Loved it!

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Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I'm so glad this comes out in May. It's the perfect book to read right before or during Pride.

Kings of B'more is about two gay best friends. Harrison and Linus have been best friends since they first met. Harrison feels like he's on the precipice of everything: college, standarized testing, the rest of adult life. He's so glad he has his best friend Linus to count on. But when Linus tells him, he's moving away, the two boys are sent into a tail spin.

Harrison decides he has to make a grand gesture to cement his and Linus's friendship. With the help of his friend Aparna, he plans a grand adventure a la Ferris Bueller's Day Off before Linus leaves. What starts off as the perfectly planned day, quickly devolves into spontaneous side quests and dodging parents/authority figures.

This book was so much fun. It's absolutely full of queer Black joy and I loved every second of it. The ending had such a powerful message about how strong friendship is and how it should be cherished. It made me so emotional at the end!

I love both Harrison and Linus. They were so easy to relate to and I loved seeing their various relationships to family and their friendship circle. Going to the Pride Fest and other various activities with these two was so much fun. I loved getting to explore Baltimore with them. Then we had Aparna's intermissions which were so quirky and fun! I loved how she sets the scene like a theatre production.

Overall, cannot recommend this one enough. It's full of queer joy and celebrates friendship in a way that I don't often see in YA.

Rep: Black gay male MC, Black gay male (autistic-coded) MC, white bisexual female character, side MLM couple (interracial white and Black partners), queer female side characters, nonbinary side character, Indian-American female side characters both named Aparna, several Black side characters.

CWs: Abandonment, alcohol consumption. Moderate: suicidal thoughts (from a side character), racism.