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Stay Gold

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  3,127 ratings  ·  831 reviews
Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who’s going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she’s counting down the days until graduation. Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Becky Albertalli, and Jenny Han.

Pony just wants to fly under the radar during senior year. Tired from
ebook, 368 pages
Published May 26th 2020 by HarperTeen
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Popular Answered Questions
Ruth You probably meant this question for the author to respond to, but as someone looking forward to reading this book I want to put in my 2 cents.
S.E. H…more
You probably meant this question for the author to respond to, but as someone looking forward to reading this book I want to put in my 2 cents.
S.E. Hinton has long been harshly critical of people who write fanfiction and who "dare" to interpret her characters as LGBTQ+, despite having many LGBTQ+ fans who see elements of themselves in these characters. She belittles them by calling them "little girls" and generally shows that, despite claiming to have LGBTQ+ friends, she is not a friend of the community.
The above referenced tweet is clearly S.E. exercising the power and privilege she has to beat down an author who dares to find some little inspiration in her works. If there was truly any "rip-off" happening here that would be a matter for her lawyers, so this smacks of an author being told that there is no grounds to sue and pouting about it on twitter.
The blurbs indicate that the story in no way resembles the plot of The Outsiders, so S.E. posting this tweet that offers none of that context just to whip her more rabid fans into a frenzy is reckless.
Tobly McSmith is a trans author who wrote a book about a trans boy that, I suspect, names himself after a character he admires. Trans authors and trans stories are already at such a disadvantage to get published that Hinton does not need to pile on. Especially before the book is even published. I would be surprised if Mr. McSmith remains as big a fan after the backlash that he has received. (less)
Alex actually there's uhhhh.... not. The MC's called Ponyboy on occasion and there's a very important scene with a lot of references but beyond his name be…moreactually there's uhhhh.... not. The MC's called Ponyboy on occasion and there's a very important scene with a lot of references but beyond his name being Pony its not very Outsiders heavy(less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,127 ratings  ·  831 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was NOT an easy read, but wow, did I love it. If you're considering reading this one, please keep in mind that this is a heavy book that includes a lot of potentially triggering material.

TW: dysphoria, transphobia, homophobia, dead naming, bullying, cheating, use of slurs, alcoholism, suicidal thoughts, self harm, public outing, death of a loved one
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
oh man i have so many conflicting feelings about this book.

it was so nice to read a book about a trans dude. there really isn't enough representation out there, but, i gotta say, this was pretty much the boy version of If I Was Your Girl. plotwise it was so similar.

the first chapter from pony's pov was a lot of info dumping on what being transgender is for him, it felt a little stiff, but thankfully pony's pov became a lot more casual and i ended up really liking him. it was really cute experie
4.5 stars
I am so surprised by how much I loved this. I listened to this audiobook and I finished it within two days, I couldn't stop listening to it. This is one of the best young adult books I've read in a long time. I absolutely adore Pony and all the characters in this book. But just know going into this that this is not a fluffy sweet contemporary book, this book gets very dark and sad and hard to read at times. Here is a list of some of the trigger warnings for this book: dysphoria, transph
✨    jamieson   ✨
❝ Stay gold, Pony. The world needs you. Stay gold when it’s hard. When it’s lonely. When it’s scary. Especially when it’s scary ❞

When I heard about this book from the publisher, I was pretty excited. It was pitched as a contemporary romance, comparable to ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’, which is a series I adore. I was expecting a sweet, fluffy romance between the new boy, Pony, who is trans and a popular cheerleader at his school called Georgia. This is what this book is … and it also
Oct 14, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

"Stay Gold" ? "Pony" ? THE OUTSIDERS, anyone? Hello????
C.G. Drews
This book is actually very traumatic to read. It's being comped to "Jenny Han and Becky Albertalli" and I think that marketing is a huge disservice to it. Yes, it has some cute highschool/first love moments -- but it is truly the story of a trans teen going stealth in highschool and the abuse, dysphoria, misgendering, and diminishing experiences Pony goes through the entire time. I definitely think there is a need for #ownvoices authors to write their pain! So I don't not recommend this book. I ...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
Raise your hand if the first thing that came to your mind was:

"Stay gold, Ponyboy... Stay gold..." *sobs*

I love the cover and the plot idea so I'm really looking forward for this book to come out! =)
The best way to find love is when it unexpectedly bites you into your butt. ;-P
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtqiap-reads
okay, I very rarely do these trigger warnings but since this book is marketed as similar to To All the Boys I've Loved Before and said to be all fun and games, I feel like there need to be trigger warnings so people don't go into this blindly.

