A gay teen discovers a secret talent that could land him in some serious trouble.
Cole is finishing high school with a great group of friends, good grades, two supportive parents, and a solid plan for his future: studying linguistics and becoming an ASL interpreter like his Deaf father. When opening a door in his school hallway in small-town Ontario lands him in a museum miles away and the cute athlete he’s crushed on from afar starts talking to him, his seemingly smooth senior year and solid future plans go up in smoke. Burgoine (Of Echoes Born, 2018, etc.) has created a gay teen protagonist who is a bit goofy at times but who is comfortable in his own skin. Most of the main teen characters in this book fall on the LGBTQIAP spectrum; the varying representation is refreshing and done well. Most characters are assumed white except for Cole’s crush, Malik, originally from Toronto, who is black and the target of microaggressions in this non–ethnically diverse setting. While the fantasy element is compelling, the worldbuilding disappoints: Cole’s ability to teleport and the mysterious people connected to his adventures are never clearly explained. The large array of seemingly unrelated topics leave the reader a bit overwhelmed and wanting for more of an explanation and cohesive plot.
Overall, a feel-good, contemporary read with strong LGBTQIAP rep and an unusual fantasy subplot. (Fantasy. 14-18)