Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1633
atmospheric and enthralling YA contemporary fantasy
Overall rating
Writing Style
THE FASCINATORS is an atmospheric YA contemporary fantasy. Sam is out in a rural Georgia town, where he is frequently aware of the rampant homophobia. Luckily, he has his two BFFs, Delia and James, who are all part of the magic club at their school. In this world, magic is commonplace, though not everyone approves of it, and there are elite magical colleges and magic competitions. Their high school does not have any magic classes, but they have their club called The Fascinators, where they hang out and practice several days a week.

Sam is in love with James, who has been pulling away from Delia and Sam ever since something happened over the summer. When he finally reveals part of what has been keeping him away from the other two, it turns out that he has gotten himself in trouble with the wrong sort of people. Sam and Delia must help to make it right. In the process, they will also analyze their friendship and magic as they forge a path forward- along with newcomers to their tight-knit group, particularly Denver who just moved from Tennessee and who is flirting with Sam, maybe.

What I loved: This book is completely enthralling and atmospheric, managing to be really about character development rather than just the action/suspense elements. The characters are felt very real and were developed throughout the story. I also really appreciated the themes about religion (which conflicts with magic) and homophobia, though this was a lighter theme but definitely something always present.

What left me wanting more: There are a lot of answers that we don't get by the end of the book, so I am hoping there will be a sequel. I also felt like we were missing a chapter at the end that resolves the romantic connections (being vague to avoid spoilers), although I was happy with where it all ended in the last chapter.

Final verdict: Atmospheric and engaging, THE FASCINATORS is a YA contemporary fantasy that is perfect for fans of THE LOST COAST and/or THE RAVEN BOYS.
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