cover image Golden Boys (Golden Boys #1)

Golden Boys (Golden Boys #1)

Phil Stamper. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0737-2

Friends since preschool, Gabriel, Heath, Reese, and Sal are all gay and implied white in small-town Ohio. The summer before senior year, they’ll be apart for the first time. While Gabriel helps an environmental group in Boston, Sal’s interning with a senator in Washington, D.C., the distance placing their friends-with-benefits arrangement on hold. And while Heath makes money working for his long-estranged aunt in Daytona Beach, Reese studies graphic design in Paris. The friends alternate narration and chime in to group chats, talking through—and sometimes glossing over—their difficulties. Gabriel’s anxious enough without having to accost strangers on the street for donations. Sal’s internship is so disorganized it borders on exploitative. Heath and Reese are both suffering from unrequited love, and Reese is less than certain about continuing with his course of study. Stamper (As Far as You’ll Take Me) has written a good-natured duology opener—all four guys genuinely care for and support one another—about navigating the familial, romantic, and vocational challenges that come with taking their first steps away from home and familiarity. Ages 13–up. Agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US. (Feb.)