Title: The Bravest Thing
Author: Laura Lascarso
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 17th 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult
Page Count: 228 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
High school junior Berlin Webber is about to reap the fruits of his hard work and land a football scholarship—if he can keep his sexuality a secret from his best friend, Trent, and their homophobic coach. Then Hiroku Hayashi swerves into the high school parking lot on his tricked-out motorcycle like some sexy comic book villain, and Berlin knows he doesn’t stand a chance.
Hiroku is fleeing his sophisticated urban scene to recover from drug addiction and an abusive relationship when he arrives in Berlin’s small Texas ranch town. Initially sarcastic and aloof, Hiroku finds in Berlin a steady, supportive friend who soon becomes more. As Hiroku and Berlin’s romance blossoms, they take greater risks to be together. But when a horrific act of violence tears them apart, they both must look bigotry in the face. While Berlin has always turned to his faith for strength, Hiroku dives into increasingly dangerous ways of coping, pushing them in opposite directions just when they need each other most.
Two very different young men search for the bravery to be true to themselves, the courage to heal, and the strength to go on when things seem darkest. But is it enough to bring them back together?
The Bravest Thing by Laura Lascarso took me completely by surprise. I devoured this book! Once I started, it was unputdownable, and I read it one sitting. I became in engrossed in this touching story of two high school students living in small town America. Berlin was born and raised in this little Texas town and knows that to get a football scholarship, he must hide his sexuality. Hiro was forced to move because his parents felt it’d be a new beginning for him and will keep him away from the bad influences in his past. Berlin never has met anyone like Hiro and was instantly drawn to him and pursues him. What ensues is a sweet, emotionally charged story.
-Hiro + Berlin. Hiro’s a complicated, loving, and loyal character. Berlin was sweet and almost naive, and together they were perfect for each other- they were each other comfort from the troubles in their lives.
-Narration. The story is told through alternating POVs which worked great. It gave readers an insight into both their feelings and where they were coming from.
-The pace was smooth and quick.
-The angst. I was not expecting to cry, but this story got to me. There was an event that took place that was heinous. It made angry and broke my heart because it happens in real life.
-The relationship development was outstanding; it wasn’t rushed.
-The end promised self-strength, self-acceptance, and hope.
Would I recommend this?Absolutely, I truly loved this author’s writing style.
One more thing- I know many don’t like to read YA, but honestly, this didn’t read like most YA stories and think readers that enjoy Contemporary Romance would enjoy this one.
All in all, this book surpassed my expectations. Laura Lascarso is a new to me author, but I’ll certainly be looking out for more from her in the future. 4.5 Stars.