, and it really only works well if there's a suitable motivation for pretending to date. the dare itself didn't even make sense to me? why does bryson do this? how does it count if he doesn't even hold their hands? then they start flirting, like, blatantly, and kai continues to think bryson is straight... why? then they start falling for each other, or kai starts falling for bryson, after... three days? also—the flirting, and the dialogue, and all of it, is so fucking awkward. it caused me literal secondhand embarrassment. there's a lot of telling but not a lot of showing. it also feels like it was trying to slap together a lot of elements from a lot of different sources, but did so badly, so overall it has the vibe of a not-so-good love, simon derivative. there were two very, very large issues for me that just absolutely ruined the spirit of this book, and they're sort of connected. one is that i went in expecting a sweet gay teen romance—and i was even expecting all the angst that comes with such a thing. but this book is more of constant, grinding, unbearable preaching about being in the closet, and having to hide, and how horrible homophobia is, and some more preaching about racism. then, of course, a huge part of the plot hinges on outing, homophobic violence, and bigoted family, because why not? this leads into the second issue: had this book interrogated such issues in a reasonable way, that would have been perfectly fine. but i don't think there's enough writing prowess here to have depicted a real, relatable experience. rather, the book is disrupted by these weird trains of thought that sound kind of like they were taken off the twitter of someone who writes bad huffpost articles and just, like, inserted in a very removed way; none of these insights are thoughtful, nuanced, or groundbreaking enough to have deserved that much space in the narrative. it's just trying too hard. priya, for example, is obviously indian—but there is nothing particularly indian about her character; her being from india is used as this weird prop to make a statement about cultural appropriation that just didn't need to be there. the author—through kai—proselytizes incessantly about all manners of social justice in the most painful way, repeating talking point after talking point while doing the bare minimum to actually illustrate how such things aren't abstract concepts, but everyday reality for individuals like the characters in the book! it's frustrating because clearly the author is incredibly passionate about this book being a way to express his own experiences, but this... didn't do it. and then, after everything, after all the preaching about how personal coming out is, kai realizes that bryson decided to "come out for him." hello????? anyway. i'm just very unhappy about this one. it wasn't an enjoyable read by any means. i actually decided two stars was one star too many. solid 1 star.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Waworga

    Dawwwww.... that was so cute!!! if you love Simon And The Homosapiens Agenda or Heartstopper.. THIS BOOK IS JUST FOR YOU! It's a coming of age #Ownvoice book about Kai Sheridan, a gay boy who are affraid and feel insecure for his sexuality then someday he "accidently" date Bryson Keller.. the high school "IT" boy aka The most Popular, handsome captain sport team boy as part of his weekly dating dare.. so it's like a fake date trope thingy It was fun and light and make me happy while reading this t Dawwwww.... that was so cute!!! if you love Simon And The Homosapiens Agenda or Heartstopper.. THIS BOOK IS JUST FOR YOU! It's a coming of age #Ownvoice book about Kai Sheridan, a gay boy who are affraid and feel insecure for his sexuality then someday he "accidently" date Bryson Keller.. the high school "IT" boy aka The most Popular, handsome captain sport team boy as part of his weekly dating dare.. so it's like a fake date trope thingy It was fun and light and make me happy while reading this tho it also had heavy issue such as cheating and homophobic If you want a fast and cute and sweet book, you can give this one a try 3.5⭐️

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    3.5 stars This was a very cute book! It was slightly ridiculous and a bit too cheesy, but still fun. I connected to the main character right away, his sweet voice is so easy to fall for. I believe this book is own voices, and I really enjoyed reading about Kai, who is gay, mixed-race and of South African descent. Bryson Keller is also a gem, I don't think I've ever read a book with such an open-minded white male love interest. I was there rooting for them from the very start because of how cute an 3.5 stars This was a very cute book! It was slightly ridiculous and a bit too cheesy, but still fun. I connected to the main character right away, his sweet voice is so easy to fall for. I believe this book is own voices, and I really enjoyed reading about Kai, who is gay, mixed-race and of South African descent. Bryson Keller is also a gem, I don't think I've ever read a book with such an open-minded white male love interest. I was there rooting for them from the very start because of how cute and supportive their relationship is. I really loved the first half, it was a page-turner. I find that the dare concept that made me initially want to read this book was well written and developed. I was going to rate this higher than 3 stars at that point, but the second half wasn't on the same level for me for two reasons. First of all, why is bisexuality never considered apart from in one instance? I don't think at all that that's what this book wanted to achieve as a message, but sexuality is not black or white. Bryson didn't label himself, but at the end it was implied that he was gay. It would have been great to see a better discussion of this, because Bryson seemed bi to me. And second, the later drama was too similar to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (both the book and the movie) to the point where I felt like I was reading about Simon instead of about Kai. In the author's note the author talks about how he took inspiration from these other stories to write his book, and while I agree with his argument (i.e. that we need more stories about diverse characters even if they are similar stories) I think we should always draw the line somewhere. I feel the same about the manga Seven Days: I haven’t read it so I can’t talk about it, but I can see from other reviews that this book is very close to that manga too. Despite this, I still recommend this book. It's fast and cute, and it often makes you feel like you're on a cloud 😚

