Read Riding with Brighton by Haven Francis Online


In the small town of Spring Valley, molds weren’t made to be broken, and high school senior Jay Hall’s been living comfortably in his popular jock one since adolescence. If it weren’t for the colorful, outspoken artistic anomaly Brighton Bello-Adler, he might have been willing to remain there. Unnaturally drawn to Brighton, Jay knows he needs something from him, but is heIn the small town of Spring Valley, molds weren’t made to be broken, and high school senior Jay Hall’s been living comfortably in his popular jock one since adolescence. If it weren’t for the colorful, outspoken artistic anomaly Brighton Bello-Adler, he might have been willing to remain there. Unnaturally drawn to Brighton, Jay knows he needs something from him, but is he ready to find out what that something is? Temporarily ditching his old life, Jay climbs into Brighton’s Bronco and finds himself on a whirlwind road trip through parts of his small town he didn’t know existed. When the excursion takes an unexpected turn, Jay is cracked wide open, and the person who’s revealed does strange things to Brighton’s heart.But just when it appears they could be headed toward their own shared piece of paradise, the road takes a sharp right turn into Jay’s life—where the real trip is about to begin. In an unconventional love story that defies labels, two young men embark on a journey toward growing up, coming out, and finding their place in the world. It’s a trip that ranges from heartbreaking to uplifting, funny to sweet, but always unique and personal....

Title : Riding with Brighton
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781635334210
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Riding with Brighton Reviews

  • Haven Francis
    2019-01-05 18:13

    Update: It's available NOW!! with Brighton will be released through Harmony Ink Press on June 27th!

  • Danny Phanton
    2019-01-12 17:20

    If you can't even talk about the things you want to do, how are you gonna actually do them?¿Qué puedo decir? Pues me gustó, si, no puedo negarlo, me tuvo super atrapado y no podía dejar de leer para saber que iba a pasar, además de que el libro es super corto también y se lee muy rápido, la historia es muy simple y se trata de la vida de Jay y Brighton, más que nada Jay, como va pasando esa etapa tan difícil de su vida, un libro sobre aceptación y descubrirse uno mismo, es muy tierno.Pero si, hay algo que no me gustó y es que la historia es super rápida y más de la mitad del libro pasa en un día, pasa todo tan rápido que no es tan creíble todo lo que pasa, salen algunos personajes pero es que no conocemos casi nada de ellos porque la historia se centra todo en nuestros protagonistas y creo que esta bien, no hacen mucha falta saber más de estos personajes pero que el libro fuera tan rápido fue algo que no me gustó. De resto, creo que el libro esta bien, es entretenido, tierno y romantico para leer en un ratito.

  • The Novel Approach Reviews
    2019-01-01 19:27

    Jay Hall has had an epiphany. He wakes on Friday morning in the midst of a life-changing moment of clarity, and decides he needs to change his path. The kids he has always considered his friends are, with one or two exceptions, not the people he wants to be spending time with, nor is he the person he wants to be. The only thing he knows for sure is that in history class he’ll see Brighton, something he looks forward to every day, and suddenly, desperately needs. Thus begins the crazy, awesome, inspiring journey that is Riding with Brighton.Brighton doesn’t know what to make of it, at first, when Jay says he wants to hang out and asks Brighton to meet him at the park. He’s pretty sure that Jay is having an “Am I gay?” moment, and wants Brighton, the only known gay guy in town, to help him clarify things. Brighton isn’t keen on this idea at all, but decides to humor Jay and invites him along on his errands for the day. A sort of day-in-the-life-of-Brighton, if you will. What Brighton doesn’t know is how deep Jay’s feelings for him already are. The day is a rollercoaster, mostly for Jay, but what they discover about each other and themselves is eye-opening for them both. Jay goes from being elated at the thought of finally being his true self, to terrified and filled with doubt. And then back again. Brighton is with him every step of the way, though, and some others in his life surprise him as well.I looooved Brighton. He’s funny, kind, smart, and self-assured, yet also has some lingering insecurities from his last relationship. His family is also totally amazing. It’s clear where he gets his wonderful traits and approach to life from. And, Jay…this kid blew me away. The stuff that came out of him during his day with Brighton showed so much depth and heart. He’s awesome. And, I also loved Jay’s dad so, so much. I guarantee that every single person who reads this book will fall in love with him.The dual POVs were so appreciated. I think it was important to be in Brighton’s head as well as Jay’s. With such an important coming out journey, it’s nice to have perspective from multiple players. And, the messages and questions raised by the book were fantastic. Messages like be yourself, and don’t do anything just because you think it will make you cool, or because you think it’s what other people want you to do. And, questions like ‘why are we so wired to care so much what other people think?’ And, this little gem that comes to Jay after his epiphany…Change your life now.Find your happiness now.Be yourself now.Speak your mind now.If not, you’re gonna have regret. And regret totally sucks.I LOVED this book, you guys. It has a strong Ferris Bueller’s Day Off vibe, which was so fantastic and fun. And, reading it reminded me of reading Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is like the highest of compliments. Just that feeling, right from the get-go, that the author has nailed it. Mostly I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling the entire time, but I also cried at the end. There was so much humor and love in the story, and so many awww-inspiring moments; I truly, completely adored it. Haven Francis absolutely won me over with Brighton and Jay. It’s tough to write a YA/NA book with the authentic voice this one has. I have no doubt I’ll end up reading it again at some point.Reviewed by Jules for The Novel Approach

  • Veronica
    2019-01-06 14:04

    I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.Jay is a jock and pretty much most popular guy in school. He wakes up on Friday morning and has an epiphany. He is not happy with his life and he wants to make changes. He realises his highlight of his week is the class he shares with Brighton, the school's only openly gay student.The story follows Jay through and most amazing and transformative weekend of life. In class on Friday, Jay gets Brighton's number after a flirty, innuendo filled conversation about pens. On Saturday, a nervous Jay meets Brighton in a local park and he spends a fun filled day with Brighton exploring Brighton's world and their town.With Brighton's help, Jay bravely take steps to come to terms with his sexuality and to change his life for the better. Jay is smitten with Brighton and it is easy to see why. Brighton is adventurous, full of life, creative, entrepreneurial and list goes on. I loved their conversations and their honesty with each other. While the guys are together in their own little bubble everything is great, but eventually the rest of the world seeps in Jay has to face the reality of his friends and family learning the truth about his sexuality and it rough going at times.The story concludes with an inspiring epilogue that left me on a high. As a write this review and think back on the story I can't stop smiling. I had a great time following Jay and Brighton through their weekend. This is a terrific story. Age recommendation: 15+ due to descriptive sex scenes

  • Mike Oaks
    2019-01-11 22:06

    A life-changing journeyJay has spent 18 years in the closet. That’s about to change one Saturday spent with the kid he idolizes. Brighton shares an American History class with Jay. Brighton likes Jay, but since Jay is straight...not going to go there. The two find themselves in a park at the start of the weekend. Brighton has some errands to run and so the two spend the day together. Jay finds the courage to shed his shell and starts to open up to Brighton. I loved this book from page one. Even though Jay and Brighton covered a lot of ground in a single day, they did have a secret one-way crush that’s been going on for a while. I wanted to believe these two could find happiness together. Family, friends, love and acceptance of yourself and others is the theme. Some good laugh breaks along the way, too. 4.75 for epiphanies.

  • Joyfully Jay
    2019-01-01 22:00

    A Joyfully Jay review. 5 starsIt’s hard to encapsulate all the really good and honest things about this story in a short review such as this. The several pages of encouragement/exhortation near the end of the novel are key to understanding what this author wanted to convey to her readers, I think. To paraphrase the author, the idea is to live your life fully right now, speak your mind, change what needs to be change, and find your happiness or you will regret it. The beauty of those sentiments is that they are not just spoken by Jay, but lived out by Brighton so fully. He encapsulates the best of gay youth. Some might say his is a more idyllic character than real, but I wouldn’t make that criticism. Instead, I would say that Brighton is a fairly realistic example of a young man who had great parents and all the advantages a stable, loving home can offer.Jay, on the other hand, has a family that we so often read about these days where the parents are torn—one supportive, the other in deep denial. His friends are much the same and I really loved how this author gave Jay keen awareness of the fact that not only did his life not fit who he really was, but also most of his friends didn’t either. Even though this entire novel took place over the course of what turned out to be a few days, you knew that Jay had been grappling with his decision for quite some time. He was realistic about how the whole thing was going to go down and even though everyone from Brighton on questioned whether Jay was really ready to be out to the world, he knew he had to break the walls holding him in. He was so brave and so vulnerable—it was quite lovely to read.Riding With Brighton is one of those books that should be on bookshelves in every library and required reading in every high school English class. It not only is a well-written and beautiful story, but its message is a positive one—something our youth today rarely get to hear but desperately need.Read Sammy’s review in its entirety here.

