cover image The Fascinators

The Fascinators

Andrew Eliopulos. Quill Tree, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-288804-4

In small-town Georgia, being a magicker is only slightly more acceptable than being gay, which makes things very difficult for high schooler Sam, who is both. With his best friends Delia and James, the group makes up the entire roster of their high school’s magic team, the Fascinators. Sam leans heavily on Delia as he pines for James’s affection, while James spends time at church and drinking heavily to escape his circumstances. Trouble begins as James steals a book from True Light, a cultlike magical group looking for ways to increase their numbers. When new student Denver joins the team and begins a friendship with Sam, his relationship with Delia and James begins to fracture under the strain of the secrets they have been keeping from each other. Eliopulos, making his YA debut, crafts a world in which magic is part of everyday life, but the narrative follows a more realistic journey as his main characters navigate friendship, first loves, and heartbreaks, all in witty banter. Though the fantastical elements serve as mere catalyst for Sam to realize who he is and who he wishes to become, Eliopulos excels with interpersonal relationships, building out the complexities of childhood friends on the precipice of adulthood. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (May) [/em]