Date Me, Bryson Keller

  • Book
  • By Kevin van Whye
  • Reviewed by Valerie Goldstein

Racial Representation: 5

LGBTQ+ Representation: 5

Disability Representation: 0

Body Size Representation: 0

Gender Representation: 4

Socioeconomic Representation: 1

Mental Health Representation: 3.5

Religious Representation: 1

Own Voice: Yes

This book was way more than a cute and touching love story. However, there is some controversy with people who accuse the author of copying the story from Seven Days which is a Japanese manga by a woman of color. He did credit the manga as an inspiration among many other works, but there is a debate about how much is an inspiration vs copying. There are pretty low scores for religion and socioecnomic representation because most of the characters are very rich-however, this is pointed out and not normalized in the narrative. Also, while the only religion featured is not a minority one, the way it relates to the main character’s coming out is significant. The author’s note is extremely touching as Kevin van Whye talks about writing this #ownvoices story for LGBTQ+ readers and the importance of representation. Kevin van Whye does an expert job weaving in serious topics like homophobia, micro-aggressions, coming out, anxiety, and cultural appropriation in a natural way that doesn’t feel heavy handed. Even though he modeled the story on his own experiences as a mixed-race gay man, any person who has been or is a teenager will be able to identify with Kai’s struggles with love and acceptance.

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