Praise & Prizes


“A warmly human coming of age story, thanks to the fact that Max is such an appealing character. And so his desperate search for identity is gripping, emotionally engaging and genuinely unforgettable, as, indeed, is this accomplished first novel.”
Booklist (Starred Review)

“An audacious move for a young writer … [Tarttelin] explore[s] not simply questions of gender identification – do I like boys or girls – but more broadly the way society responds to sexuality.”
Toronto Star

Raeleen Lemay, Goodreads, liked 172 times.

“I’ve never read anything like Golden Boy, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this story … At its heart, it’s a coming of age story, but it has the tension of a mystery novel. I could not put this book down.”
Librarian Tells All

“A grippingly innovative take on coming of age, sexuality and family dynamics … [with] a radical non-binary, pro-intersex message.”
Hida Viloria, Autostraddle

“A startling and sensitive exploration of its theme … a dramatic and emotionally authentic story.”
The New Zealand Herald

“Gripping and beautifully-written… a courageous and profound exploration of social and sexual identity.”
Sahar Delijani, author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree


“Abigail Tarttelin is a fearless writer. In Golden Boy, she balances a harrowing coming of age with a deeply compassionate portrait of a family in crisis, and the result is sometimes brutal, often tender, and always compelling. This is a gripping and fully-realized novel.”
Emily St. John Mandel, author of The Lola Quartet

“Read it in one sitting. I could not put it down. Cried several times…a very emotional read.”
Susan Barthold, Bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Jenkintown, PA

“A compelling mix: equal parts society novel, page turner and investigation into contemporary gender notions.”
The Toronto Globe and Mail

“What a book. No, really. What. A. Book. … The author did such a fantastic job … This book makes you think and that is the best kind of book.”
OMFG Books

“Abigail Tarttelin has written an unforgettable novel. Golden Boy pulls you in from the very first page and holds you tight, gripping you by the throat and not letting go until it reaches its brilliant and masterful conclusion… Golden Boy is that good of a novel, and Tarttelin is that gifted of a writer. This book simply deserves to be read and treasured.”
Lorenzo Carcaterra, New York Times Bestselling author of Sleepers and Midnight Angels

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget this … it will probably be controversial, but it’s an excellent story. I could not put this book down.”
Jen Wooters,

“A gripping read. [Tarttelin] is a natural storyteller.”
Matt Haig, bestselling author of The Humans

“A heartrending and disturbing story that upends culturally-prescribed notions of sex and gender.”
Slice Magazine

“I knew I was really into this when I missed my stop on the bus!”
Company Magazine

“Completely blew me away … [the] narrators did such a great job of really bringing these characters and this story to life …this is truly a phenomenal novel. It’s written by 25 year old Abigail Tarttelin and I’m amazed that this is her debut novel. The depth of emotion and quality of both writing and story show a maturity usually found in more seasoned writers. Golden Boy would make such a good book club pick as well. The wealth of topics to discuss is never ending.”
Peeking Between The Pages (audiobook review)

“A perfect bookclub book. Max and his family are begging to be discussed.”
The Booksellers New Zealand Blog

“Tarttelin writes sensitively about the way an intersex child might cope with the heightened emotions of adolescence.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Intense and fearless.”
Publishers Weekly

“Gritty yet humane, startlingly modern yet utterly timeless, Golden Boy hits all the deepest, biggest novelistic notes—family, identity, tragedy and hope—without the merest hint of strain. In Abigail Tarttelin’s American debut, she has already proven herself to be a writer of extraordinary empathy and incredible wisdom… and she makes it look so easy. Tarttelin is the real deal.”
Rachel Shukert, author of Starstruck and Everything Is Going To Be Great

“Oh Wow. WOW … tough, thought-provoking and powerful.”
The Pretty Good Gatsby

“Undoubtedly an important book.”
Entertainment Focus

Golden Boy is at once meditative and swift, a coming-of-age tale about the difficulties of growing up amid shame and secrets and success. Abigail Tarttelin writes with a sharp-eyed grace in this fascinating, heartfelt gem of a novel.”
Dean Bakopoulos, author of My American Unhappiness

An Indie Next Nomination: “This book grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. Edgy, thoughtful, fast-paced and compelling, Max Walker’s story is told from different perspectives as he faces a coming-of-age crisis like no other. Told from different perspectives Max’s family – the girl he likes, his doctor, and Max himself – this unforgettable story and these deeply drawn, rich characters will stay with you for a long time.”
Carol Schneck Varner, Bookseller, Schuler Books and Music, Okemos, MI

“Golden Boy is terrific. A poignant, brave and important book.”
SJ Watson, New York Times Bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep

“I was extremely impressed with the way that Tarttelin handled such a sensitive and often taboo subject.”
Mary Fran, Bookseller, Eight Cousins Bookstore (Falmouth, MA)

“Unique. A dramatic, emotional read.”
Clare Calvert, ABC, Book of the Week Pick

“Max is an outgoing, popular, and athletic fifteen-year-old son of a candidate for Parliament. Hidden underneath the perfect child facade is the fact that Max was born intersex, neither truly male or female. In a tragic turn, Max is betrayed and hurt by one of his childhood friends, which takes the book to even darker territory. The story broke my heart on numerous occasions, but even when I thought that I could go no further I kept on picking up the book for more.”
Halley Pucker, Bookseller, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“A coming of age story worth seeking out from a young author widely tipped for great things.”
DIVA Magazine