  • Cheryl
    2019-01-15 19:01

    Worth way more than five stars."Someone who I totally understand yet manages to surprise me every single day. Someone who opens my eyes and makes me think. Someone who can make me feel excited and inspired every day of my life simply by saying words.... And then today happened."WOW! Normal cognitive function has officially left me and that's all I got - wow! Have you ever read a book and before you even get to the end of the first paragraph, you already know that you're going to love it. There's something about the writing style that draws you in, makes you love the characters and gives them dimension. As I was reading, I wished I could read faster so that I could discover how this whole thing plays out and now that I'm finished, I wish it hadn't ended and I just want to start reading it all over again - it's just that good.The action centres around Jay, the all-American, straight boy who is fascinated by his classmate Brighton. Working together, Jay knows that he loves being around Brighton but he doesn't understand why so when he wakes up and has an epiphany one morning, the two spend an epic day together which ends up with Jay coming to terms with his own feelings and making the decision to grab life with both hands and truly be happy for the first time in his life. I wasn't convinced that all that much could be squeezed into one day but boy was I wrong. It's a total rollercoaster ride of emotions that I got caught up in with them. I grinned, laughed, got upset and even almost shed a tear with them. I'm not going to give you a run down of that epic day but I will tell you that it felt very real, that their chemistry is off the charts, that you'll wish you had friends like they have, you'll envy their relationship, that you won't be able to put this book down and that this is one of those stories that will stay with you long after you finish reading.This is the first book I have read by HF but it absolutely will not be the last. It's so much more than just a story. You seriously have to go grab a copy. You won't regret it.Copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.Reviewed by Cheryl from Alpha Book Club Alpha Book ClubAll Alpha Males

  • Isis
    2019-01-13 19:27

    4.5/5"It sucks to look in the mirror and realize you don't even know the person staring back at you. That all the years you should have spent figuring out who you are were spent creating a person who's not even real, and you hate the kid in the mirror, and you hate the kid inside of you too."This book was a ray of sunshine.I've never read a book that made me smile so much. I swear, I was smiling at every single page, my cheeks were hurting. I really enjoyed every moment spent reading.Jay Hall is a popular jock on his senior year of high school. But he's sick of his life of partying and he's sick of his friends, who are all copies of him. He just wants to learn a thing or two from Brighton Bello-Adler, who is the only openly gay boy at school, the one everyone loves. Jay and Brighten spend an entire day together, and things change--for the better, and for both of them.This definitely was reminiscent of Ferris Bueller's Day Off in more ways than one, but it was also something entirely different and unique. There was something incredibly sweet about Brighton. I loved him from the start. He was a charming boy, full of confidence and an abundance of love to give. It was easy to see why he was so popular everywhere he went. I found myself wanting to be his friend as much as Jay did. And Jay, my beautiful boy. I related to Jay on so many levels. Over the course of the book, he had so many breakdowns and realizations, most of them surrounding his sexuality. The majority of the book centers around him coming out. And yes, I've read my share of coming-out books, but this one was nearly perfect. And the romance was on point."But anyway--the lesson. Are you ready? Here it goes...Go live your life."I appreciated all of the lovely moments spread throughout. I loved the message of acceptance. I loved the communication between the main characters every time they hit a bump. I loved so much about this book. It never felt dry, and it never felt too much. It was just right.I want to recommend this to everyone. If you're struggling with coming out, or if you just want to read a sweet story to warm your heart, give this a try.

