cover image The Borrow a Boyfriend Club

The Borrow a Boyfriend Club

Page Powars. Delacorte, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-56858-3

Powars’s debut, a sensitively wrought enemies-to-lovers romance, stars a teen who joins a secret high school club in which students volunteer to be rent-a-boyfriends for fellow classmates. Transgender 16-year-old former dancer Noah Byrd is determined to “blend in like a normal teenage guy” at his new high school in Ann Arbor, Mich. Hoping to join the most masculine-seeming activity he can find, he signs up for the Football and Lamborghini Club, unaware that it’s a cover for the Borrow a Boyfriend Club, a service that sets students up on dates with participating members for events. After failing the first-round interview of the highly selective membership process, he finagles a second chance from prickly president Asher Price by promising to choreograph a dance that will help the club win a lucrative talent contest. As Noah grapples with the fear of being outed as trans, as well as body dysmorphia amplified by his return to dancing—which he gave up during his transition because “boys don’t dance”—he develops feelings for Asher. In vulnerable first-person prose, Powars renders Noah’s feelings about his gender identity alongside sweet messaging surrounding the power of friendship and connection. Ages 12–up. Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Irene Goodman Literary. (Sept.)