Nail Polish and Feathers

192p. ebook available. Harmony Ink. 2013. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781627980883.
Gr 9 Up—High school student Evan Granger is proud to be gay. He openly displays his feminine side by wearing feather boas, nail polish, and other girl clothes to school; in fact, Evan hopes to one day be a drag queen. Unfortunately, most people in the teen's school find his sexual orientation and femininity less than appealing, and he is bullied constantly. His only support comes from his cousin, Holly, and Moe, a closeted football player-turned-Evan's love interest. He also regularly emails (without response) his idol Taffy Sweet, a famous drag queen, to vent and ask for advice. The antagonism at school becomes so severe that the protagonist lands in the hospital, which pushes him to finally get the courage to stand up for himself. While this novel covers important topics such as homosexuality and bullying, it doesn't ring true. The characters' conversations are inauthentic in both word choice and delivery. The plot's pacing drags and often feels forced. As a result, this title will not provide the intended relatability for actual GLBT and bullied students. James St. James's Freak Show (Dutton, 2007) and Bil Wright's Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy (S & S, 2011) are better alternatives.—Sarah Allen, Judson High School, Converse, TX

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