I have just two words for you, James St. James: LOVE IT! Your unrepentantly outrageous and brutally honest bi-polar portrayal of seventeen-year-old Billy Bloom, drag-queen-in-training-wheels is one of the freshest, funniest YA novels I’ve read in YEARS. My only complaint is that this wasn’t a picture book, so I couldn’t get a gander at all of Billy’s meticulously constructed outfits. Yes, to Billy Bloom, “Being fabulous, being relentlessly fabulous, is damned hard, hard work, I can tell you…It requires more than just…platform boots and an ironic tee to cut it in today’s marketplace.” Billy is determined to bring fashion and culture to the “Stepford teens” who populate his new private school in the depths of swampy red state Florida. But his unrelenting good cheer in the face of apathetic teachers and waves of spitballs is finally squashed by a brutal beating that he suffers at the hands of several football players. After a long recovery and a great deal of soul-searching, Billy comes to the conclusion that there’s nothing wrong with him, it’s the REST of the world who needs to learn how to deal! So he decides to launch his most ambitious project to date—a run for Homecoming Queen. Does Billy have a hope in heck? Or are all his glitter-dreams destined to go up in a poof of lavender-colored smoke? Make no mistake, this book isn’t just for the cross-dressers among us (although, they will love it). It is for every teen who was told he or she couldn’t play, can’t join, or isn’t invited, and who perservered anyway. Even though St. James’s message comes dressed in heels and a tiara, it still rings true: be yourself, no matter what, because at the end of the day, “you must find your own path and live with your own decisions.” And really, can any book blurbed by both Michael Cart AND Perez Hilton be anything short of FABULOUS? Slide into your best pair of feathery pink marabous and RUN not walk to your nearest library branch or bookstore to check out the best comeback-kid story since Justin Timberlake’s post ‘N Sync career!
Freak Show by James St. James