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Just about everything in the world of The Fascinators is the same as our world except for the fact that magic is real, and as one might expect, magic is looked upon with suspicion in Sam’s small town in Georgia. That’s probably why the magic club at Sam’s school only has a couple of kids— James and Delia, his closest friends.

The start of Sam’s senior year brings a number of changes: new members of the magic club, a shift in his friendship with James, and the increasing possibility of trouble bigger than they can imagine.

I’ve read queer YA books.

I’ve read magic/fantasy YA books.

But this is my first experience with a book that combines those two factors. The result is simply magical.

Please pardon that dreadful pun; I don’t know how else to say it. This is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in a while.

OMG, I did it again. I’m so sorry.

No, but seriously—this was such a good book. The high school drama was realistic. Teens have plenty of ups and downs and the absolute angst of adolescence, especially during senior year when everything is about to change, is captured perfectly. This aspect of the plot would have been enough on its own, but the addition of magic takes the book to the next level. Not everyone who practices magic is a good person and there are sinister forces closer to home than the gang realizes.

There are multiple points-of-view, and I appreciated this distinction because it was important to have everyone’s perspective. I’m going to have to tread carefully to avoid spoilers, but understanding why characters were making decisions made it easier to empathize with them even though they were clearly misguided.

I would absolutely recommend The Fascinators. My thirteen year old daughter read the book after I finished and she liked it a lot. This is a book about figuring out who you are and who your friends are; friendships are tested and decisions have to be made. Magic has always been a fun hobby for Sam and his friends, but magic might be what destroys them. I loved every minute of this book and I’m looking forward to reading more from Eliopulos in the future.

 

I received a copy of this book from Quill Tree Books/Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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