Fairy Boys by Daniel Tawse

‘Oh Lord, if you’re listening, it’s me—Star. It’s been a while. Please, please, please make a giant hole open up in the ground so I can fall through it and never be seen again. Failing that, the usual stuff will do—a swarm of locusts, a pox on their houses. You know the drill. If you get me out of this one, I promise I’ll go back to Sunday school. Please, I’m desperate. Amen.’

Star Stephenson is about to spend his summer break trapped in hell, or as he likes to call it—the Scotswood Estate, Newcastle. He’s at the very end of his tether. The boys on the backfield despise him, his only sort-of friend in the world is sick of him locking himself away in his bedroom, and he can’t remember the last time he had a conversation with Dad. If only he could find a way to be like the other boys, so he could have a proper summer with proper friends.

When Dad’s strange sister shows up unannounced with the offer of a summer spent at her cottage in Beadnell Bay—wherever that is—Star jumps at the chance to get out of Newcastle. This could be the opportunity he’s been waiting for to get all of the things he desperately wants.

But when a dirty caravan shows up by the beach the morning after they arrive, bringing with it a girl with fiery eyes who knows his name, and a boy wearing pink fairy wings, Star’s idea of what a proper summer is supposed to look like begins to fade. In its place something else starts to grow, something he has long since forgotten about.

Magic.

But magic is for desperate people who can’t cope with the truth, isn’t it? And wasn’t there a good reason why he forgot about magic in the first place?

***************************************

I love this book, it had me laughing and crying and had my heart pounding at one point, I may have also had a minor wheeze-laugh moment (you’ll see!) Star is so lovely, I went from wanting to protect him to cheering him on. Kitty is my favourite character, she gets the best line in the whole book ” I’m your worst nightmare lads – a woman with a mind of her own.” I love it.
Fairy Boys has a strong LGBTQ+ theme which I love, but it’s also so much more than that, it deals with grief and healing, it’s about finding yourself and your place in the world, it carries such a beautiful message of belonging, of knowing that you matter, about the importance of family, it is beautifully descriptive and filled with magic. I can picture what I imagine the beaches and the cottage looking like so clearly in my mind. The ending of the book could have gone in several different directions and I think the author carried it out beautifully, I love how everything came together. I hope there’ll be a follow up book!

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