Milo and Marcos at the End of the World

HarperTeen. Jun. 2022. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063062566.
Gr 7 Up–When Presbyterian teen Milo went to church camp three years ago with his best friend Van, he encountered the only stumbling block he has experienced in his faith: an unexpected crush on his aggressively atheist roommate, Marcos. Milo’s years of successfully avoiding confronting his sexuality come to an end when Marcos moves to town, and it becomes clear that Milo’s crush has not only persisted but is reciprocated. The two boys tentatively embark on a relationship, but each milestone is marked by a bizarre natural disaster that leaves Milo increasingly certain that his faith and sexuality can only exist in opposition to each other. His internalized homophobia, combined with anxiety about what this means for his faith, is matched with realistic fears of how his parents will react to learning their son is dating another boy. Although the central plot revolves around the conflict between faith and identity, religion is not portrayed as inherently negative, and the book notably does not end with Milo renouncing either his religion or his relationship with Marcos. Instead, readers are left with the promise that Milo, Marcos, and their families have started down a path that can incorporate all aspects of their identities.
VERDICT A strong secondary purchase for school and public libraries where queer books are popular.

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