ARC Review: The Magnificent Sons by Justin Myers

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I received an ARC of this book via Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


At twenty-nine, Jake D’Arcy has finally got his life just right. Job with prospects: check. Steady girlfriend: check. Keeping his exhausting, boisterous family at bay: check. So why isn’t he happier?

When his confident, much-adored younger brother Trick comes out as gay to a rapturous response, Jake realises he has questions about his own repressed bisexuality, and that he can’t wait any longer to find his answers.

As Trick begins to struggle with navigating the murky waters of adult relationships, Jake must confront himself and those closest to him. He’s beginning to believe his own life could be magnificent, if he can be brave enough to make it happen . . .

My thoughts

After finishing Meddling Kids , admittedly, I found myself in a bit of a reading rut. Not quite a reading slump, as I still find the time to read whatever possible in between working from home (even if it’s the TV guide or a Sunday magazine), but a rut that comes with having so many brilliant books to read (both from NetGalley and from the ever-growing collection of books I’ve bought on my Kindle since normal life – and my ability to wait a while until I buy another book – went out the window…cheers COVID-19!). Luckily, Justin Myer’s The Magnificent Sons was just the book to get me out of my rut.

Pride Month has been plastered all over social media and it made me realise – as a straight, white female – my knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community (and the struggles they face) is very limited. Though there’s no doubt a lot of the books I read are good (and some not so good), the books I’ve been exposed to and the books I pick up time after time are very much straight and white. Myers offers a contrast to this, through two brothers Trick and Jake, who are navigating their sexuality and themselves amongst a backdrop of exciting, quirky characters.

I liked the way the book drifted from present to past, illustrating the brothers journey to finding out who they are.

I also liked that we had two brothers at very different stages in their lives who still struggled with the same emotions, Trick’s announcement sets in motion Jake’s journey to self discovery and Jake’s revelation has Trick thinking about himself and his sexuality, too.

The one thing I wasn’t keen on was Trick’s character. I wasn’t as interested in his narrative and his journey, though I think it’s good that Myers includes characters who vary in ages – so readers have someone to relate to. Trick was funny and flamboyant but I just couldn’t get passed him being the stereotypical Gen-Z kid – I really wanted to like him but I couldn’t help but feel annoyed by him.

Saying that, I’m thankful Myers opened my eyes to a different kind of character- as well as a different kind of narrative – and I will definitely be picking up his previous book and whatever he writes next.

The Magnificent Sons will be published on 6th August 2020

What have you been reading recently? I’d love to chat in the comments 😊 (plus, if you have any LGBTQ+ book recommendations, let me know 🏳️‍🌈!)

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