Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  2 February 2021

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 271


A funny and heart-warming queer Indigenous YA novel, set in a rural Australian community, about seventeen-year-old Jackson finding the courage to explore who he is, even if it scares him.

‘I don’t paint so much anymore,’ I say, looking to my feet.

‘Oh. Well, I got a boy who needs to do some art. You can help him out,’ Aunty Pam says, like I have no say in the matter, like she didn’t hear what I just said about not painting so much anymore. ‘Jackson, this is Tomas. He’s living with me for a little while.’

It’s a hot summer, and life’s going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It’s almost Christmas, school’s out, and he’s hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson’s Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city – but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them… As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret – a secret he thought he’d locked away for good.



Thank you to Allen & Unwin  for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!

Jackson had just finished year 11 and has a whole house full of his little cousins coming to stay. This year, his Aunty Pam brings along someone else though. Tomas has just got out of Juvie and is working on something creative to stay out of trouble. As Jackson and Tomas become friends, Jackson starts to realize that maybe there’s a reason he’s never been able to bring himself to go all the way with his girlfriend. But boys on the Mish do not look at other boys the way he is looking at Tomas. It’s already difficult enough being aboriginal in a school of mostly white people, there’s no way he could deal with admitting his true feelings to anyone else.

I absolutely loved this book!! A brilliant own voices story, with a queer Australian Aboriginal MC. I grinned like an idiot throughout most of Jackson and Tomas’s encounters because they were just such amazing characters. In fact all of the characters were just so REAL. With realistic issues and reactions to the situations they faced, I was hooked from the first page.

I’m putting this book up there with other favourites, such as Only Mostly Devastated and Boyfriend Material.

Image from my Instagram account

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