Boy Queen by George Lester
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I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has no bearing on my rating or review.
Life’s a drag until you try . . .
Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart.
While his friends prepare to head off to university, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it’s ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.
Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realises there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . .
With a mother who won’t stop talking, a boyfriend who won’t acknowledge him and a best friend who is dying to cover him in glitter make up, there’s only one thing for Robin to do: bring it to the runway.
Trigger warnings: homophobia, bullying, abuse, physical attack, violence, use of homophobic slurs
Add Boy Queen on: Goodreads
Boy Queen is an exciting and fabulous new addition to LGBTQ+ UKYA! As soon as I finished this book George Lester’s debut novel I could not wait to gush about this book with my friends and convince them all to go pre-order it as soon as possible. In a similar vein to The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Boy Queen follows the story of a young gay guy finding his true self through drag.
I wanted to wrap up Robin in the tightest hug and never let him go, he was such a precious main character and my heart broke for him when his drama school dreams went down the drain. However I really appreciated this true to life reflection of future aspirations being yanked away from a teenager by schools and universities, it’s important to discuss that further education isn’t the only available option for young adults leaving school. Robin even overcame verbal and physical homophobic attacks throughout the course of the story, I was rooting for him constantly as he slowly began to rebuild his confidence.
You might think this novel sounds heart-breaking and morose due to the sensitive themes and rejection that is within the story, but to the contrary this is actually one of the funniest novels of the year. George Lester has managed to incorporate these important topics alongside laugh out loud drag references and the mishaps of attempting to apply make-up for the first time, as well as a blossoming new romance and an introduction into the fabulous world of drag.
If you’re in the mood for an exciting new contemporary I would most definitely recommend Boy Queen, it’s fun, queer and fabulous! I could not put this novel down, and the cover is absolutely beautiful, I loved the detailed descriptions of dressing in drag and the journey Robin took to becoming a drag artist.
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