Carlos, 16 and fabulous, just knows he’s going to be famous.
Cocky but playful—“I had just the slightest touch of color in my cheeks. I’d given myself a manicure. I looked beyond excellent!”—Carlos strides purposefully toward his goal: Makeup artist to the stars. Zipping around Manhattan, he obtains employment with a hip, prestigious cosmetics company in Macy’s and nabs a position working for the star of a Saturday Night Live equivalent. His campy voice (“seriously gorgeous bootay. Tight and round and perched, honey, perched!”) turns bitchy sometimes. He also needs to learn accountability for his actions: Macy’s makeup really can’t leave the store before being paid for, no matter how famous the star requesting it, and Stella McCartney boots begged from a friend must be returned pristine. Carlos loses that friend but narrowly saves his job; he also fights his sister’s abuser (who calls Carlos “maricón”) and strains for dignity when a kind but clueless straight boy tells Carlos to his face that he doesn’t return his crush. Wright’s occasionally flashy but mostly straightforward (often even clunky) prose should work equally well for bookish and non-bookish readers; the excellent treatment of a gay, Latino teen is marred only by ruthless slamming of fat friend Angie.He may step on some toes along the way, but this fat boy’s going places. (Fiction. 11-15)