Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye
Published: Penguin Random House Children’s UK (May 21st 2020)
Genre: young adult; contemporary
Rep: mixed-race gay mc, mlm li, gay side character, Indian side character
Tw: homophobia, bullying, fights, outing, another very public outing, unsupportive parents
Rating: 1/5 🍑
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.
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The Witch Stone by Jasmine Hong
Publisher: NineStar Press (March 12th 2018)
Length: 103 pages
Genre: new adult; urban-fantasy
Rep: gay Chinese mc, Malay gay character, Filipino characters, Mexican character
Rating: 1.5/5 🍑
ARC provided by the publisher.
Okay, let’s talk about the good stuff first & then really get into it. So. Calvin, the main character & the narrator, explicitly states that he’s gay. Which is great seeing as it doesn’t always happen! Another big plus is that I’m pretty sure there’s like maybe one white character in the whole story? Calvin is Chinese, his ex-boyfriend is Malay, and there are Filipino and Mexican side characters. It’s definitely refreshing to read something diverse like that.
But, sadly, those are all the parts of this very short novella that I enjoyed.
Continue reading “ARC Review: The Witch Stone by Jasmine Hong”