Review of Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues by H.S. Valley

Release Date: February 14, 2023
Publisher: Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy


What happens when your enemy becomes your friend … with benefits?Red, White and Royal Blue meets The Magicians in this surprising, wildly original and joyously funny LGBTQ YA novel set in a magical boarding school.

Tim Te Maro and Elliott Parker – classmates at Fox Glacier High School for the Magically Adept – have never gotten along. But when they both get dumped the day before the big egg-baby assignment, they reluctantly decide to ditch their exes and work together. When the two boys start to bond over their magically enchanted egg-baby, they realize that beneath their animosity is something like friendship … or physical attraction.Soon, a no-strings-attached hook-up seems like a good idea. Just for the duration of the assignment. After all, they don’t have feelings for each other … so what could possibly go wrong?

From debut Kiwi author H.S. Valley, the latest winner of the Ampersand Prize, comes this gleefully addictive romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan. In a word – it’s magic.

My Thoughts

Elliott and Tim can’t keep their hands off each other. Once the project is done, they’ll cut things off, no harm, no foul, no strings attached. That was the plan, right? But the more time they spend together, and the more nighttime fun they have, the more the walls they built to keep each other out begin to crumble. When a drunken spell goes awry, the boys face some very big decisions. More slice-of-life than plot-heavy, Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues meanders through the story. It’s a cozy, intimate novel about love, life, and teenage impulses…

Read the rest of this review at Locus Magazine.

Buy at (affiliate link).

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