A fresh, funny, new twist on a classic fairy tale

MY FAIRY GODMOTHER IS A DRAG QUEEN

When Prince Charming meets his beau….

Seventeen-year-old Chris Bellows is pretty much a modern-day, white, male Cinderella. He’s at the beck and call of his WASP-y, boozy, socialite stepmom, Iris, his bitchy, attention-hungry stepsister, Kimberly, and his jock douchebag stepbrother, Buck, who has an endless supply of gross one-liners on tap. The novel opens with Chris helping his family get ready for New York City’s most elite social event, The Autumnal Ball at The Plaza. Once the steps are on their way, Chris runs into a fabulous, shade-throwing, foulmouthed African-American drag queen named Coco Chanel Jones, who, in true fairy-godmother form, decks him out in some oversized Ferragamos plus a fancy suit. Before he knows it, he’s inside the party making googly eyes at the prince of New York City society, dreamy, white J.J. Kennerly. Readers can imagine what happens next. Clawson clearly loves all of his characters, as they are eloquently drawn, with just as many reasons for readers to love them as faults. He also knows how to spin double-edged zingers that are simultaneously gross yet witty: “You’re later than my first period.” What ensues is a fast-paced, riotous, laugh-out-loud yet insightful story of secret love between two closeted gay teens, with Kimberly unknowingly serving as J.J.’s beard.

A fresh, funny, new twist on a classic fairy tale . (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-1411-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A worthy successor to an explosive debut.

BLOODMARKED

From the Legendborn series , Vol. 2

After Awakening the dormant spirit of her ancestor King Arthur Pendragon, almost-17-year-old Briana Matthews must fight to learn and control her magical inheritances.

As a Black person who also possesses the ability to use Root, a form of magic borrowed from deceased practitioners and passed down to her through her mother’s family, Bree is unique in the Line of Pendragon. It is through blood and violence that Bree’s magical abilities intertwined—both those from Arthur’s Welsh origins and from her family’s Bloodcraft originating during chattel slavery in the American South. Together they have turned her into one of the most powerful people either Line has ever known. The intricacies of her navigation of her new powers are at the heart of this sequel to Legendborn (2020), especially as Bree balances the knowledge that her Blackness creates a critical distance between her and the racist people she is sworn to protect as the king of all Legendborns. The plot is complex, and the morsels of information that help fill in the gaps of knowledge don’t always feel fully formed, which may leave readers confused as they try to keep up with the new powers and beings that are presented. Still, there are important, if hard to read, references, for example, when Bree is kidnapped and experimented on by an all-White council, a turn of events that reflects Deonn’s commitment to presenting unflinching truths about the cyclical insidiousness of racism.

A worthy successor to an explosive debut. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4163-7

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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