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I have such a big, blushing crush on this book! Date Me, Bryson Keller absolutely charmed me at first blush. From the first date to the last! Blush after blush after blush. Haha...There’s a lot of blushing. Along with hidden dimples, hand holding, flirty texts, talking, and sharing. It all pulled me in so completely. I have big, shiny hearts in my eyes! But let me blink through my dreamy daze and try to explain why this story stole my heart. Bryson Keller, an athlete with an easy smile and charm t I have such a big, blushing crush on this book! Date Me, Bryson Keller absolutely charmed me at first blush. From the first date to the last! Blush after blush after blush. Haha...There’s a lot of blushing. Along with hidden dimples, hand holding, flirty texts, talking, and sharing. It all pulled me in so completely. I have big, shiny hearts in my eyes! But let me blink through my dreamy daze and try to explain why this story stole my heart. Bryson Keller, an athlete with an easy smile and charm that draws people in, is the most popular guy at Fairvale Academy. But this king of the school doesn’t date. That is until a dare takes shape that has him dating someone new each and every week. Every Monday is a race to be the first person to ask Bryson Keller out. The rumors and posts say that Bryson is the perfect boyfriend, but no one has really touched his heart or threatened his rules or belief that high school relationships are pointless. Until….Kai Sheridan utters the words—Date me, Bryson Keller! Kai Sheridan, a quiet cutie in the halls at school, didn’t plan on telling anyone he was gay until he hit college. He hoped to skate through high school without the bullying, jokes, and whispers. But here he is fake dating Bryson Keller! In a moment of frustration and anger, Kai asks Bryson out and Bryson says YES! Yes to a week of secretly dating. Kai might have told Bryson, but he doesn’t want the whole school to know he’s gay. So it begins—a week of suspense and sparks and sweetness! As everyone at school tries to figure out Bryson’s mystery date for the week, a sweet, slow-burn between Kai and Bryson builds and builds. It all had me dreamy eyed and grinning along with them! Now it’s not all love and roses here. It’s a little heavy handed at times and awkward in others. The dialogue felt stiff and too polite at times, but somehow the awkwardness on the page only added to the spark and tension between these two cuties. The sweet energy woo-ed and wow!-ed me. As Kai and Bryson spend more and more time together, they begin to really see each other. They see past the high school BS and stereotypes. New emotions and layers slowly reveal themselves as they talk and share time together at and away from school. This might sound a little silly and simple—but there is something so exhilarating and sweet about inviting the boy you like over. In your room! You bring him into the space where you feel most at home and yourself. It’s exciting and fun! I could feel that shy thrill run right through me all over again. These two guys are so likeable, so when they begin to really share and feel something for each other…well you can’t help but root for them. And feel for them! The sparks and tingles are real here, people. :D I swooned and blushed along with Kai and Bryson. Cute moments like—hand holding, stumbles, carnivals, and one of my all-time favorite tidbits. The seat belt move!!! “He watches me as I try to settle myself, but my hands are full with the apple, my books, and my bag. Eventually he leans over. Bryson grabs the seat belt and pulls it across me. So close. His face is just a breath away from mine.” Watching Kai and Bryson get closer and closer is fun and intoxicating and addictive. But what happens when things begin to feel real? This was just supposed to be for five days. And Bryson Keller isn’t gay…or is he? Will Kai last the week with his heart in one piece? Along with all the fun and sweetness here are friends, family, and support. I loved the full cast of characters. But it’s the author’s love and support that stands out. Readers need to see themselves on the page. We all need to know that we’re not alone. And I think Mr. van Whye put a lot of himself into this book. You can feel it. Kai was tired of hiding and once he got a taste of freedom—he couldn’t go back. No one should have to pretend to be someone they’re not. The freedom to be ourselves is one of the big joys in life. And I think this book says a lot about coming out or not coming out and just living your life the way you want. I loved watching Kai stand up for himself and for what and who he wanted. It was inspiring and sweet and sexy all wrapped up in a pine scented blazer! Jump in and date! Kai and Bryson will put a smile on your face. Highly recommended. **Quote taken from ARC**

