Phil Stamper is a very sweetly written YA romance with a m/m central theme. Due out 4th Feb 2020 from Bloomsbury YA, it's 320 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.
There's a lot to love here. The writer is quite gifted with descriptive prose and the characters are sensitively rendered, distinct, and likable. I enjoyed the gentle pacing and development. I read about half of the book imagining that it would be a simple coming of age story with the added tension which often befalls LGBTQ youth. I was wrong. There is, of course, the fraught young love and some drama associated with navigating coming out to family, and trying to maintain a relationship amidst huge life changes (cross country moves, school changes, college/university, etc) but there's also a pretty solid antagonist and mystery along with a satisfying denouement.
I really liked the background stories of Cal's social media presence and reading about the space program and astronauts and their families. I've been a huge NASA nerd since I was a toddler a zillion years ago (my dad was an engineer and space nut) and I spent a lot of the read smiling.
Beautifully written, satisfying, upbeat, and positive. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it unhesitatingly for YA readers who enjoy romance and coming of age novels. The language is R rated, there's some implied sexual content (off scene) as well as sensitively handled discussion of depression, relationships, family issues, etc.
Four stars. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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