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Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues
Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues

Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues



320 Pages, 5.25 x 8.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $12.99 (CA $16.99) (US $12.99)

Publication Date: February 2023

ISBN 9781760508753

Rights: US & CA

Hardie Grant Children's Publishing (Feb 2023)

Not yet published. Ships 2/14/2023.


What happens when your enemy becomes your friend … with benefits? 

Red, White and Royal Blue meets The Magicians in this surprising, wildly original and joyously funny LGBTQ YA novel set in a magical boarding school. 

Tim Te Maro and Elliott Parker – classmates at Fox Glacier High School for the Magically Adept – have never gotten along. But when they both get dumped the day before the big egg-baby assignment, they reluctantly decide to ditch their exes and work together. When the two boys start to bond over their magically enchanted egg-baby, they realize that beneath their animosity is something like friendship … or physical attraction.

Soon, a no-strings-attached hook-up seems like a good idea. Just for the duration of the assignment. After all, they don’t have feelings for each other … so what could possibly go wrong? 

From debut Kiwi author H.S. Valley, the latest winner of the Ampersand Prize, comes this gleefully addictive romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan. In a word – it’s magic.


"Sweet and sexy in equal measure,Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues explores all the confusion, messiness and joy that comes with queer first love." —Erin Gough, author of Amelia Westlake Was Never Here

"A fun, low-stakes (but high-investment) romp through the brains of lovelorn, hormone-driven teenagers, and the delightful array of queer people that populate their school and by proxy their world." —

Valley’s conversational dialogue, combined with her authentic characters, make the story easy to connect with. Excellently illustrated teen struggles around love, relationships and sexuality while maintaining the fantasy setting makes the novel perfect for young adults.. . . Use of New Zealand locations and inclusion of Māori culture make the Harry Potter-like story feel fresh. . . . I recommend this novel for all young adults who can get their hands on it." —kete

"The racially diverse cast and the worldbuilding surrounding the magic system... provide a unique backdrop for Kiwi author Valley’s witty and buoyant debut." — Publishers Weekly

Named as one of the "Must Have 2023 Queer Book Releases" —The Nerd Daily

Author Biography

H.S. Valley grew up on the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, at the foot of Takarunga. She now lives near the Waitakere Ranges with her partner. She has a bachelor's degree in design. She won the Ampersand Prize for her debut YA novel, Tim Te Maro and the Subterranean Heartsick Blues.