Title: Nate Plus One
Author: Kevin van Whye
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 12th, 2022
The gorgeous new feelgood LGBTQ+ romantic comedy from the author of Date Me, Bryson Keller!
Two boys. Two bands. Two worlds colliding.
Nate Hargraves – stage-shy singer-songwriter – is totally stoked for his cousin’s wedding in South Africa, an all-expenses-paid trip of a lifetime. Until he finds out his sleazeball ex-boyfriend is also on the guest list.
Jai Patel – hot-as-hell high school rock-god – has troubles too. His band’s lead singer has quit, just weeks before the gig that was meant to be their big break.
When Nate saves the day by agreeing to sing with Jai’s band, Jai volunteers to be Nate’s plus-one to the wedding, and the stage is set for a summer of music, self-discovery, and simmering romantic tension. What could possibly go wrong . . . ?
Nate Plus One is a M/M young adult contemporary romance, set in high school. Nate is dealing with a breakup with his first love, which was a secret because he wasn’t out. He also has a crush on one of his closest friends, but doesn’t think there is any chance there. When Jai needs a fill in for his band for an upcoming competition, and Nate needs a plus one to his cousin’s wedding in South Africa … where his ex will be as well – they make a deal. But spending that much time together unsupervised can change everything.
This was short and sweet, an easy read if you’re just looking for a sweet romance. Do check the trigger warnings, there are a few scenes with homophobia and discussing the death of a parent. The writing was solid and I enjoyed my time with this book. I think the romance was adorable and it was definitely more of a slow burn than some, plenty of tension and lingering looks before the inevitable kiss.
The third act conflict was fairly telegraphed and predictable, but that’s also to be expected within this genre. There also is a bit of an unsatisfying ending, but not in regards to the romance.
Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!