Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

National bestselling author Phil Stamper crafts the perfect summer friendship story, starring four queer boys with big hearts and even bigger dreams.


It's the summer before senior year. Gabriel, Reese, Sal, and Heath are best friends, bonded in their small, rural town by their queerness, their good grades, and their big dreams. But they have plans for the summer, each about to embark on a new adventure.

What will this season of world-expanding travel and life-changing experiences mean for each of them--and for their friendship?

What I thought

Do you ever reach the end of a book and want to start it all over again? 

That’s how I felt about Phil Stamper’s Golden Boys. This was a fantastic read about four queer friends from a small village called Gracemont in Ohio. 

The characters are likeable and the writing shines bright in this deeply moving coming of age novel about love, life, and friendships. 

The book starts at the beginning of summer, when the four friends are getting ready to say their bittersweet goodbyes to one another before jetting off on their separate ways for the season. 

Sal is leaving for an internship with a senator on Capital Hill, Gabe is off to save the trees and advocate about climate change in Boston, Reese is headed to Paris for design school, and Heath is taking a trip to Daytona Beach to escape his parent's divorce and work at his aunt’s arcade on the boardwalk.

The boys have been together since preschool, and are tightly bound by their years of friendship. Sal and Gabe's relationship is special and Heath and Reese's love for one another is palpable.

The book transitions smoothly from one chapter and one character to the next. I loved the alternating points of view, which gives the reader a glimpse into what each of the characters are thinking throughout.

It was beautiful to see the characters develop and overcome hurdles as they each stepped outside of their comfort zones and found their footing in their new cities. 

I was really touched by this novel, since it reminded me of graduating from high school and leaving my friends to spend the summer interning in New York, then later leaving for Paris. I also saw a part of myself in each of the characters in this book.

All in all, this is a stunning novel with a great cast of characters. I can’t recommend it enough. 

Courtesy of GoodReads
Phil Stamper is the bestselling author of The Gravity of Us and As Far As You’ll Take Me. His stories are packed with queer joy, and his characters are often too ambitious for their own good. Born and raised in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio, he now lives in New York City with his husband and their dog. 

Golden Boys is available for pre-order (releasing Feb 8th) in hardcover from Indigo and in e-book format from Kobo.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for my advanced reader copy.