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 realizes 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.
What I Thought:
I’m a newcomer to drag, having only so far watched the UK season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race (which Divina de Campo should’ve won btw), but I am absolutely here for this lovely little book about how to pick yourself up when your dreams are crushed. I’m also now slightly concerned that I am using phrases that are too young for me and that I sound like a grandma – but that’s a conversation for another day…
Boy Queen is George Lester’s first novel and, while I can’t claim to know George, I know OF him from my visits to YALC and so was excited to read this book, and I loved it!
Sadly for me, I’m now in the age bracket of the mum in this book, but I continue to be impressed at the confidence with which YA authors address difficult subjects, and reach out to let readers know that they are not alone in dealing with the difficult things in their lives. When I was in the YA age bracket, we only had Judy Blume to turn to, and there was nothing in her books to indicate that it was ok for a young, gay man to do drag!
I feel like as I get older, what I want from my books is good things happening to good people and in this book that is certainly the case. Robin goes through the wringer as his last hope of a stage school place is dashed and he does, at times descend into the selfish, but he has a brilliant group of friends around him to call him out on his behaviour and a protective, yet supportive mum to lead the cheering section.
Although parts of Robin’s story are not all sweetness and light, his progression from his darkest times to the triumphant finale of the book is just the type of life-affirming stuff we need to all be reading right now.
Having finished this book at a rate of knots, I can’t wait to see what comes next!
PS – don’t forget to preorder!
Please note: I received this book for review via Netgalley. All opinions are, as ever, my own.