  • K.M
    2019-01-02 14:24

    Change your life now.Find your happiness now. Be yourself now.Speak your mind now.If not, your gonna have regret. And regret totally sucks.Wow! Haven Francis I adore you and your writing always speaks too me. This was a eye opening book about life. It's about being true to yourself and finding what makes you happy. This story follows Jay and Brighton on their journey together The characters were a joy to read. Brighton...I want a friend like him. He was a special character in my eyes. He lived for the now and owned who he was. Yes, he has some insecurities, but he doesn't dwell on them. His family life is 100% supportive and I adored them. It hurts to hold so much shit in. To have to lie to yourself and the people you love. It's physically painfulJay I liked that he was able to find his true self. He opened his eyes and saw the truth to his life. He wanted to not conform any longer, but was scared. He took the steps needed and found the support he needed in Brighton. I felt for him at times and I can't imagine what it must feel like denying who you are for so long to appease everyone else. Jay's dad...adored him. He showed what family and love truly is. The chemistry between them is undeniable and it unfolded beautifully. They balance each other and I loved every minute of it. Haven gave these characters real traits and you feel the struggle that Jay feels with his choices. Told from dual POV's, which I love. You get perspectives on each characters truths and insecurities. Does this have some steam? Yes, it's tastefully done and you feel the burning they have for each one another. Haven nails every book. She makes you smile, opens your eyes and heart to her characters. I found this to be a truthful story and I couldn't put it down. This is a book for anyone to read and I highly recommend it! Completely stunning! ARC received for honest review

  • Shelby
    2019-01-03 22:09

    I loved this story so much. I didn't even mind that it took place mostly all in one day. This was story was the catalyst day, the day that changed everything. Jay was dealing with so much fear and pain stuffed way down deep. It was slowly killing him. His obsession with Brighton was believable in that he saw in Brighton everything he wished he could be. Open and free. I loved watching the two enlighten each other. They both brought a different perspective and really gave the other something new to think about. This story was really sweet. A wonderful coming of age story with two lonely boy finding more than they could have expected in each other. I may be a little bit in love with Brighton myself. I just wanted this one to keep going. I enjoyed these two as a couple, I wanted more time with them. 4.5 Stars

  • Pates
    2019-01-04 17:57

    This book is charming and beautiful, has sweetness and laughter, is encouraging, and has so much love. And this isn't just about the two MC's, it's the whole book. Although the MC's are beyond amazing. So many good feels with Jay and Brighton. The way the story and Jay unfolded was perfection. Brighton~ he is soo, soo fantastic. I just fell for him. Brighton's family and Jay's dad, gah! You will adore them so freaking much. This is the kind of book you won't put down until you finish. I promise you that.

  • Lisa
    2019-01-11 18:17

    This wouldnt mormally be my type of books - Young Adult.The book takes place over a couple of days in the MCs lives.Brighton is out and has been for a long time. Jay has a girlfriend but has felt he was gay for a long time. This book follows Jay coming out. The reaction of his friends and family and that of Brighton's family.I loved Jay coming to the realization of who he was. The journey that Brighton takes him on.When Jay's family is told he is gay, the outcome isnt what you would expect and some skeletons come out of the cupboards.I would certainly recommend this book.

  • Anita
    2018-12-26 17:00

    Speechless! Absolutely wonderfully written, emotional, funny. You sometimes wonder if kids 18 years old can connect and love each other. Comments are often made "it's puppy love" or "you're too young to be in real love." That's not true. I recently read The Locker Room and the connection between Chris and Xander made me a believer. Brighton and Jay know each other from history class. Jay is a popular high school jock and has realized that he's been living a lie all his life and decides to do something about it. I can't imagine being 18 years old and realizing that my whole life has been fabricated. Jay is beyond brave. I like the author's spin on Jay and his feelings about being gay and his feelings for Brighton. Takes a lot of those conversations about GFY and OFY and puts them in perspective. But after a few paragraphs, you recognize that Jay and Brighton belong together. I stopped reading ya and new adult. Too much angst and drama. But the blurb for this book intrigued me and when I started reading it, I was hooked. Even more surprised to find that I think this is the author's first MM. There is definitely a John Hughes vibe to this and at one point, I thought everything would be hunky dory, everyone would be accepting, and we'd end in one rainbow colored happy bubble. But everything is not ok and it's handled well. Like with most ya, this is an HFN and would love to revisit Jay and Brighton in a few years. Love the writing so much that I am tempted to read the author's M/F books, but let's not go crazy - lol!!

