A review by emmaward55
Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

lighthearted slow-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated


This review is a bit of a sad one, because I'm feeling disappointment with this book.

It starts slow and the pacing felt off throughout. Having four point of view characters can be tricky at the best of times, but it was too many narrators in the allotted space. Stamper would have done better either by spending more time with each boy (and giving us a longer book) or cutting one of the POVs. This is a shame to say, because at first all the different stories sound so interesting, but we're never with any character long enough to get anything of substance from them. I know as much about these boys in chapter sixty as I did in chapter ten. 

Heath suffered the worse from this, with what felt like barely any chapters to live out his child-of-divorce plot. I can list off five surface-level facts about his life and that's it. I didn't get why Reese had such a thing for him. Reese is also the other character who doesn't seem to undergo any significant transformation during his "character arc", if we can call it that. He decides he likes a slightly different field of art better than his current interest and that was... it? There was no sense of passion from him in his chapters, no inspiration or excitement in his telling of events. He was boring for an artist.

Sal and Gabe fare better overall, with the former confirming that he has no idea what his next step is, and the latter getting a shot of confidence for the first time. Sal's plot was the most interesting. I could have read an entire novel just about Sal's time interning for the Senator. 

Honestly I'm losing interest in writing this review now. I don't think it was a bad book, but it had some pretty big structural flaws. The writing isn't detailed, but it's easy to read and fine if you're just looking for some lighthearted queer romance and friendship dynamics. 

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