cover image Kings, Queens, and In-betweens

Kings, Queens, and In-betweens

Tanya Boteju. Simon Pulse, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5344-3065-5

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. [em]Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (May) [/em]