Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Self-Isolation Read - Boy Queen

  • Title And Author: Boy Queen by George Lester
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical and eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Both gifted by publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction
  • Length: 400 Pages

I’ve followed George’s video on writing, book reviews and other stuff for quite a while. Hell, I’ve met him once and twice through book blogging events and he is lovely and fun to chat with. So, when it was announced that he had signed a publishing deal and his first book was coming out this summer, I knew I had to get my hands on it. 

So, was thrilled when I managed to get my hands on a physical copy and, because I need to learn to STAY AWAY FROM NETGALLEY (!), an eBook ARC. And, even though I have nearly 300 other books to read (review, bought, gifted, etc), I pushed everything aside and devoured this (self-isolation. What else am I going to do but read all the books that siren call my heart?) 

Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart. While his friends are ready to go to uni, all he seems to be getting is rejection letters from most/all drama schools of the UK and Robin’s life seems to be spiralling. Unsure of himself and his talent, he and his best friends take him to a local gay bar on his birthday to cheer him up and, when there, they watch a local drag show. And Robin gets a strong reaction and he should, in the words of RuPaul, Sashay away. 

But how can he get to grips with drag performing when he has a secret boyfriend who won’t acknowledge in public, his mother can talk for England, his best friends are planning their futures without him and the new boy at school is making Robin’s heart beat a little faster?

Well, this is a hoot of a read! An unapologetic queer cackle of a read with extra glitter thrown in for good measure! 

This feels like such a strong UKYA contemporary debut, tackling the issues of friendship, LGBTQIA+, homophobia bullying while touching on a gentle romance and coming out in your own pace. Am intrigued to see if George writes a sequel or a companion novel to follow one or two of the characters and tackle these issues further. 

Now, there is one or two things some readers might not warm to. The first few chapters are a little slower in pace (setting up the story and characters) and some of the characters’s decisions (not one in perfect). 

But I devoured this while in lockdown as it’s one of those books where, once I started, I couldn’t stop. Fans of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and RuPaul’s Drag Race is going to love this summery glitter ball of a read. 

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