Cover Image: Fraternity

Fraternity

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Member Reviews

This book has a lot of promise, but it's a mess! It feels like three different stories mashed together. There are several stylistic/editing decisions that are super strong in the first half of the book and then just disappear in the second half - until the very end - and then are brought back? It really needed stronger editing.

The monster idea was really cool but it was SO underdeveloped. This book is too long for how underdeveloped pretty much all of it is. 

The AIDS/gay rights thread feels super tacked on, and so many authors have done it better before. 

Overall, three stars because I did want to keep reading, but this book was really done a disservice with the editing and the awful cover.
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An LGBT paranormal dark academia YA novel set in the nineties during the AIDS crisis, Fraternity does a lot and does it really well. Told in multiple POVs, each boy has a different journey through their queer identities and each voice was crystal clear. Zooey and Leo were both amazing characters, but it was Daniel who really tugged on my heartstrings. Even though this was written about the nineties, the political part of the story (rich white men in control of the narrative) made me think how far we’ve come, but yet not far enough. The nineties references were on point (any time a book mentions River Phoenix, I’m on board) and you could feel how restrictive and oppressive that time was for LGBT youth with the media misinformation about AIDS and just general ignorance of the LGBT experience. The paranormal part of the story reminded me a little of The Craft in all the best ways. And of course, I’m a sucker for the found family trope and this one was beautiful. I’m so glad I read this story and I look forward to more of Mientus’ work. 
TW: bullying, homophobia, transphobia, racism, death, mentions of sexual abuse, mentions of suicide 


Thank you to NetGalley and Amulet Books for an advanced digital reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A queer dark academia novel set in the 90s is pretty much a dream book premise for me, so it is no surprise how much I enjoyed this. 

I went in expecting the occult plot line to provide the main feeling of an impending disaster. While that aspect was as dark and engaging as I’d hoped, the thing that caused me the most anxiety was the character’s struggles. It did not take me long to connect to and fall in love with the three narrators: Zooey, Daniel, and Leo. They each go through tribulations regarding sexuality, and while it fluctuated from anger-inducing to heart-warming, it was always compelling.

The author does not shy away from discussing the AIDS epidemic and its effects on the character's perceptions of their lives. It was felt most towards the last half of the novel and examined with insight. One thing that I wish was explored more was Daniel’s experiences with intersectionality and race in general. He encountered homophobia in the novel, but despite being one of the only Black students at a private school predominantly attended by wealthy White Republicans, the racism was surprisingly all told instead of shown. However, the lack of development in that area is likely due to the story being written by a White man who (understandably) does not have enough awareness of what it was like to be Black in that time and place and analyze it further. It was not a deal-breaker, but considering how well he treated the AIDS epidemic, it was something I wished had been addressed more comprehensively.

Fraternity was both dark and touching. A book about academia and iniquitous magic, but also love, community, and perseverance from a group of people who needed it then and still do now.
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I loved this!. Like so many others, I can't get enough of dArK aCaDeMiA novels and FRATERNITY pulled me in with   an immediately riveting story told from multiple points of view, memorable characters (Leo, especially), and lots of early 90s pop/political culture stuff that will be fun and informative for younger readers. 
Extra points for not being centered on cis-white men + I loved the solid and thoughtful bisexual representation. 
I'd love to see this as a movie or series, but please make sure it's better than The Craft sequel.
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Thank you NetGalley and Amulet Books for this eARC, these opinions are my own. This was definitely a different read then I’ve been reading lately! Zooey starts at an all boys private school but he has a secret, he’s gay. Hoping for a fresh start that’s quickly dashed when he has a run in with another boy and the rumors start. Luckily he meets Daniel who introduces him to Leo and the rest of their secret society!. This society is particularly for closeted gay guys. Has Zooey finally found a community? Or are they perhaps into darker stuff? I thought this was a great premise to a book and I definitely could relate to some of the difficulties having grown up in the 90’s! I also like that Andy Mientus had different types of gay characters and that we aren’t all the same, I feel like the 90’s were full of stereotypes of people in the LGBTQ+ communities! I felt the story was intriguing and Zooey, Daniel, and Leo were all interesting to read from! The writing is different and takes a bit to get used to But after a few chapters it hits its stride! Definitely one to check out if you like paranormaly thrillery books! Highly recommend!
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DNF @ 2%. I was really excited for Fraternity, and the story seems promising, but I couldn't get past the first three pages, as the main character compared realizing he was gay to finding out you have cancer.
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Thank you ABRAMS Kids, NetGalley, and Andy Mientus for granting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This book was the absolute perfect combination of the criteria for fantastic dark academia: magic, homoerotic subtext, and a prestigious school. The characters felt like real people. Talking and interacting with one another with what you would expect from prep school boys without feeling forced. The book also offered some insightful commentary about social issues during the nineties in a way that felt authentic from someone that has lived that experience and not just did research.  The authenticity of the author's voice shone through in a way that kept the story entertaining and fast-paced. I yearn to reread this novel in the fall when it is published, for it radiates a perfect fall, back-to-school read.
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The Craft, but make it gay. 

This was certainly a book, and I did enjoy it minus a few minor issues. I loved the story, at least once it got going. The beginning of the book felt a little too cliche YA and it took a little longer than i would have liked to get into the black magic of it all, but once it did the book kicked into overdrive and didn't let go until it was over. 

The writing style took a minute to get used to, but that's my only other small issue. 

The characters are fantastic, the setting is great, and the use of the time period is amazing. I have and always will be a sucker for the 90s. 

The book itself isn't really any kind of romance, which I was expecting because that's generally what I end up reading but it also wasn't billed as one so that's really just on me for an improper expectation. 

Overall, this is a fantastic book once you get past the slightly slow beginning. Your mileage may vary though, and you could enjoy the routine beginning more than I did. I fully recommenced.
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I absolutely devoured this book. It’s a queer dark academia with some sinister urban fantasy elements and queer history sprinkled in, and I loved it. Each of the characters are three dimensional and make mistakes like any teenager searching for a place to belong. I liked the idea that this book was ultimately written as an account but at times the breaking-the-fourth-wall bits (especially since they were more prevalent in the earliest chapters) were jarring enough to pull me out of the story slightly. However, once the plot got going I could hardly put it down. 
The boys get wrapped up in the idea of holding power over their tormentors without giving much thought to the consequences that end up reaching further than they could have ever imagined. For anyone who has ever felt like they never quite belonged and seduced by the idea of power and yet still came out the other side, a little scratched up but more whole than before.
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I'm a huge fan of dark academia and this book is the definition of it. This is a queer dark academia YA that is set in the early nineties and oh my goodness I ate this whole story up. I loved it the characters were interesting and the writing style was unique and I enjoyed it. When I first started this I did think it was a little slow but then all of a sudden everything just started happening left and right and I really enjoyed that aspect. I was going to read this in one sitting but then remembered I had to attend my mother's birthday party oops! Honestly, I was doing my best to enjoy celebrating with my family but I just wanted to finish the book and make sure that all my favorite characters would be okay. Overall this was a great read and I would definitely recommend it. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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