Date Me, Bryson Keller

Kevin van Whye. Random House, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-12603-5
Handsome, athletic senior Bryson Keller, who is white, is the king of Fairvale Academy, while classmate Kai Sheridan gets invited to parties only as his popular friends’ plus-one. Kai is gay, closeted, and lonely, but he avoids coming out; he already stands out because he’s biracial (his American mother is white, his South African father is “mixed race”), and he’s reluctant to be reduced to “the gay one,” too. Still, there’s a dare on that says Bryson has to date, for a week, whomever asks him each Monday, so when Bryson indirectly causes Kai to get detention, Kai impulsively asks Bryson out. Broad-minded and friendly, Bryson agrees to go out with Kai and keep his secret, but by Wednesday, Kai can’t stop thinking that maybe Bryson is gay, too. And if having a fake boyfriend is this good, what would having a real one be like? Debut author van Whye uses the dare to set up a book filled with good-natured sweetness: even when bad things happen (Bryson’s jock friends are homophobes, Kai’s parents struggle with his news), the boys’ growing affection and trust, and the support they receive from Kai’s little sister and Bryson’s family, are heartwarming. Ages 14–up. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-593-12604-2
Book - 978-0-593-12606-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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