Euphoria Kids (Alison Evans, Echo)
Euphoria Kids is a tender, contemporary fairytale about magic, friendship and gender identity. A departure from the horror elements of Alison Evans’ previous novels, this book focuses on the wonder and heart that is always present in Evans’ characterisation and queer representation. Euphoria Kids features three trans teenagers finding each other and, together, learning to step into their own power. Iris is made of plants and trying to wield the magic within themself. Babs is made of fire and is fighting a witch’s curse that turns her invisible. And then there’s the boy who has not yet found his own name. Through metaphors of magic Evans explores themes of isolation, community and the power in being seen and supported as your true self. The novel’s magical realism is skilfully crafted, bringing the magic of relationships and of the Australian bush to life in a way not seen since Sonya Hartnett’s The Ghost’s Child. Euphoria Kids is a charming, character-driven story with a sweet but anticlimactic narrative arc—it is not for readers seeking a plot-driven fantasy. Suitable for those aged 13 and up, it is best recommended to fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s ‘Raven Boys’ series and Leanne Hall’s ‘Shyness’ books. Quietly enchanting, Euphoria Kids is a novel that will not speak to every reader, but to those it does it will mean the world.
Jordi Kerr is a freelance reviewer and youth literature advocate, and a support worker for queer young people