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Elaina

    This is one of the best Young Adult books that I’ve ever read! I absolutely loved everything about it. It’s so unbelievably cute with just the right balance between being hilarious and serious. It’s very character driven and kept my attention constantly. The relationship felt real and the characters were well developed. The way sexuality is discussed is perfect and it made me so happy. I loved the way Bryson’s character talked about people loving people. It was honest and beautiful. And I just w This is one of the best Young Adult books that I’ve ever read! I absolutely loved everything about it. It’s so unbelievably cute with just the right balance between being hilarious and serious. It’s very character driven and kept my attention constantly. The relationship felt real and the characters were well developed. The way sexuality is discussed is perfect and it made me so happy. I loved the way Bryson’s character talked about people loving people. It was honest and beautiful. And I just want to read it again and again. I feel like I’ve got nothing to say because I have no faults with it. There are many stories out there like this, but this is without a doubt the most well written one I’ve ever read. And on top of that, it’s probably my favourite portrayal of a m/m romance in a book. I enjoyed every second of it, and recommend it to everyone. Absolutely fantastic! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ *Thank you to the publisher for providing an early copy in exchange for an honest review!

  26. 4 out of 5

    lexi

    man are we ripping off manga now. sorry but this is literally seven days by takarai rihito. even the synopsis sounds the same

  27. 4 out of 5

    Darce

    buddy read with my favourite new buddy read partner, Ashley ;)) xx thanks for the recommendation, Cintia! “Anyone who thinks that homophobia doesn't exist in this day and age has never been the gay boy in a boys' locker room." Date Me, Bryson Keller was ultra cute, a little bit heartbreaking and a lot hilarious. this story of two teens discovering who they are and who they love was incredibly touching and incredibly realistic, with lines that made me want to hug the characters and scenes where buddy read with my favourite new buddy read partner, Ashley ;)) xx thanks for the recommendation, Cintia! “Anyone who thinks that homophobia doesn't exist in this day and age has never been the gay boy in a boys' locker room." Date Me, Bryson Keller was ultra cute, a little bit heartbreaking and a lot hilarious. this story of two teens discovering who they are and who they love was incredibly touching and incredibly realistic, with lines that made me want to hug the characters and scenes where i was roaring to beat the crap outta someone (view spoiler)[ yes, Dustin, i'm talking about you, and all the other Dustin's in the world! (hide spoiler)] . the side characters were funny and i almost wish we got more of them (both Bryson and Kai had the best sisters) and i found it really good how religion and family were talked about and how people learned to change. even though i've read about 50 million gay books this one still taught me some things, which i'm really appreciative of, and - for example, when reading the quote above - i almost wanted to cry because it's such a hard life for some people, and teenagers are so damn rude. but this book also reminded me that people are strong and brave, and for that, i really loved this book. thanks again for the rec, Cintia, and for making me read this, Ashley!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    TITLE: DATE ME, BRYSON KELLER AUTHOR: Kevin van Whye SERIES: Standalone RELEASE DATE: May 19, 2020 GENRE: MM Romance, YA THEMES & TROPES: Homophobia RATING: 4 Stars CLIFFHANGER: No READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG I was excited to read this YA MM story - I saw the the comparison to a manga and the controversy around it and I admit it does sound very similar to what I read here. I just can't say how similar they really are since I never read the graphic novel people refer to. Fact is, this world needs lo TITLE: DATE ME, BRYSON KELLER AUTHOR: Kevin van Whye SERIES: Standalone RELEASE DATE: May 19, 2020 GENRE: MM Romance, YA THEMES & TROPES: Homophobia RATING: 4 Stars CLIFFHANGER: No READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG I was excited to read this YA MM story - I saw the the comparison to a manga and the controversy around it and I admit it does sound very similar to what I read here. I just can't say how similar they really are since I never read the graphic novel people refer to. Fact is, this world needs love and more books that teach tolerance and acceptance and Kevin van Whye's story definitely does that. There are still people who have to fight just to exist, just to love. Just as there are still people who will go out of their way to make that very simple human right something unattainable. These two boys are cute beyond words. Bryson is a wonderfully kind, young man with a heart full of love. I liked that he was open enough to explore his feelings for Kai, that he wasn't ashamed but embraced them. It may not be completely realistic to be so accepting of your own "otherness" since people are scared of being an outcast, which is a high possibility, still, in this time and age, however, I'm sure there are some unicorns out there who may be just like Bryson. “I feel like everything finally makes sense now. You. Me. Us.” Kai is the a little awkward guy, still deep in the closet. Not even his parents know about his homosexuality. He wants to come out on his own terms which, I think every member of the LBGT community has a right to. Every attempt at forcing this on someone is a huge dealbreaker and should be harshly condemmed so it was satisfying to see how all the culprits and those who hurt Kai got what they deserved. The writing feels very much the way it's supposed to for the YA genre. These kids talked like teenagers, sometimes awkwardly, but they also acted quite maturely. The last 25% of the book stirred up some anger and sadness for how Kai was being treated. It became pretty emotional and I actually felt that sting in my nose that is the precursor for tears. DATE ME, BRYSON KELLER wasn't just cute, it was also educational, heartwarming and honest. It is tangible that the author draws from his own experience and shows that homophobia is still very much a big issue, even though the world has become a little more accepting. It's just not enough. It shouldn't matter who you love. Love doesn't hurt anyone so why the hate? Gay means happy, too, you know.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teal

