Synopses & Reviews
A beautifully voiced debut captures an intimate story of change and acceptance.
Twelve-year-old Davis lives in an old brownstone with his mother and grandmother in Brooklyn. He loves people-watching in Prospect Park, visiting his mom in the bakery she owns, and listening to the biggest operas he can find as he walks everywhere.
But Davis is having a difficult summer. As questions of sexuality begin to enter his mind, he worries people dont see him as anything other than husky.” To make matters worse, his best girlfriends are starting to hang out with mean girls and popular boys. Davis is equally concerned about the distance forming between him and his single mother as she begins dating again, and about his changing relationship with his amusingly loud Irish grandmother, Nanny.
Ultimately, Davis learns to see himself outside of his one defining adjective. Hes a kid with unique interests, admirable qualities, and people who will love him no matter what changes life brings about.
"As big a splash as St. James (Disco Bloodbath) made on the Club Kid circuit in the 1980s and '90s, his entree into the YA world may prove to be equally fraught with controversy and over-the-top fabulousness. Billy Bloom, a scrawny, pale redhead, plays the novel's underdog and champion a 17-year-old for whom the phrase 'drag queen' is scarcely sufficient. Frenetically narrating with a tongue seemingly dipped in both acid and silver, Billy recounts his abrupt transplant from life with his mother in Darien, Conn., to Fort Lauderdale, where he now lives with his wealthy and distant father. Billy finds himself a high school senior enrolled at the Eisenhower Academy, populated with 'Stepford teens in full preen. In your choice of blond or blonder.' St. James pulls no punches in describing the escalating verbal and physical abuse Billy suffers at the hands of his classmates. On a day when he comes to school outfitted as a primeval swamp queen ('This is not a dress, it's an ecosystem'), Billy's peers so brutally attack him that he goes into a coma. Yet he finds an unlikely ally in the gorgeous and universally adored football player Flip Kelly. Rather than leave the academy, Billy takes a stand for outcasts everywhere by running for homecoming queen, and attracts statewide media attention. In Billy Bloom, St. James has created an archetypal hero for outsiders and freaks. Though the subject matter and language will likely prove controversial, it's nearly impossible to remain untouched after walking a mile in the stilettos of someone so unfailingly true to himself and so blisteringly funny. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Although this first effort for teens is noble and Billy is a loveable but sometimes clueless character, the book is more A than YA, a tad too drawn out and containing many references to '80s pop culture that today's teens just will not get. But because readers have not seen anything like this book in YA lit...this one probably should be added." VOYA
"More buoyant than weighty, this book flows as a fast-paced, snarky story of high school horrors. Mature readers will love St. James's playful rendition of a conventional American tale." School Library Journal
"A groundbreaking, eye-opening, romantic, bittersweet story of one boy's determination to seek acceptance for who he is and right the wrongs of his world, one dress at a time." Kirkus Reviews
Billy Bloom is gay, but its mostly theoretical, as he hasn't had much experience. When he has to move to Florida, he can't believe his bad luck. His new school is a mix of Bible Belles, Aberzombies, and Football Heroes, none of which are exactly his type. Billy's efforts to fit in and stand out at the same time are both hilarious and heartrending. In this novel from adult author and media personality James St. James, readers are in for a wild ride as he tells Billy's fascinating story of bravado, pain, and unexpected love, inspired by his own experiences.
Meet Billy Bloom, new student at the ultra-white, ultra-rich, ultra-conservative Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy and drag queen extraordinaire. Actually, ?drag queen? does not begin to describe Billy and his fabulousness. Any way you slice it, Billy is not a typical seventeen-year-old, and the Bible Belles, Aberzombies, and Football Heroes at the academy have never seen anyone quite like him before. But thanks to the help and support of one good friend, Billy?s able to take a stand for outcasts and underdogs everywhere in his own outrageous, over-thetop, sad, funny, brilliant, and unique way.
Billy Bloom is gay, but its mostly theoretical, as he hasnt had much experience. When he has to move to Florida, he cant believe his bad luck. His new school is a mix of Bible Belles, Aberzombies, and Football Heroes, none of which are exactly his type. Billys efforts to fit in and stand out at the same time are both hilarious and heartrending. In this novel from adult author and media personality James St. James, readers are in for a wild ride as he tells Billys fascinating story of bravado, pain, and unexpected love, inspired by his own experiences.
About the Author
James St. James is the author of Disco Bloodbath, the Edgar Award nominated book that was later made into the movie Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green.