If you spend enough time on Twitter or any other social media as a reader, you’ll eventually find yourself with a circle of people whose taste in fiction matches yours EXACTLY. It’s one of my favorite things about the globalization of social interaction, honestly. Pre-Internet, your choices for friends were people who lived near you. For those of us who come from small towns, that was no guarantee of a match in tastes or inclinations. For those of us who are queer from small towns, it was virtually a given that there wouldn’t be a perfect match. So these days, I delight in knowing that there are People Like Me Out There. All of this is to say that when my ENTIRE TWITTER FEED started talking about this book, I had a very reasonable certainty that I would like it. When the three or four people whose tastes match mine so exactly that we all read the same books AND fanfic (you know who you are) announced how much they loved this book, it was a pre-order for me. In hardcover.
And guess what. I loved it. Like. LOVED it. Was seized by a tornado of feelings during and after the reading of it. Remain deeply enthralled by it. Have shouted at at least three hundred people about it. Will continue to shout about it for years to come. It’s so good, friends. If you’re looking for a book to love, this is it.
I tore through this book in three hours, and during that time I experienced every feeling I’ve ever possessed and a few I didn’t know existed. There are so many moments in this book that I wanted to quote-tweet. The banter is so good here. Julian is an EFFERVESCENT DELIGHT. Yadriel is MY BELOVED SON. I would die for BOTH OF THEM.
The way that Yadriel’s identity is affirmed in ways that genuinely matter is deeply satisfying. In fact, satisfying is the best word to describe SO MUCH about this book. The progression of Julian and Yadriel’s relationship? Satisfying. The support Yadriel receives from cousins and found family alike? Satisfying. The resolution of the plot twist and comeuppance of the villain? Satisfying. Every last loophole is resolved in the absolutely perfect ending, and I closed the book feeling like I’d just eaten the best meal of my life AND had a perfect night’s sleep. So satisfied.
Look. There’s so much to say about this book. It’s own voices. Trans rep. Brujx. Cultural representation – at multiple levels. There are lost youths, found families, bio families, supportive, confused, and converted. A deep sense of community. There is magic. There is reality. There is a perfect, perfect relationship. There’s a twist – that’s not really a twist. We all knew! We just didn’t want to! Just LET YADRIEL BE HAPPY.
The point is, this book is perfect, and I’m so late in writing my review that you can go find a LOT of people who are much smarter than I am elucidating all the reasons why this book is incredible and deserves to be at the top of every list. All I can do to add to the fray is shriek, at the top of my lungs, about how much I loved this book and want you to read it.
Consider yourself shrieked at.