Winner, Governor General's Literary Award
Finalist, Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction
"Raziel Reid is a really extraordinary guy. He's got a great thing going."—Anne Rice
School is just like a film set: there's The Crew, who make things happen, The Extras who fill the empty desks, and The Movie Stars, whom everyone wants tagged in their Facebook photos. But Jude doesn't fit in. He's not part of The Crew because he isn't about to do anything unless it's court-appointed; he's not an Extra because nothing about him is anonymous; and he's not a Movie Star because even though everyone know his name like an A-lister, he isn't invited to the cool parties. As the director calls action, Jude is the flamer that lights the set on fire.
Before everything turns to ashes from the resulting inferno, Jude drags his best friend Angela off the casting couch and into enough melodrama to incite the paparazzi, all while trying to fend off the haters and win the heart of his favourite co-star Luke Morris. It's a total train wreck!
But train wrecks always make the front page.
Raziel Reid is a graduate of the New York Film Academy. He currently lives in Vancouver.
Reid's debut, the 2014 winner of the Governor's General Literary Award for Children's Literature, is a no-holds-barred view of teenage sexuality and bullying. Jude Rothesay is a gay teen with a penchant for wearing his stripper mother's outfits and makeup. Facing constant aggression from classmates, online posts, and his mother's boyfriend, Jude views life through the lens of film, seeing his detractors as jealous fans and his bleak small town in Hollywood Technicolor. Jude's friend Angela, on a sexually destructive bent, shares his desire for escape; alone and together, they skip school, drink, pop stolen pills, and cut themselves. When Jude decides to leave town for good, friends turn away from him, a teacher gets too close, and Jude confronts his long-held crush, culminating in tragedy. Reid's graphic sex scenes can be jarring, and when coupled with Jude's bitingly sarcastic voice ("I write a killer suicide letter"), weaken moments of emotional depth. But Reid's incisive rendering of the multiple torments outspoken gay teens endure shines through, and Jude's story will stay with readers. Ages 12 up.