    A charming and upbeat debut by an author I hope to see more of. From the blurb: Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new -- the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. That brave boy who does the asking is the POV character, Kai Sheridan. And it wasn’t actually bravery on his part, just an impulsive (and A charming and upbeat debut by an author I hope to see more of. From the blurb: Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new -- the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he's never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes. That brave boy who does the asking is the POV character, Kai Sheridan. And it wasn’t actually bravery on his part, just an impulsive (and immediately regretted) moment of exasperation. Kai has long known he’s gay, but always intended to keep it a secret until he was away at college and starting a new life. Coming out to anyone — much less Bryson, whom he barely knows — was never part of the plan. But once their fake (and secret) dating is underway, it swiftly acquires a momentum that sweeps them both into uncharted territory. I loved Kai’s combination of confidence and vulnerability. Although you can't tell by the cover -- #coverfail -- he's mixed race, with a black South African father and a white American mother. Sometimes YA characters feel off to me, but I found both Kai and Bryson credible -- even though the latter was perhaps a little too perfect to be true. But I forgave that because he was so adorable. They were both adorable. There was a lot of adorability to go around, and I was here for it. There’s also a strong supporting cast of friends and family members, some of whom are quite perceptive, some oblivious. They’re well-drawn, and even the “villains” are more than caricatures. Although I do not like the device of (view spoiler)[a conniving teenage girl making trouble for the gay guys, at least in this case she wasn’t motivated by jealousy or spite. Well, maybe a tiny bit of spite, but she was mostly driven by ambition, which made her more credible, and less of a stereotype. (hide spoiler)] The most significant weakness, for me, was the nature of the big crisis near the end. There’s simply no way that particular action could have happened outside the realm of adult supervision. I couldn’t suspend disbelief, and I was sad to see the story stumble that late in the game. Still, overall this was a treat, and it made me glad I hadn't given up on reading contemporary YA, like I’ve so often sworn I would do. A note: The author has pointed out, and some readers have picked up on, the fact that this story was inspired by the manga Seven Days: Monday–Sunday. Recycling story ideas is as old as time (which is probably why ideas aren’t copyrightable). Transposing stories to new media, and into new settings, makes them available to a new audience. For example, plenty of people who were never, ever going to sit down and read a Jane Austen novel got to experience Emma by way of Clueless. I see this book in the same light. I sampled Seven Days, but I’m extremely sensitive to art style, and the manga aesthetic is not for me. I'm happy that Kevin van Whye creatively reimagined the concept into a Western setting and a written format.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    Well, this was everything I could have wanted. I loved Kai. He’s sweet, loyal to his friends, and annoyer to his little sister. Bryson is charming, likable, and open minded. Together they’re adorable and their relationship was fun to see grow from casual to friendly to more. Oh, and Kai’s sister Yazz was the absolute best. Plot wise, it was nearly all fluff. There is a bit of conflict and hatefulness, but thankfully it doesn’t last too long. I wanted these two kids together as much as possible a Well, this was everything I could have wanted. I loved Kai. He’s sweet, loyal to his friends, and annoyer to his little sister. Bryson is charming, likable, and open minded. Together they’re adorable and their relationship was fun to see grow from casual to friendly to more. Oh, and Kai’s sister Yazz was the absolute best. Plot wise, it was nearly all fluff. There is a bit of conflict and hatefulness, but thankfully it doesn’t last too long. I wanted these two kids together as much as possible and that’s pretty much what I got. I could have done with a couple of junk punches to a couple of characters, but that’s just me being greedy. Overall, it was a quick and wholly enjoyable read. I hope the kids that need to read this story are able to get their hands on it and find comfort in being seen. **Huge thanks to Random House BFYR for providing the arc free of charge**

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