STARRED REVIEW
May 2019

Coming-of-age while out and proud

In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two new novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.

STARRED REVIEW

Coming-of-age while out and proud

May 2019

In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two new novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.

STARRED REVIEW
May 2019

Coming-of-age while out and proud

May 2019

In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two new novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.

STARRED REVIEW
May 2019

Coming-of-age while out and proud

In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two new novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.

STARRED REVIEW
May 2019

Coming-of-age while out and proud

In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two new novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.

May 2019

Coming-of-age while out and proud

In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two new novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.

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In decades past, the world of queer YA literature comprised cautionary tales and sob stories. Thankfully, these two novels stand out for their uplifting and romantic perspectives.


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a funny, sweet romantic comedy, and How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee delivers.

Sixteen-year-old Nolan Grant would be content to secretly crush on the handsome Si while making art, working at the gardening store and hanging with his adoptive family during their board game tournaments and pancake marathons. But his older sister, Daphne, has other plans. 

When Nolan is pressured into a very public promposal orchestrated by Daphne, things go horribly wrong. Instead of asking Si, Nolan accidentally asks Ira “Bern” Bernstein, a bad boy everyone (including Bern himself) thinks is straight, as he recently split with his girlfriend. When Bern accepts, Nolan finds himself in a pickle. To keep up appearances, he has to pretend to date Bern until prom night. Meanwhile, the Gay-Straight Alliance—which Nolan reluctantly joins in his ongoing effort to impress Si—taps Nolan’s art talents for the prom after-party, and the situation between Nolan and Bern might be on its way to becoming real.

As the prom approaches, art projects go awry, siblings squabble and a budding romance overturns everyone’s expectations. Will prom night be everything Daphne has in mind for Nolan, or will nothing go as planned? And when everything starts to go wrong, does that mean that everything’s actually going right? Comedy, romance and feel-good family dynamics combine in what’s sure to be one of this summer’s most fun YA reads.

Things take a turn toward the fabulous in Tanya Boteju’s Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens. Biracial teen Nima Kumara-Clark anticipates another boring summer of working, hanging out with her best friend and hoping to win the affections of her crush, Ginny. But when Nima takes a chance and sees an unusual act featuring drag queens at her town’s annual festival, she meets the mesmerizing Winnow and is instantly smitten. 

Hoping to see Winnow again, Nima follows her to a drag show, where she connects with Deidre, a drag queen who takes Nima under her wing. What follows is a summer that’s anything but what Nima expected. Attending drag shows awakens her, and soon she’s ready to do more than just watch. 

As Nima learns the art of being a drag king—a woman who dresses and performs as a man—she also gains new knowledge about long-hidden family secrets, her friends and even herself. Why did her mother leave her family, with only the briefest of notes, a year and a half ago? Why has Gordon, once a friend, become so bitter and distant? And why, if Nima’s confident that she likes girls, does being labeled a lesbian feel so awkward?

Boteju uses her own life experience in the world of drag to tell a story filled with glitter, feather boas, lip-syncing and dancing, where gender identity is flexible and performance is the embodiment of joy.

Get the Books

How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom

How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom

By S.J. Goslee
Roaring Brook
ISBN 9781626724013
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

By Tanya Boteju
Simon Pulse
ISBN 9781534430655

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