Nail Polish and Feathers
Posted by gaylistbookreviews
Title: Nail Polish and Feathers
Author: Jo Ramsey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: C List
Blurb: A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Sixteen-year-old Evan Granger has no problems with being gay. Despite his mother’s objections, he wears nail polish and makeup to school and pursues his goal of becoming a professional drag queen.
TV drag star Taffy Sweet gives encouragement and Evan’s cousin Holly tries to protect him, but school bullies abuse him so badly because of his sexuality and the girly way he dresses that he ends up at the hospital emergency room. After that, even his new crush, a closeted football jock named Moe Garcia, is unhappy about Evan’s choice to live his life openly gay. But even in girly clothes and nail polish, Evan is a force to be reckoned with, and he soon shows the bullies—and everyone else—that beating a drag queen up does not mean the queen is beaten down.
Review: My first question would be, what happened with consistency? Where was the editor when Evan went from having white shoes to go with the dress, to “I didn’t even think about shoes”, to wearing biker boots to the dance but arriving at the door wearing “a dress and heels”.
I realized that this book didn’t grab my attention as it should have, so maybe that was the reason why I was paying attention to these things. If I had been more involved with the story or the characters maybe I wouldn’t have noticed.
And the cover, it´s so pretty, gorgeous; but that´s not Evan. Evan has blue eyes, he is very proud of how beautiful he is, blond hair, blue eyes (those that matched the boa, and are brought out by the blue shirt) everything is so detailed described…why will you get it so wrong on the cover?
As a 16 year old Evan doesn’t completely understand why he feels the way he feels or why he needs to wear female clothes to feel pretty but he does. And he is not going to compromise who he is just to fit with the school standards, with his parents wishes or even his boyfriend’s ideas of how he should act or what he should wear.
The book is full of contradictions, it made me feel so frustrated at times. Evan´s mom, BFF and even his boyfriend were proud of him, for having the courage to stand up, but on the other hand they were asking him to “tone down” his clothes and attitude a bit. I understand completely their fears, and I have to say that in RL I would actually feel the same way, but here for a boy that is on the road of discovery and acceptance, his own and others, having the ones that supposedly support you try to change you was upsetting.
“The people who claimed they supported me weren’t much better than the people who hated me. All of them wanted me to be someone I wasn’t.”
I did have some issues with Evan´s attitude, especially towards his mom. I mean, we are still talking about a 16 year old teenager. Think of it as a mom, would you allow your child to go to school after spending the day in the ER? No, right? Well, Evan throws such a tantrum that there is no other option than to let him go. But in reality if at 16 your mother says no, then it is no.
And to balance this out, I didn’t really understood Evan´s mother’s attitude. You can´t miss a day at work to spend it with your kid, who is in the ER after a brutal attack? Instead of listening to your child when he brought up the bullying you asked him to change his clothes, really? And your financial situation does not allow you to stay at home with your son, but you can have take out 3 or 4 times a week?
We are back to inconsistency here, I am sorry.
Evan is a sweet character, and even though I disagree with some of his attitudes, I understand his need to stand up for himself. I value his courage and his will to show adults that it is not about how he acts or what he wears, it is about acceptance.
At some point if felt like the author took a political stance with this book, trying to prove a point about how high school regulations are outdated, and their policies non-inclusive. I guess that was what Even was trying to change and show. That even when, bullying is not accepted, the majority of adults turn their backs to it. When it is actually their responsibility to enforce these policies at school.
I am very torn about this book, while I enjoyed reading about Evan and his crush on Moe. I suffered with him while he was abused, and bullied. I also enjoyed discovering this young man, who still has a long road to travel to become the person he wants to be.
Reviewed by Connie
Posted on October 19, 2013, in Connie and tagged Being True to Yourself, Bullying, C List, Closet Case, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Connie, Contemporary, Courage, Cross Dressing, Drag Queens, DSP, Family, Finding Yourself, First Kiss, First Love, Flamboyant Character, Harmony Ink Press, High School, Homophobia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.