Review: Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

Title: Golden Boys
Author: Phil Stamper
Series: Golden Boys
Genre: Coming-of-age, Self-discovery, LGBTQIA+
Summary: Gabriel, Reese, Sal, and Heath are best friends, bonded in their small rural town by their queerness, their good grades, and their big dreams. They are about to embark on the summer before senior year of high school, where each is going on a new, big adventure. Reese is attending a design school in Paris. Gabriel is going to Boston to volunteer with an environmental nonprofit. Sal is interning on Capitol Hill for a U.S. Senator. And Heath is stuck going to Daytona Beach to help out at his aunt’s beachfront arcade.

What will this summer of new experiences and world-expanding travel mean for each of them—and for their friendship? 

My Thoughts:

I know I promised on Twitter this would be up yesterday but if I’m honest I found myself picking the book up and re-reading some of my favourite parts…which were…almost all of them.

One of the best things about blogging about books isn’t so much this part, it’s really about sinking into a book and memorizing and savouring every little bit that you can from the content. Sure, sometimes it can be arduous and feel like a school project more than something you would do for fun when you work an insane amount of hours already but then you get books like this and you remember why you started this project in the first place.

Because reading is fun. Books are fun. And sometimes, especially in the dark times, they can make life seem a little less bleak and hopeless.

This book was like sunshine for me (and I don’t see much of it, I’m Canadian after all).

It was, quite simply, a joy to read.

I didn’t think I could love one of Phil Stamper’s books more than I loved The Gravity of Us (I’m a huge space nerd) but then Phil wrote about politics, environmentalism, art, fashion and those summer jobs we never really leave behind. And I was hooked.

I feel deeply in love with these four realistic, flawed but oh so wonderful characters.

No spoilers but I’m going to talk about them for a bit.

Gabriel wanting to reinvent himself is so relatable, and he has such a warm caring heart that I want to hug him forever.

Sal tries so hard to protect himself from things and other people that I want to tell him it’s okay to have moments of vulnerability.

Reese has the heart of an artist and the mind of a romantic and I adore him.

Heath just…is…so…good. He tries so hard.

These boys will be cemented in my mind for a good while, and me? Well I’ll be eagerly awaiting Phil Stamper’s next book, because he made Ohio seem alive in the way he wrote it, along with Washington, Paris, Boston and Daytona. The settings lived and breathed, and lent themselves to some very interesting circumstances.

I received a free copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is out February 8th and you should definitely pick it up!

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