Title: The History of Us
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Sometimes it’s not about coming out, it’s about settling in.
Eighteen-year-old Bradley Collins came out a year ago and hasn’t looked back since. Who cares if he doesn’t know any other gay people? Bradley has friends and basketball—that’s all he needs. Even if that means always sitting on the sidelines when the guys go out looking for girls.
When cute film-boy TJ tries to flirt with Bradley while his friends are doing their thing, he freaks. Yeah, he’s gay, but he’s never had the opportunity to go out with a boy before. He’s never had to worry about how his friends will react to seeing him with a guy.
Bradley accompanies TJ on a road trip to film TJ’s senior project documentary. In each city they visit, they meet with people from different walks of life, and Bradley learns there’s a whole lot more to being honest about himself than just coming out. He still has to figure out who he really is and learn to be okay with what he discovers.
The History of Us is a well done coming of age story that is sure to bring this author many new fans. It tells the story of Bradley and TJ, two young men in their last year of high school. Bradley is a high school senior and a member of the school’s basketball team. Although he came out when he was a junior, he hasn’t really taken it any further than that. While he’s lonely, he’s afraid to start any type of relationship since that would make him gay, instead of being gay just in theory. TJ is also a senior and out. Unlike Bradley however, TJ accepts himself and does not care what others think of him.
The two young men are brought together by chance and have a strong chemistry. Any type of relationship is thrown by the wayside when Bradley, who is out with his friends, ignores TJ rather than acknowledging him. It is easy to understand Bradley and his fears of standing up for who he is, although I hated to see TJ hurt. The author solves the boys’ problems in a very easy way. She sends them on a road trip.
TJ is making a documentary for a class project. Driving across country, TJ plans on interviewing a variety of characters, getting their stories of being gay in today’s society. Not all of these stories are light hearted; in fact a few of them had me close to tears. Along the way Bradley and TJ learn not only learn about each other, but learn a lot about themselves as well. But Bradley is not prepared for the secret that TJ has been hiding.
One of the best parts of this book is Bradley’s mom. I love how supportive she is and her understanding and acceptance of Bradley is one of the things that helps him eventually accept himself
This is my first book by this author but it will not be my last. I found this story extremely well done and plan on reading it again in the future.
Reviewed by: Lydia
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