Book: Bookended by Beauty Queens
Author: Victoria Marshal
Release date (if applicable): Published
Synopsis: Angie Palmer has always lived under the shadow of her two beautiful sisters. When her grandmother's apartment suffers from a fire, Angie's sisters nominate the very introverted Angie to take grandma in. With Grandma comes friend Val, a transvestite and drag queen with desires to become Ms. Gay Beauty Pageant, who has been disowned by his religious family members. Despite Angie's introverted ways, Val works her way into Angie's heart and the two develop a deep bond. Tragedy strikes and Angie must find a way to speak up for Val while she can't speak for herself.
My rating: 2 Stars and I was being pretty generous.
My opinion: This book started off incredibly strong. There were a couple of laugh out loud scenes that really started the book off strong. Unfortunately, about 75 pages in, it became "drama central" with one melodramatic scene after another which seemed to be more of a prop up versus quality writing. Finally, the author came off with that typical religious judgemental ism..some of it to a real extreme that not only was it unbelievable, but it really came off with someone as an agenda. Therefore, it became a real turn off. It is one thing to to have the conflict in religious beliefs vs. gay rights
The thing that really bothered me about this book, though, is that although this author wrote that Val, as a transvestite, with the opening scene where Val and Angie meet that Val was walking around the apartment in "her" bra and slip, the author consistently referred to Val as "he". Even that Angie referred to Val as being a "him". The author even went on to write that Val stated that she always considered herself to be female. It drove me nuts. In my mind, I had to change it to "her/she" throughout the book. I contacted the author through email to ask why this was. Was there something that I was missing in reading the book and there was no follow-up to my email. Therefore, I can only assume that it was intentional.
I contacted a Goodreads friend who reads and is involved in alot of GLBT literature and she confirmed what my concerns were with the book. Therefore, I can't write as to why the author chose this manner of writing...was it sloppiness or ignorance regarding the portrayal of transvestites in society and literature?
Would I recommend? : No
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone