Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature–Text
Dads can be such a drag
Life has been a struggle for Toby Goodman. Her mother died by suicide five years ago, and her father left their small town before Toby was born. Now a teenager living on her grandparents’ dairy farm, Toby has trouble letting people in. She keeps even her closest friend, the brash but endearing Trisha, at arm’s length, and recently ended her first relationship, with Trisha’s burnout brother, Mike. Convinced that she is destined to follow her mother’s path, Toby creates a plan to escape her pain.
But after learning the news that her father is coming home and finally wants to meet her, Toby must face the truth of her family’s story. Not only is her father gay, but he’s also a world-famous female impersonator—and a self-absorbed, temperamental man-child who is ill-prepared to be a real parent.
When Toby’s careful plans go awry, she is forced to rebuild the life she thought she knew from the ground up. While she may not follow an expected path, through the support of a quirky but lovable circle of friends and family, Toby may finally be able to put together the many different pieces that make up her past, her present and her future.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Brian Francis’ first book for teen readers and fans of YA is a knockout. This frank story of the search for community and self-acceptance centers around Toby Goodman, who only meets her drag-queen dad after her mother has died. And she can’t seem to connect with her friends—like many of us, she’s still looking for her rock. Francis is the author of Fruit, a stellar novel about talking nipples, so it’s unsurprising that he can make a wild cast of characters shine. We promise every last person in Toby’s orbit will stay with you.