Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy
A novel by Bil Wright.
From Simon & Schuster.
Reviews for Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy
Wright (When the Black Girl Sings) gives voice, complexity, and heart to the kind of character often relegated to a cliché sidekick role. Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte's dream is to become a famous makeup artist ("I've had subscriptions to Vogue and Harper's Bazaar since I was fourteen... so I knew what I was doing was beyond genius"). His considerable skills land him a plum job working the FeatureFace Cosmetics counter at Macy's, despite the reservations of manager Valentino. It's not long before Valentino and Carlos clash, and things at home are tough as well: Carlos's mother has lost her job, and his older sister is getting abused by her boyfriend, who is also harassing Carlos for being gay. Carlos's single-minded drive for success leaves some casualties in his wake (as when a $300 borrowed pair of "beyond incredible" boots are damaged when he's assaulted), but his big heart, optimism, and powers of persuasion are infectious. And given the very realistic harassment Carlos regularly suffers, those attributes are a survival skill, too. He's a walking example of the inner strength teens need--regardless of their sexuality. Ages 12–up. (July)
- Reviewed on: 05/16/2011
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, by Bil Wright, is a new YA novel whose main character Carlos Duarte, "knows that he's fabulous. He's got a better sense of style than half the fashionistas in New York City, and he can definitely apply makeup like nobody's business. He may only be in high school, but when he lands the job of his dreams–makeup artist at the Feature Face counter in Macy's–he's sure that he's finally on his way to great things…"
- Lambda Lliterary
Carlos, 16 and fabulous, just knows he's going to be famous. The excellent treatment of a gay, Latino teen. He may step on some toes along the way, but this fat boy's going places.
- Kirkus Reviews
"What an amazing time in which we live, where a book like this could be
conceived, written, published, and put in the hands of young people who are struggling to become themselves in a world that may not understand them. How I wish such a shining light was available to me at that age; in my time, I had to search for it. In this wonderful, fun, insightful, and astonishing book, that light is shining from the first page to the last, showing us all the way through the darkness to our own truth. I am heartened that the world is changing to accept each of us for our beautiful gifts...this book is proof of it."
- Chris March, Star of BRAVO TV's MAD FASHION
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