Monday, July 23, 2007

Freak Show by James St. James

Billy Bloom is a fabulous teenage drag queen who makes the wrong kind of splash when he sashays into his first day of class at his new school in the swamps of Florida after he is sent there to live with his father for the first time in years. From the first page, the rapid-fire, conversational narrative tone clocks you over the head like a barrel full of glitter and goes screaming off at 100 mph, and you don't have any choice but to go trailing off after Billy for the ride.
Rather than just staying light and scathingly funny, though, James St. James takes us into all of the dark places that teens like Billy (and James) have to endure. It certainly won't appeal to everyone (and oh, the tragic cover art!), but I applaud the fact that this book and Billy Bloom are out there for the teens on the fringes. Two snaps and a YAY!


At August 15, 2007 at 10:58 AM , Blogger Iris said...

Yay. La La La.

I was at first put off by our hero and his manic personality, and even more disturbed by the degree he was punished for being different (though I’m sure everyone can relate in some tiny way to such persecution) but his recuperation left me breathless with laughter, and the story just keeps getting better. The writer has a wonderful way with words, I loved every delicious description of Flip in all his idiotic glory, and his puppy-killer, manorexic, diaper wearing, blah blah blah peers. Can't wait for other reviews.

At September 17, 2007 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Anne Keller said...

Gosh, I don't even know where to begin. Okay, this book really held my interest and I finished it over the weekend. Now I am reading Parrotfish which is about transgender and really different. While I enjoyed this book, the writing was so different than what I am used to. I think it would be awesome to have James St. James as the recepient just to hear him speak, I bet that would be something we'd never forget. Everything aside, I think it it's one of those breakout type novels that is creative, different, funny, sad, serious and well, just different. Can't wait to hear what others say. I say Maybe for now.


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