Book Reviews

The History of Us by Nyrae Dawn

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Jamie Deacon on 02-April-2021

Book Blurb

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 queer 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, 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. 

But there’s something about TJ that Bradley connects with and when TJ tells him about his upcoming road trip, to film a documentary on the LGBTQ+ community, Bradley feels a draw to go. 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.



First edition published by Harmony Ink Press, June 2015.


Book Review

It could be considered a misnomer to describe a book as being both profound and ingeniously simple, but 'The History of Us' is precisely that. Essentially, what we have is a collection of anecdotes within a larger narrative. First there is the main plot, that of two high school seniors and the journey which proves to be as emotional as it is literal, and then there are the personal accounts of all those they meet along the way. Encompassing the full spectrum from touching and triumphant to the downright tragic, these stories have been woven together to create something truly special.

At eighteen, high school basketball player Bradley Collins may be out, but he's far from being proud. It isn't that he's ashamed of who he is. Not exactly. Everyone knows he's gay and Bradley is okay with that. All the same, he has never dated a guy for fear of making his friends uncomfortable, and always dismisses his mom's suggestions to attend an LGBT youth group. Therefore, when the cute boy with the spiky hair and bright blue eyes tries to flirt with him during a lads' night out, it throws Bradley into a confusion of excitement and nerves.

Wary, but curious as to where their initial flare of attraction might lead, he accompanies TJ on a road trip to film the documentary for his senior year project. With his easy confidence and comfort in his own skin, TJ is a revelation to Bradley. More eye-opening still are the individuals they interview en route, all of them gay, and each with their own stories and experiences to share. The most surprising aspect of the journey, however, is that both boys end up discovering more about themselves and one another than they ever thought possible.

Nyrae Dawn has brought to life two wonderful heroes in this novel, flawed and sexy and immensely real. Bradley, in spite of a tendency to be judgmental, is a genuinely decent guy, while TJ's geeky charm completely won me over. Although this is more than a love story, the romance itself is perfectly done. The relationship between the two boys develops at a natural pace throughout the trip, with just the right balance of awkwardness and sexual tension. I loved it!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 184 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-October-2019
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link