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Date Me, Bryson Keller
Cover of Date Me, Bryson Keller
Date Me, Bryson Keller
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"One of the most adorable, big-hearted, charming books in existence." —Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaWhat If It's Us meets To All the Boys...
"One of the most adorable, big-hearted, charming books in existence." —Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaWhat If It's Us meets To All the Boys...
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Description-

  • "One of the most adorable, big-hearted, charming books in existence." —Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

    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...

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    1

    Mornings in the Sheridan house are known to be loud and chaotic affairs—with Mondays being especially disastrous. Today is no different.

    "Yazz, open the door!" I shout. I've been standing outside the door to the bathroom I share with my younger sister for the last ten minutes. I'm going to be late.

    I love my sister, and aside from weekday mornings, we generally get along. I can't say that I'd kill for her, but I might be willing to help her bury a body. Right now, though, Yasmine Sheridan is the one I want to murder.

    "I swear to God, Yasmine, if you don't open this door in the next two minutes, I'm going to kick it down."

    "Kai!" Mom shouts from downstairs. "Don't use the Lord's name in vain."

    I roll my eyes. As if that's what's important right now. I don't say this, though, because I really don't have time to get into an argument about religion with Mom—that's reserved for Sunday mornings, when I refuse to go to church.

    I bang on the door again and it opens midknock. Yazz steps from the steam-filled room and fixes me with an exasperated look.

    "If you got up earlier, we wouldn't have to do this all the time. Time management is key to living a successful life." Yazz is thirteen years old but has the personality of a middle-aged woman who yells at the neighborhood kids to get off her lawn. "When you head to college in a few months, you won't have me to help you. So let's work on that, shall we?"

    She taps me on the shoulder as if to encourage me. By the time I think of an appropriate response it's already too late. She's closed her bedroom door, and I am left standing there like a scolded child. Who would believe that I'm four years older?

    "Breakfast is ready," Dad shouts.

    "I still need to shower!" I call back.

    "You're going to be late, Kai. Donny will be here soon."

    "I know, Mom!" Muttering under my breath, I enter the bathroom. I start the shower and find only lukewarm water waiting for me. I get that it's spring and this is California, but I like my water like I like my coffee—almost scorching.

    Ten minutes later, I emerge a new man. There isn't time for me to shave, and I can only hope that the teachers won't punish me for it. With a towel around my waist, I race back to my bedroom and quickly put on my uniform—tan pants and a crisp white button-down shirt. Fairvale Academy is flexible on a great many things, but the dress code is something that the school isn't willing to budge on.

    I look for my tie. I rifle through the piles of clothes that lie forgotten on my bedroom floor. I'm not the neatest person in the world, which earns me countless lectures from Mom and Dad. But I figure that within the sanctity of my own bedroom, I am allowed to be my true self—which encompasses my sometimes forgetting to put my dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

    I find the crimson-and-white-striped tie. It's odd that the school emblem is two stylized eagles, given that our mascot is the cougar, but this is Fairvale Academy, so we don't question it . . . much. I transferred from a public middle school, and the private school uniform took some getting used to. I'd much rather wear jeans and a T-shirt.

    I pick up my blazer from where I threw it Friday afternoon. I cringe at the wrinkles and try to smooth them out. But there's simply no saving this dull navy monstrosity.

    I take the stairs two at a time. My house has a no-shoe policy, so my socked feet slip on the hardwood floors, and I only save myself from falling by gripping the kitchen island.

    "One day you're going to end up breaking something," Mom warns. She's seated at the island,...

About the Author-

  • Kevin van Whye is a gay writer of color born and raised in South Africa, where his love for storytelling started at a very young age. At four years old, he quit preschool because his teacher couldn't tell a story. Kevin's love affair with stories led him to film school, where he studied scriptwriting. Date Me, Bryson Keller! is his first novel. Kevin lives in Johannesburg, and when he's not reading, he's writing books that give his characters the happy rom-com endings they deserve. Find him at kevinvanwhye.com and on Instagram.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 23, 2020
    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.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-The "Me" of the title is Kai Sheridan, a closeted gay teen and droll narrator. Certain he could have any girl he wanted, popular Bryson Keller doesn't care all that much about dating in high school. Then he accepts a dare to date a different person every week for the rest of the school year. The catch? Bryson has to go out with the first person who asks him every Monday morning. The challenge is going exceptionally well until Kai makes a risky move, upending everything Bryson knows about himself. This incredibly bold move also inadvertently outs Kai even as his secret becomes fodder for the school paper. Thanks to two supportive best friends and a sister who is wise beyond her years, Kai is able to realize happiness as his true self. Van Whye does a wonderful job tackling multiple relevant topics for high schoolers; through Kai's first-person narration, readers glimpse his struggles of being mixed race and gay. VERDICT A fun, feel-good story that shows the importance of having a strong support system, that love is love, and that everyone deserves to love and be loved. With wide appeal for those who favor stories tackling teen struggles of identity.-David Roberts, Salem Public Library, OH

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2020
    A dare sets up a gay teen with his school's star athlete. Kai never intended to come out of the closet--at least not until going off to college. But when detention presents a surprising opportunity, Kai kicks "the closet door open" and asks his classmate Bryson out. Because of a dare, Bryson must date a new person each week. He says yes to Kai. The catch? Each relationship only lasts from Monday until the final bell on Friday. Kai decides to keep everything a secret--even from his best friends, Priya and Donny. The more time Kai and Bryson spend together--rehearsing their drama scene, seeing their favorite band in LA--the more the boys' fake relationship starts to feel very real. But will it last after Friday? Or will Bryson move on to the next dare date? Like Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2014), this #ownvoices debut is scrupulously romantic. The plot is deliciously heavy on fluff, but it also delves into more complex subjects like faith, racism, and homophobia. Kai's lighthearted first-person narration and the lovable cast of characters keep the momentum going. Kai is mixed race, with a white mother and a biracial (black/white) South African dad who occasionally slips in Afrikaans phrases. Bryson, who is white, may be the poster child, but his questioning sexuality and family troubles add dimension. A solid blend of swoonworthy moments and minor injustices. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2020
    Grades 9-12 It starts as a dare. Bryson Keller, the most popular boy at Fairvale Academy, is challenged to date, for a week, the first person who asks him out each Monday. If someone fails to ask him out, he must ride the (ugh!) school bus for the rest of the year. Let the competition begin. It goes swimmingly at first; the girls line up for the opportunity to date Bryson. But then something unexpected happens. Our gay, deeply closeted protagonist, Kai, who is biracial, improbably decides to be the one to do the asking, and a puzzled Bryson says yes. But it must, the boys agree, remain secret. Funny how things can change. Within a few days of dating, Bryson realizes he's probably gay himself, and the two boys begin a tentative relationship. Can it flower? Can they keep it a secret? The author, who is himself gay and biracial, writes a coming out story with authority and empathy; the situation is familiar, but the execution is appealing, and readers, too, will want to date Bryson.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews "This #ownvoices debut is scrupulously romantic. . . . A solid blend of swoon-worthy moments and minor injustices."
  • Booklist "The author . . . writes a coming out story with authority and empathy. . . . Readers, too, will want to date Bryson."
  • Publishers Weekly "Debut author van Whye uses the dare to set up a book filled with good-natured sweetness."

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