Trigger warnings for:
+ casual aphobia
+ lesbophobia in every other chapter, ranging from actual insults "scissor sisters" to internalized lesbophobia and pretending it is the worst thing that someone can be, also the involuntary outing of two lesbians in fro
Caidyn (he/him/his)
The more I've thought about this book, the less I feel like it's a round up book for me. There are aspects of I don't like at all and think has a bad message. Also, the marketing is insane around this book because this is NOT a happy little romantic book. It's very triggering.

I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

CW: outing, terminal illness, physical assault, bathroom harassment, transphobia, homophobia, using slurs such as "tranny" and "lesbos", pressuring someon
Lauren Lanz
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 4-stars
This was a seriously great book about a transgender teen trying to blend in. I couldn't help thinking about the protagonist's struggles, and if/how they stemmed back to the author's life.

First, a fact: this book is definitely not advertised correctly.
Stay Gold is compared to books like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in it’s synopsis, which couldn’t be more off. These comparisons make the book sound like a rom-com of sorts.
In reality, Stay Gold deals with
Larry H
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Being true to yourself may be the hardest thing to do, but it’s the only thing. That's the message at the core of Tobly McSmith's Stay Gold .

As a military kid, Pony knows about starting over all too well. Since things at his last school went a little off the rails when it was revealed that he was transgender, for his senior year at a new high school he’s determined things will be different. This time he’s decided simply to pass as a guy and not tell anyone the truth. No one in his life thinks
May 27, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I spent too many hours thinking about whether I should give this one or two stars. Turns out I'd be too nice if I gave it two stars. All the things I enjoyed about this were brutally canceled by the things I hated. I was so excited about this book when I found out it had a transgender mc and it ended up being my biggest disappointment of the year so far.

First off, the pros: the cover. That was the only thing I liked.

The cons: oh boy, I don't even know what I should start with. (view spoiler)
Monte Price
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book expecting it to be a typical romcom setup, and I think that after walking away that's mostly what I got.

The story is told in altering perspectives of our two love interests, Pony and Georgia, chronically Pony's first semester at his new school and his romance with Georgia. I think that McSmith did a really good job of setting up the romance and then keeping the characters apart. Pony is a character that I'm going to think about for the rest of the year.

I don't have a lot to
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, all-lgbtq
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natasha Niezgoda


YEP! Another YA that had me crying at the end and it was so beautiful and so honest!

Pony is a trans youth who wants to be seen for who he is and not what he isn’t. But high schoolers can be cruel. So he’s starting fresh at a new school hoping to forge relationships based on his character and not just the labels that are placed on him.


Friends... listen to meeeeee: you need to read this! 👏🏽 This is such a special story. It’s one of love, courage, and belonging. But it
May 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio - 5 Stars
Story - 3.5 Stars

This was too YA for me, but there were some really great parts that made it worth finishing.
William Morrison
May 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Novel Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)

Summarized blurb:
Pony is the new guy at his school. He also happens to be transgender. He decides not to disclose his peers though, as it would complicate everything, including ... whatever this is with his new crush, a smart and charming cheerleader named Georgia. There is more than what meets the eye in this dual-perspective YA novel about what it means to be t
Leah Waters
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
So...I've enjoyed the 111 pages of this book I've read, but I just learned that there's self harm and suicidal thoughts later on in the book, and I can't handle that dark stuff right now.