  • Jules Lovestoread
    2018-12-23 21:22

    LOVED! I loved this book. Brighton is absolutely fantastic. Jay is awesome. There were so, so many things to love. Full review coming to www.thenovelapproachreviews !!

  • Shima11
    2019-01-12 15:06

    Superb. It's rare I enjoy M/M with teenage MCs, yet I added this book to Kindle Favorites even before completing the read.

  • Tiffaney
    2018-12-28 17:18

    Riding with Brighton was an absolute pleasure to read and I wanted to savior this story as long as possible but it was so great that I finished it in one go. I just couldn't put it down. Jay is an eighteen senior in high school who wakes up on a Friday morning with an epiphany. He's going to change the course of his path and live the life that he wants to live not the one he thinks he should. He starts off by deciding to become friends with Brighton. His classmate. The only openly gay kid in town Brighton is one of those people who Jay admires because he lives life to the fullest. He's the cool kid. With only interaction during class Jay proposes that the two hang out. Brighton agrees thinking Jay is having a "I think I'm gay" moment. Over the course of a day the two embark on a roller-coaster ride of emotions learning to except and come to terms with who you truly are and the sheer happiness of getting to know one another. Honestly this story takes place a few days but it feels like so much more. There's so much meat to this story that you forget how short the time is. The entire story plays out wonderfully and has the feel of the 80s teen movies. There's also a bit of drama and a few great supporting characters. This isn't your typical YA popular jock and gay kid love story. It's so much more and I'm really happy that I got to experience this little gem. These characters and this story will stay with me for awhile.

  • Zee♥
    2018-12-28 22:19

    I started this book thinking it was just about two boys taking a road trip and finding themselves. Boy was I wrong! This was so much more. It was a beautifully written and emotional, epic journey of self discovery, self acceptance and finding love. Both Jay and Brighton were such amazing characters. Jay’s POV was hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. I loved how he fought for his happiness and Brighton never gave up on him. I would love to read more about these characters.

  • Bo
    2018-12-25 21:00

    Wow! And Double Wow!This is probably the best gay YA coming-out book I have read, and believe me, I go back a while. The fact that it takes place basically over the course of one day, and that the two characters--Brighton and Jay--are developed so deeply in alternating third-person chapters during that short time span, and that so much happens, should have exhausted me.Nope. What exhausted me was the constant thrill of watching Jay come to terms with his sexuality and Brighton standing by and ushering him along in a completely unique and exceptionally romantic (if off the wall) way. The conflicts between them, which are few, and with their friends--most of whom are pretty much stereotyped--are handled smoothly, as are the relationships both of them have with their respective families.It is the latter slice of this incredible lifetime in 24 hours that is always the elephant in the room here, and it plays out totally different than one might expect in a book which sails along so sweetly for 75% of the journey. No spoilers here, and no hint from me about how it ends except to say that if author Haven Francis wants to pursue things, (which might not be necessary) I will be the first on line to lead the charge to buy the sequel.

  • Karen
    2019-01-01 21:26

    I loved most of this story. But do high schoolers really talk that way, with such full-formed explorations and explanations of what they did/are doing and why? Even really, really smart 18 year-olds? I loved it anyway, loved Brighton's family and friends (even the challenging one), loved how Jay's dad and some of his friend's reacted/acted, but found the back-story and reaction of another character (view spoiler)[his mom (hide spoiler)] jarring. It both explained too much and too little. (view spoiler)[I don't fully buy into the idea of his dad's passive complicity, or his mom's ability to hide her fixation, albeit sort of in plain sight. (hide spoiler)] Nonetheless, completely worth reading, and at times an almost visceral journey through many of the highs and lows of adolescence.

