Book Reviews · LGBTQIA+ Books · Reviews · Young Adult Books

The Black Flamingo Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

I masquerade in makeup and feathers and I am applauded.

A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

Buy The Black Flamingo: Waterstones | Amazon | Book Depository

The Black Flamingo is a powerful and emotional coming of age story told through verse. As soon as I saw this book advertised as a verse novel I knew I needed to read it as soon as it came out. I was fortunate to receive an early review copy from the publishers in 2019 and I have loved this book ever since! It’s an own voices, YA debut by Dean Atta about finding yourself, owning your identity and maybe becoming a drag artist in the process!

The reason I adore verse novels is because for me they are such an immersive experience, I feel much more connected and involved in the character’s journey and The Black Flamingo is no exception. Within the first few pages my heart broke for a young boy who desperately wanted a toy that society frowned upon for a boy. This resonated with me, as a young child I begged my parents for an action man rather than the Barbies I was thoughtlessly given each year and finally like Michael and his Barbie, I received an action man which I cherished!

The Black Flamingo follows Michael’s journey from a very young age until he is nineteen, and so we experience all of the highs and lows of his childhood and teenage years. Michael gives us an insight into the complexities of being mixed race and finding the people you feel comfortable around. It is an emotional, and at times, heart-breaking discovery of racial identity, which a lot of us never even needed to question about ourselves. This is where Own Voices novels give a real and true understanding of racial issues and/or LGBTQ+ experiences. It is a coming of age story like no other, possibly the first YA story of discovering your own identity and becoming a drag artist.

Dean Atta has written a beautiful coming of age story that teens and young adults desperately need. The Black Flamingo has opened my eyes and broadened my understanding with it’s bold and powerful story telling. If you’re looking for a LGBTQ+ novel to read next month or anytime then pick up a copy of The Black Flamingo.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will earn a small amount of commission on any purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.

June ’22 TBR

Happy Pride Month! For the first time in 2022, I’m curating a small (ish!) TBR for the month, this month I’m aiming to read only or majority LGBTQ+ books by a range of diverse and #OwnVoices authors. I haven’t been able to read as much since changing jobs in September (life update – I’m a… Continue reading June ’22 TBR

With This Kiss Review

With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will earn a small amount of commission on any purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has… Continue reading With This Kiss Review

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