The Borrow a Boyfriend Club

Delacorte. Sept. 2023. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593568583.
Gr 9 Up–Transfer student Noah Byrd is determined to join the most masculine club he can find, hoping the fresh start will enable him to avoid the transphobic microaggressions he suffered at his old high school. He stumbles upon the “Football and Lamborghini Club,” only to discover that it’s actually an elaborate front for the school’s best kept secret: the “Borrow a Boyfriend Club.” While he’s skeptical of a club run by cocky popular boys that rents out its members as fake dates, Noah realizes the group’s notoriety and entourage of fangirls (and boys) could actually be the perfect backdrop for Noah’s new beginning. But joining the club isn’t as easy as Noah had hoped. The club’s hard-headed leader Asher hasn’t accepted new members in years, and has implemented a series of impossible-seeming tasks for Noah to complete before he can be inducted. One task is to attempt to romance Asher himself, causing Noah to catch feelings with the person he thought he hated most. Raunchy and lighthearted, this book avoids the cliché of a trans student being outed; instead Powers lets Noah believably grapple with his own internalized transphobia, and his family’s acceptance. Ultimately the themes of trans joy, trust, and authenticity are at the heart of this funny and buoyant enemies-to-lovers rom-com.
VERDICT Recommended for all libraries serving teens; this is one boyfriend they’ll want to borrow again and again.

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