Book Review: Alison Evans’ YA fantasy Euphoria Kids is a stunning contemporary fairytale

Euphoria Kids

Iris, Babs, and the boy without a name. One from the earth, one made of fire, and one who isn’t quite sure what he’s made of just yet. For this trio, navigating school and family life should have been enough. But there’s trouble brewing.

Iris, who counts the faeries and dryads amongst their friends, is beginning to show magical powers of their own. And Babs, cursed as a child, can sense the witch who did it is close at hand. The faeries and the dryads warn them away, but if there’s a chance Babs can lift the curse, should they take it?

Euphoria Kids is the latest from Alison Evans, and its another home run from the Melbourne author. Beautifully written and effortlessly inclusive, it’s an elegant contemporary YA fairytale.

Headed up by Babs (she/her) and Iris (they/them), it’s an utterly enchanting read, filled with vivid description. The magic is well crafted and feels wholesome, almost, found as it is in plants, crystals, and nature. A rather fitting metaphor for three isolated teens finding their place in the world. And, even though there’s witches and cold fae and a modicum of danger, Euphoria Kids remains, throughout, gentle, hopeful, and – above all things – kind.

Filled with wonder and warmth, Euphoria Kids is a world away from the zombie ravaged landscapes of Evans’ Highway Bodies. But, as is Evans’ M.O., it embraces a demographic of young readers who rarely see themselves represented on the page. For them, this book will mean everything. And for the rest of us, it’s a simply stunning read.

FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Alison Evans’ Euphoria Kids hits bookstores on February 4th. You can pre-order a copy through publishers Echo here.

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