  • Fiona Lyle
    2018-12-28 21:17

    Full review at: book was just… EVERYTHING! I’m absolutely certain there are not enough words in the English language that could convey how much I adored this amazing story. I’ve never read a book that has been more perfect or relevant for Pride month, and I don’t think I ever will again. Everything about the book and story was on point, there’s simply nothing about it that I can fault or criticize because it was flawless. These characters have found their own little space in my heart, and I’ll never be able to let them go.Jay Hall is 18-years-old. He’s the popular jock with the pretty girlfriend, but when he looks in the mirror, he doesn’t like what he sees. The person looking back is all just a facade. Jay doesn’t like the person he’s become, which is basically a clone of his friends, same haircuts, same clothes, same shoes and a pretty girl next to them. Jay wants more than this and believes his life needs a change. But he’s scared of making the change because he doesn’t want everyone to turn against him. The highlight of his week is going to his history class because he gets to sit next to Brighton Bello-Adler, the guy that’s everything Jay wishes he could be.Brighton is also 18-years-old. He’s confident, outgoing and artistic, he gets along with almost everyone in the school and their town, and nothing seems to ever get him down. His parents love him unconditionally, and completely accepts his sexuality, they even like to try and set him up occasionally, much to Brighton’s embarrassment. Brighton finds Jay attractive but knows there’s no point even thinking about him in that way because Jay is totally straight.When Jay tells Brighton in class that he’s sick of the life that he’s leading and wants something different, starting with new friends, Brighton gives him his number. They agree to meet up to see if they can build on more than just the short conversations and banter from class. During their day and drive around together, Jay begins to discover more about himself and what he really wants from his life. He opens up to Brighton about all of his thoughts and feelings, and tells him things that he has never even admitted to himself up until now. Jay realizes that he doesn’t actually want to be like Brighton, but wants to be with him, as more than a friend. Jay has finally accepted that he’s gay, and that he’s been attracted to Brighton for a long time. He can’t keep living a lie any more because it’s destroying him inside, and if it means losing some people in his life then he’s willing to take that chance, to be able to be honest with himself and be free, and actually loving the person he sees when he looks in his mirror every morning.This was the most beautifully written story, of self-acceptance, coming out and finding true happiness within. There were highs and lows, and moments that were just breathtaking. I was drawn to this book as soon as I read the blurb, something just called to me, and I knew I had to read it. I spent almost the whole book with my skin tingling, butterflies in my tummy and practically glowing with happiness. And when I finished…well, lets just say I was Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club (one of my favorite films of all time) my fist was in the air in victory and triumph, and my head and heart had Don’t You Forget About Me screaming out as I closed my kindle down. This was an astonishing piece of writing that couldn’t portray the love is love message any more perfectly if it tried. I am so grateful to the author for the privilege of being able to read this awe-inspiring story, I don’t think it’ll ever leave me.***The ARC was provided by Harmony Ink Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

  • Sarah
    2019-01-05 16:11

    2.5/5 - This review has spoilers, but nothing too serious.First off, it was the cover that drew me to this book. I found it to be beautiful and simple and I would love to have it has a poster. Kudos to the artist, you're amazing. Not only that, but the plot summary for the book was amazing, and immediately drew me in. A popular, young jock questioning his sexuality embarks on a road trip with a fellow, openly gay student, discovering themselves along the way. I went into this expecting a road trip story about self-discovery and friendship and possible fluff romance, but instead got a mediocre smut (?)romance story about two boys who drove around town for a few hours. When I hear 'road trip', I am thinking 'let's drive to this location that's 5-6 + hours away!' not the local diner and a sculpture park (oh sorry, forgot about the lake area). I'm pretty sure that doesn't constitute as a road trip, but okay? This book made you think it was something and it was a complete different story. Instead we get a jock who questions his sexuality, has a crisis and ends up having sex 6 hours after coming out and making out with this kid for the entirety of the book??? I found the entire coming out to be completely unbelievable. I grew up in a small rural area (just one state away from the setting of this book actually, in an actual homophobic community) and I'm 100% sure coming to terms with my sexuality did not even come close to this. Jay and Brighton live in a close minded small town (I'm guessing near Minneapolis) and Jay's mother seems to be extremely homophobic and extremely religious and it seems impossible to think that a kid who grew up in such a household, in such a community, who struggled with himself and his sexuality is just...this?! I mean I guess someone's coming out might have been like this, but I find it extremely difficult to believe. I am trying to find a nice way to say this, but you can tell a woman who is most likely straight (I didn't see anywhere, where she identified as bi/pan/queer so I apologize in advance if she is) wrote this story. Instead of focusing on Jay's insecurities, his struggles and completely emotional moments, we have steamy make outs. Which, if that's your thing, go ahead I suppose? I found the first few chapters to be actually pretty good, Jay struggling, Brighton wanting to help him but that storyline was thrown out the SUV window for some lite smut. See, I don't know why this book just rubs me the wrong way? Maybe it's because I am queer and I related to Jay in the beginning, in his struggle to fit in. He was relatable, scared and wanted to be someone he couldn't. Brighton actually wanting to help, but in the end, in my opinion, takes advantage of Jay during his low emotional point. This story just read as one of those situations where you have a canon gay couple and the female just hyper-focus/sexualize them. Not only that, but there was an insane amount of slurs in this book and the lovely trope of the bully is extremely homophobic so he must be gay!! which is a huge no in my books.....some people are just assholes Janet; let's not try and sugarcoat their shitty behavior by making them gay (even if it is for a joke). I guess this is a case of a beautiful cover and an amazing plot summary hiding a bad story. She had this great idea and took it a completely different direction and I'm just disappointed that I fell for this trap.

