Review: Thomas and Niko in the City of Trees by Kid Boise

Quick Info
Thomas and Niko in the City of Trees

  • Author: Kid Boise
  • Publishing House: Boise Urban Publishing Company
  • Release Date: 12.09.2019
  • Series: yes, currently without a title
  • Genre: contemporary, romance
  • Trigger Warnings: cancer mention, cheating, death of parent, drug use, emotional abuse
  • rating: 4/5 stars

Thomas and Niko in the City of Trees

If you’re thinking this is just another book about a young man who falls in love with his best friend: look closer. Niko Savic’s gripping personal story is told through his own voice—a rare mix of honesty, crudeness and intelligence that opens a compelling window into late adolescence. Caught in the final weeks of senior year in a modest, sweltering northwestern city, he’s dating a girl who is by all accounts perfect for him. …And yet, he can’t keep his eyes off his childhood best friend, Thomas Chu. The tension between friends, captured in moments as real as the world before us, builds slowly to a dramatic, inevitable breaking point. Along the way, Niko’s observations about life are funny at times, painful and tragic at others. Through it all, he’s eager to know what the future holds. Most of all, what will become of the relationship he shares with the most important person in his life?

The Queer’s Review

I really thought it would keep being boring.

But it didn’t. It really, really did not. The beginning though? I had to make myself keep reading on, because it started rather abrupt and mostly telling not showing. It was really hard for me to get a feeling for the characters since they read very stiff and one dimensional.

Somehow it started growing on me. I didn’t notice at first but when I saw how many pages I had already read without it feeling like I had read them? I finally became excited about this story – and the excitement only grew when I read that there will be a second book!

If you don’t think too closely about Thomas and Niko, there isn’t happening much. They’re preparing to leave school, they’re fucking around (in a way) with their girlfriends, with each other, and with drugs. End of story? Nope.

Kid Boise paints a wonderful journey through teenage emotions, feelings, fears. He doesn’t shy away from truly awkward situations – I swear that car scene made me cringe so much with embarrassment – and he reflects what lies behind the actions whereas a lot of other authors would have stopped at “she was a shit mother”. I still don’t like Niko’s mother but for personal reasons I get the approach of the whole situation and the thoughts behind it.

But let’s get lighter again, shall we? That car scene! I know I already mentioned it but it wasn’t the only situation I cringed. It was sooo embarrassing to read at times. Those fucking teenage boys! Secondhand embarrassment all the way. I enjoyed it – I mean I hated it, but I enjoyed the hating of it. You know what I mean. Oh Sheesh.

Bookish Thoughts

Also I want to really point out how the word f*g is used and handled in Thomas and Niko in the City of Trees. Because it is used but immediately shut down. Now if only society could act the same way… I’m still correcting and arguing with my father about calling my female friends chicks in German. What are we, fucking livestock without a human brain?!


I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

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