DNF. Not the book's fault, but I'm trying to read more lighthearted books. However, I do think this is an important book to read, so I'll return to it someday.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc
Rachel Aranda
3.5-4 stars

This book felt like a typical YA contemporary romance with a realistic look at a transman’s journey. It’s so nice reading a book like this because it helps trans representation, gives statistics, and gives us a way to support them become who they were meant to be. Everyone should be able to find a book they feel represents themselves and feel like any other “normal” person. Not every journey looks like what’s in the book but sadly some do have to face all these things at once. It’s so
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, trans, ya
The fact that I was expecting a cute rom-com when I picked this up and it turned into a big firey mess of trans and queerphobia was such an unpleasant suprise. But sure, as an issue book, it's pretty realistic, but shit there's so much transphobia and overall queerphobia that never gets challenged that it still makes me feel bad now, weeks later.

l really wanna throw all the people in this book in the trash except Pony himself and his sister, cause they were all absolutely awful. Max esepcially
ivy ✰
note : this is an ownvoices novel for transgender rep.

tw : deadnaming & misgendering of trans character, on-page physical and sexual assault, contemplation of suicide, on-page outing, use of slurs against trans and lesbian characters, homophobia, harassment.

rep :
🏳️‍🌈 trans mc
🏳️‍🌈 side lesbian character
🏳️‍🌈 side bisexual / pansexual characters
🏳️‍🌈 side trans character
🏳️‍🌈 side minor ( off - page ) polyamorous relationship



i'm extremely conflicted about this book.

on the one hand
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Little did I know going into this book that it would have such a huge impact on my soul. Stay Gold deserves all the stars... it had me feeling every single emotion - a true roller coaster ride!

Thank you SO much Tobly for this powerful story!

Trigger warnings: violence/hate crime, suicidal thoughts, gender dysphoria, homophobia, transphobia.
Sophie Elaina
I didn’t love the way this was written at the beginning, it was a little cheesy, but it did get better throughout and I did get used to it. But the first-person addressing the reader style isn’t a favourite of mine. At times it made scenes and monologues feel info dumpy and as though I as the reader was getting educated and lectured to. It was almost like a guide for anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to be a trans teen. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it felt stilted to read and mad ...more
Jessica Jeffers
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, audio, ya-fiction
A sweet, realistic romance and some thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be "out and proud" as a trans person in an unwelcoming culture. There were moments of YA wish-fulfillment overload, but Stay Gold was on the whole a fantastic read. ...more
Jane (whatjanereads)
DNF @ 50%

TW: Homophobia, Transphobia, (almost) deadnaming, constant misgendering
(I think this book can be super triggering for many, so maybe keep that in mind before starting it. This is not your cute, fluffy romance.)

A transphobic loveinterest and homophobic friends, that use homophobic slurs all the time.
Parents and strangers constantly misgendering.
Nobody is ever called out on it.
Also to equal not telling everybody you’re trans with lying....(I was so mad at this!).
Sounds great?
Not to me.

Madison Mary
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"They raised daughters named Sarah and Rachel and now they have a transgender son named Pony and a unicorn named Rocky. They must wonder where it all went wrong."

I had no idea that this book would have such a profound impact on my soul. I implore everyone to read this if they get the chance.

Pony sees his new school as an opportunity to hide the fact that he is transgender and enjoy his senior year in peace. But when he begins to develop feelings for Georgia, one of the cheerleaders,
Ben Ace
Why did no one tell me about this sooner??!?!!?!
Emily Forsyth
May 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book was terrible

Hopefully I can write a review once I’ve stopped fuming but all I’ll say for now is please please please look up trigger warnings for this book before you read it
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Tobly McSmith is the co-creator/writer of eight somewhat successful musical parodies, including Friends! The Musical Parody and The Office! The Musical Parody. Tobly was born in Texas. He now lives in New York City with his two cats, Bam-Bam and Bananas McSmith. Tobly is proud to be transgender.

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If you love discovering great stories from new voices, then the past few months have been quite a treat in the world of young adult fiction!...
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“I have everything I wanted, but nothing that I want.” 2 likes
“We just have to love louder and harder than they can hate.” 0 likes
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