  • Jess
    2018-12-21 16:02

    5 fucking stars!To say that I was surprised by my love for this book would be a massive understatement. My expectations were so low, in fact, that I almost didn't bother to pick it up at all. Boy would that have been a mistake. How Haven Francis, a by all accounts straight woman, managed to accurately depict what it's like to be a gay teen living in small town suburban America is beyond me. But she did. So. Amazingly. Well.Jay and Brighton are polar opposites on a lot of things except for one. They're gay. Jay is the closeted, all-American popular kid. And Brighton is the out and proud flirtatious type. These two characters alone show the multiple facets that being an LGBT+ teen can take. You can be the closeted type, not yet willing to admit it to yourself let alone the rest of the world. You can also be the out and proud type, dodging vicious words and fists happily so long as you get to be yourself. But having these two differing points of views wasn't the best part of this book. Surprising, right?The best part of Riding with Brighton was the fact that these differing points of views were in first person narration. The great surprise came at just how perfectly their thoughts seemed to align with mine. How could this author possibly understand the inner working of my brain if she herself had seemingly never lived through it? While I still have no answer to that question, I'm continuously amazed by her ability to do just that. Jay had me remembering what it was like to question myself. Be ashamed and guilty even though I had no reason to be. I could relate to Jay more than to Brighton since I'm still not terribly comfortable in my skin or in my identity. And Brighton. God, I love Brighton. While he may not have been Jay's role model, he has most definitely become mine. If only a kid like Brighton had existed in my high school, maybe then I wouldn't have dropped out of school. These two characters both separately and combined are two of the best I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Their wit, along with their inner struggles and epiphanies, had me screeching, screaming, and on the verge of tears throughout.Let us also not forget the beauty that is Mickey and Max Bello-Adler, Brighton's beautiful parents, and Tom Hall, Jay's dad, who all accept their children unconditionally without question. This book, along with the epilogue from Jay's perspective, gave me a newfound hope for my future. It also will hopefully stay in my mind for the rest of this new year, and give me the kick in the ass I need to get out there and finally live as the person I truly am. Both Jay Hall and Brighton Bello-Adler are an inspiration to me and to likely a lot of other gay kids reading this book. They'll also pretty accurately inform any allies reading this book who are sure to love it too. Thank you, Haven Francis, for the beauty that is now one of my new favorite books, Riding with Brighton.Do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK. (And if you don't like ebooks because neither do I, you can buy the paperback on the Barnes and Noble website so don't let that hold you back from reading).

