“Poignant and important.” —Refinery29
Judy Blume meets RuPaul’s Drag Race in this funny, feel-good debut novel about a queer teen who navigates questions of identity and self-acceptance while discovering the magical world of drag.
Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.
Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.
From debut author Tanya Boteju comes a poignant, laugh-out-loud tale of acceptance, self-expression, and the colorful worlds that await when we’re brave enough to look.
One of the few things 17-year-old Nima knows for sure is that she's gay. She doesn't know what made her mother leave a year and a half earlier, how she's going to spend the summer before her senior year after being rejected by her crush, or why she keeps running into Gordon, a childhood friend turned bully. Then she visits the small town's summer festival and meets glamorous drag queen Deidre, spellbinding drag king Winnow, and a whole world just a bus ride away of people who perform, loud and proud, in and out of drag. All-loving, all-knowing Deidre is a fantasy possessing the power to turn Nima into the drag king she didn't know she wanted to be, and to help Gordon, who's drawn to drag, begin coping with his homophobic attitudes. Debut author Boteju lays on the small-town atmosphere a little thickly at times (everyone knows everyone, and Nima reads as naive), but watching Nima and her nervous stomach find the nerve to perform and maybe even pursue a girl who likes her back is satisfying. And who doesn't need a glamorous drag queen fairy godmother? Ages 12 up.