Stay Gold

Tobly McSmith

fiction contemporary lgbtqia+ young adult
emotional fast-paced

368 pages | first published 2020

Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who’s going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she’s counting down the days until graduation. Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Becky Albertalli, and Jenny Han.

Pony just wants to fly under the radar during senior year. Tired from all the attention he got at his old school after coming out as transgender, he’s looking for a fresh start at Hillcrest High. But it’s hard to live your best life when the threat of exposure lurks down every hallway and in every bathroom.

Georgia is beginning to think there’s more to life than cheerleading. She plans on keeping a low profile until graduation…which is why she promised herself that dating was officially a no-go this year.

Then, on the very first day of school, the new guy and the cheerleader lock eyes. How is Pony supposed to stay stealth when he wants to get close to a girl like Georgia? How is Georgia supposed to keep her promise when sparks start flying with a boy like Pony?

Funny and poignant, clear-eyed and hopeful, Stay Gold is a story about finding love—and finding yourself.

What the community thinks

summary of 325 ratings (see reviews)

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emotional 85%
hopeful 62%
inspiring 53%
informative 46%
sad 32%
reflective 30%
challenging 28%
funny 21%
tense 19%
dark 17%
lighthearted 10%


medium 60%
fast 38%
slow 1%

Strong character development?

Yes: 74% | It's complicated: 17% | No: 7%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 55% | It's complicated: 29% | No: 12% | N/A: 1%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 77% | It's complicated: 16% | No: 5%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 78% | It's complicated: 18% | N/A: 2% | No: 2%

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