Coming-of-Age + Ferris Bueller's Day Off

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"Your heart will break in this life, but when it does break, I hope every crack makes more space inside for love." - Kings of B'more by R. Eric Thomas

I'm excited to review Kings of B'more by R. Eric Thomas on the first day of PRIDE Month. I appreciated Here For It, the author's essay collection and enjoyed his first YA novel that primarily takes place on a single day in June.

Harrison and Linus, Black gay 16-year-old best friends, had their future planned. They would work summer jobs at the same place, graduate high school in a couple of years, and attend college together. That plan is ruined when Linus tells Harrison he's moving from Baltimore to South Carolina in just a few days.

Inspired by the classic 80’s movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Harrision secretly arranges a Ferris Day full of adventures for Linus. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and as events unfold, readers see them deal with a wide range of issues including race, family dynamics, economic resources, friend groups, and body

It was a fun surprise to discover that this well-crafted coming-of-age novel features a movie I associate with my college years, and I hope it creates a new generation of Ferris Bueller fans.

This will be a 'mirror' book for many teens and a 'window' book for others. I appreciated how the parents were portrayed and wondered if Linus and Harrison's relationship would change as a result of Ferris Day.

Thank you to Kokila Books, NetGalley, and BookishFirst for the review copies of this novel.