  • Pablito
    2019-01-13 20:06

    Quite frankly, for the first few pages I did not like the foul-mouthed, self-absorbed Jay Hall I was meeting. . . and then third period History happens. . . and I can't really say I'm in love with Brighton Bello-Aldo, the teacher's pet who comes in late for class everyday and charmingly gets away with it. But it just so happens that self-absorbed Jay is sitting in the seat next to privileged Brighton, and one of them forgot a pen, and the most realistic, humorous subliminal flirtatious dialogue brings these two 18-year-olds to life, and reader, you are h o o k e d. This is a coming out story and a first love story between two guys who are completed by each other, and we don't find this out, we live it out, with them, over the course of a weekend, the weekend after one lends the other his Uni-ball, and the other makes fun of his Bic. And we realize the characters that we met in those early chapters weren't meant to be liked, until they could like themselves, and they need each other for that to unfold. And unfold they do, right into your heart.. So take a ride with Brighton and Jay, and see if you don't recall how it felt to fall in love, in this pearl of a YA novel about learning to face one's fears. This one is right up there with my favorite ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE.

  • J
    2019-01-02 14:20

    A delightful coming of age story about two 18 year olds, one gay seemingly happy with the life he has been dealt, and one fairly sure he is gay but who has been trying to hide it from both himself and his family/friends resulting in a very unhappy, confused life. These two are classmates and over the course of the book "close" friends. The whole story takes place over the course of only a few days.The not yet gay boy is a big man on campus and baseball jock. It is a huge deal for him to tell everyone he is gay. The already gay boy is subject to the usual name calling (usually by the boy jock's friends) but has accepted himself and is open about everything. It is very cerebral, lots of discussion, philosophysing (sp?), hand-wringing over what will happen when mom/brother/high school friends find out about the boy that is ready to come out, etc., etc. Unfortunately, by cerebral, I'm afraid I also mean drawn out and a tad boring at times, thus not a full 5 stars. But overall a great story.

  • T.S. Moten-Graham
    2018-12-28 17:05

    This was actually a very good book. It held my attention and I wanted to get back to it when I put it down. There were parts that were too wordy, but the author got us through that part. I really enjoyed the portion of the book where the author allowed us to see the book from Jay's point of view. It is not often that we the reader gets to view a gay athlete. It was refreshing, that although it was centered on High School seniors, it did not focus on that aspect. It could have easily been a college setting. The author did a good job on the narrative. I absolutely love Brighton, what a refreshing character, so upbeat and positive.

  • Christina's Bookshelf
    2019-01-07 15:17

    Riding with Brighton is a Young Adult book with some Big Adult content. :)This whole story takes place within four days. Four really stressful, secret revealing, lovely days. Jay Hall who is ready to stop living a lie and ready to live as himself confides in Brighton. The only gay kid he knows. While Brighton is at first skeptical they end up spending a day together with walls down. They quickly go from classmates to friends. Then friends to lovers. So much happens within this time span. All of it exceptionally written. You can see my full review here:

  • Neil Plakcy
    2019-01-06 22:14

    I can't say enough great things about this book-- from the great-looking cover to the gorgeous descriptions to the insightful writing, this is definitely one of my top reads for the year. Jay and Brighton come across as very well-developed, believable characters, and the way they both react to the actions of the single day the book encompasses (well, it's a little more than that, but the bulk of it takes place on one day) is very understandable.Even the minor characters are distinct, from their high school friends to their parents. Really, an awesome book!

  • Monica
    2019-01-12 19:02

    I started reading the book for review but would pay to read it. It was a great coming out book and I mean that in more ways than one. It was very sentimental and emotional. I really enjoyed the book and want to read more about Brighton and Jay. Both characters are incredible in their own way. I love that the epilogue was able to answer many questions. I hope to read a small sequel of what happens ten years later. I would recommend this book to those emotional M/M lovers out there.

  • Taid Stone
    2018-12-19 21:10

    I haven't read a gay coming-of-age coming-out novel in a few years. If the category is not familiar to you, but you like male-male romance (occasionally a bit erotic), Haven Francis's novel is perfect. It's meant for young adults I imagine, but any age will enjoy aspects of it. It is humorous. It is insightful at times about being a high school senior looking forward to college where someone gay can finally be themselves. Finally, it's simple fun.

  • Bostjan
    2019-01-05 22:06

    Apologies for ruining the average -- this book wasn't really for me. The coming out somehow didn't 'feel right' and although I guess it could be possible, I couldn't relate to it. The second part of the book especially dragged on for me; aside from the very good start I didn't quite like the rest. I really really liked Brighton though - he's super cool!