cover image The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride

The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride

Hayli Thomson. Page Street Kids, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64567-536-5

When white closeted lesbian Taylor Parker is named an NBC Emerging Writers Diversity Award finalist, which could lead to a Saturday Night Live internship, she has two months to either come out before her name is released to the public, or forfeit the opportunity. Afraid to confide in her inn-owner mother and Christian-comic father, Taylor considers giving up (“You don’t deserve it and it isn’t worth it,” Taylor says of her own nomination), until her classmate and longtime crush, Charlotte Grey, who is white and out, admits her feelings for Taylor. Then family friend Jen, whom Taylor assumed was a lesbian, visits with boyfriend Ryan in tow, inspiring further internal turmoil. As Taylor and Charlotte begin a secret romance, the clock winds down, and Taylor must decide: is she ready to share her truth, or will she let the internship—and her potential future with Charlotte—slip away? Taylor’s struggles to maneuver emotional vulnerability amid tense familial dynamics, which include strained relationships with her father and Jen, resonate. Thomson’s laugh-out-loud debut, buoyed by the teens’ heartwarming romance and Taylor’s sardonic, aspiring-comic voice, deftly intertwines the sometimes conflicting paths to chasing one’s dreams and being oneself. Ages 14–up. Agent: Bridget Smith, JABberwocky Literary. (June)