'Boy Queen'; a review and exclusive author content!

Hey girl, hey. This is not just your average Almost Amazing book review, oh no… this one is special. Because you see, my queens, this book 'Boy Queen' is not just an utterly fierce treat that slays in the exciting world of drag lit as well as UKYA - it was also written by one of my favourite humans in the book world, THE George Lester. AKA That Gurrrl, the Drag Queen.

Oh, and this review of mine is merely the warm up for the big show – the lovely George has written about his favourite works of LGBTQ+ fiction, and you can read that excellent piece below.

George did a bit of a Taylor (see: folklore), and Ru-vealed this divine debut quite late in its publishing journey, considering how long it takes to get from writing to pitching to selling. What a cheeky move. And while I was surprised by the news, I wasn’t surprised at ALL by the subject matter of his first novel. Because George is, honestly, the #1 drag stan. He was the one who got me into Drag Race, some years ago, and I owe him several bevs for that. 

Anyway, here’s the tea: Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart. His friends and peers are moving on to university, and he’s been rejected from every drama school he’s applied to. Suddenly, everything is ending and he’s being left behind. He’s just starting to doubt his potential, and is even considering giving up on his dreams, when he and his friends end up going to a local drag show, and suddenly it dawns on him that his future may not be what he’d originally planned… in fact, it’s considerably more sparkly. 

A less rambly synopsis and some readers’ reviews are on Goodreads, FYI. 

The library is open, and you best believe I am doing some serious reading… but no shade. ‘Boy Queen’ is a truly brilliant tale of a young man finding himself in the most unexpected way, with some wonderful supporting characters, some good old juicy teen romance and bravery in the face of adversity. I mean, George himself has described ‘Boy Queen’ as ‘Dumplin’ meets RuPaul’s Drag Race by way of Gilmore Girls’, and this is perhaps the perfect summary of the story. You’ve got the downtrodden, inexperienced but determined main character who shines when they’re given the right opportunity, the supportive drag community - with some shade thrown in for good measure - the adorable first love with classic teen complications, friendships that could withstand any storm, and a bloody good mother-son relationship that makes your heart swell. I flew threw this proof in the early stages of lockdown, and it was just what I needed to lift my spirits and give me hope. Thank you for this, my darling. It’s golden. 

Anyway, that’s enough from me. Time for some excellent guest content from the glamazon author! Read on, queens.


This is such a hard blog post to write. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big reader of queer books, so I have a pretty big collection on my shelf. Whenever anyone asks me what my favourite is, the answer changes almost as quickly as I have given it. HOWEVER, dear reader, I will do my utmost to keep this list to just five of my favourite queer titles. These are just the first five that popped into my head.


*makes strange groaning noise because MY FEELINGS*

I will never forget the reading experience that I had with this book. There is something about the way that Adam writes (and this is true of They Both Die At The End, More Happy Than Not and even his fab new Urban Fantasy book Infinity Son) that really grabs hold of your feelings and SQUEEZES THEM!

History Is All You Left Me is the story of Griffin whose ex-boyfriend Theo has died in a drowning accident. Even though the two of them had broken up, Griffin is absolutely destroyed by this news and the only person who understands how he feels is Theo's new boyfriend Jackson. The entire book is told in chapters from the past (History) and the present (Today) and I spent every damn page of the book aching. It's absolutely one of the best queer books I have ever read and I will never forget being stood on a crowded train during my commute in absolute pieces while reading it.

HOLDING THE MAN | Timothy Conigrave

I pretty much talk about this book on my YouTube channel at any available opportunity (and talking about it now has me wanting to relisten to the audiobook!) This is a memoir that I stumbled upon a few years ago and fell head over heels in love with. To my knowledge, it is still out of print in the UK, but you can find editions of it on the internet. Anything is possible with the power of Google. But I don't understand why no one has picked it up. It's stunning.

It is the story of Tim's 15-year love affair with John Caleo, the captain of his school's rugby team when he was at school. It tracks his life growing up gay in a very conservative society in Australia around the height of the AIDS crisis. Conigrave finished the book shortly before dying of an AIDS-related illness, which is actually a fact I didn't know when I was reading the book. Because I'd made it all the way to the end and Tim was still alive, I assumed that he still was. Unfortunately he passed away, but this story still lives on and I urge people to read it. It really spoke to my soul. It's fantastic.

(This is an adult memoir, so there are adult themes in the book!)

PROUD | edited by Juno Dawson

Short story collections are usually hit and miss for me. I find it is a very rare thing to find a short story collection where every story in the book is an absolute belter and you love each one as fiercely as the last. Proud is just such a collection. From start to finish it is a glorious rainbow of queerness that made my heart sing! From the adorable to the achingly beautiful, the funny to the fabulous, what we have in Proud is a collection of stories that speaks to so many different experiences. Not only is it written by a fabulous collection of queer authors it is also illustrated, making it doubly wonderful and gorgeous and sparkly and QUEER QUEER QUEER! I live!


This is quite a recent love for me but it is a fierce and burning love that I can't see going away any time soon. If you've read it, you'll understand, but The Black Flamingo is a novel written in verse that tracks the life of Michael, who is half Jamaican and half Greek-Cypriot, from when he is a baby all the way to when he is at University and discovers the sheer magic of drag. It is a journey of self-discovery and identity, a celebration of queerness and finding power within yourself. It is honestly one of the best books I have ever read in my life and if you've not got it on your TBR already, you're doing life wrong. Why are you still here reading this post? Go and get it!

WE ARE OKAY | Nina LaCour

My first experience of reading Nina was in her collaboration with David Levithan, You Know Me Well, which also happens to be a fantastic book btw. I didn’t really know what to expect going in but what I got was an achingly beautiful story of a girl being forced to confront all the things she has run away from when her best friend visits her at college over Christmas break. I finished it quite recently (it's been one of my many lockdown reads) and I am still thinking about and making that little groaning noise when something punches you right in the feelings. No, it really is that good!!

Please know that this is just a selection of queer books that I super love! There are so many more, just go to my Instagram and you'll see! Every other week I find another queer book that makes me scream and cry because I love it so much!


Thanks so much for this, darling George. This brilliant fella’s new book Boy Queen is out from 6th August 2020, and is available from all good bookshops (it’s on offer from my fave small family-run shop A Great Read, FYI).

You can find him as a boy on Instagram @TheGeorgeLester or in drag @ThatGurrrlQueen.


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