Book Review: Golden Boys by Phil Stamper (ARC)
“National bestselling author Phil Stamper crafts the perfect summer friendship story, starring four queer boys with big hearts and even bigger dreams.
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 a 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?”
I received Golden Boys by Phil Stamper for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much Pride Book Tours & Bloomsbury YA for having me on the tour!
In Golden Boys we follow Gabriel, Sal, Heath & Reece on their first summer apart from each other after a tough year. I absolutely adored these characters - their friendship was so special plus I loved that they were all queer! It was so nice to see an established queer friend group in a book and even though they had to spend the summer apart I loved how it brought them closer together.
Although they are starting to find that following their dreams and current plans in some cases aren’t what they cracked up to be I really enjoyed seeing their growth in confidence and how open they were to trying new things. Trying to figure out what to do with your life is a big and scary thing and it can feel like we’re meant to have it all figured out by the time we’re 18. Honestly, I’m 24 and I still don’t have it figured out! This story encapsulates that feeling perfectly and made me feel so seen!
The multi-POV chapters were done so well and I really liked how we got to spend dedicated time to each character. I enjoyed getting to know them as a group and then even further individually. The writing was spectacular all throughout the book, I didn’t want to put it down! Additionally, isn’t the cover just absolutely gorgeous?!
Plus I thought that the way the author dealt with the topic of COVID in this story was so
thoughtfully done and it really brought to light how impactful this pandemic has been on younger people. It was a meaningful, fresh perspective that made me connect with the characters even more!
The Golden Boys is an impactful, emotional and genuine coming of age story that was a pleasure to read!