my fairy godmother is a drag queen

Chris Bellows is just trying to get through high school and survive being the only stepchild in the social-climbing Fontaine family, whose recently diminished fortune hasn’t dimmed their desire to mingle with Upper East Side society. Chris sometimes feels more like a maid than part of the family. But when Chris’s stepsister Kimberly begins dating golden boy J. J. Kennerly, heir to a political dynasty, everything changes. Because Chris and J. J. fall in love . . . with each other.

With the help of a new friend, Coco Chanel Jones, Chris learns to be comfortable in his own skin, let himself fall in love and be loved, and discovers that maybe he was wrong about his step-family all along. All it takes is one fairy godmother dressed as Diana Ross to change the course of his life.

My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen is a Cinderella retelling for the modern reader. The novel expertly balances issues like sexuality, family and financial troubles, and self-discovery with more lighthearted moments like how one rogue shoe can launch a secret, whirlwind romance and a chance meeting with a drag queen can spark magic and light in a once dark reality.

So, when I saw the title of this book, I knew that I had to request it. A Cinderella re-telling with a drag queen as a fairy godmother? YES PLEASE! However, I’m very sad to say that I didn’t like the book very much (although the title remains one of my favourites). First of all, I really didn’t find Chris an interesting main character, especially because it is written in first person. First person only really works for me when the character has a really huge personality, and Chris just…doesn’t.

I also found many parts of the book to be quite uncomfortable. There are rape jokes and ableist comments, and I found the representation of drag queens to be quite stereotypical. I don’t know if the author did any research about them, but, there were specific passages that made me unsure about his knowledge about the LGBT+ community as a whole. For example:

Screenshot 2017-05-17 22.21.22

And then there was this passage:

Screenshot 2017-05-17 22.28.51.png

ETA: a couple of commenters have mentioned to me that this is quite a realistic portrayal of drag queens and the way they speak. However, this does not negate the misogyny and ableism within the language. I wish that the author had made a comment upon these things rather than just letting it slide.

In all, the Cinderella aspect was quite flimsy to begin with, and I found the characters uninteresting and often problematic. Not the book for me, I’m afraid.

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7 thoughts on “my fairy godmother is a drag queen

  1. justanotherloststudent says:

    I think this sounds so disappointing as a book if you are looking for like.. positive lgbtq representation and a good grasp of social justice in it. However, I think in the context of drag culture itself, the author is actually spot on with the language he is using in the passages which you used as examples. Sadly, such language is often the reason why there are often so many clases. For example, people have been asking the drag community to stop using the phrase “fish” for decades, and it was even only recently that the trans community were able to get Ru Paul to finally stop the use of the “she-mail” segments in the show. Like… drag queens fully talk in the way shown in the passages above, not always (there are a few lovely ones who are angels).

    This is why, I personally, always heavily side eye any books which capitalize on the current drag train that is tearing along at the moment & perpetuating that kind of language.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. justanotherloststudent says:

    Sorry there were some errors. It should say “clashes” not clases.

    Anyway my point is that i personally dislike this manner of speaking, but it is something very rooted in the drag community. So I think on that basis, the author does seem to actually know his subjects in this case rather than he doesn’t (because it isn’t very PC).

    Liked by 1 person

    • whatthelog says:

      This is so interesting, thank you very much. I wish that the author could have made a point of commenting on the language used rather than just perpetuating it. Or had different drag queens talk differently. They all felt quite one-dimensional to me, which was a shame.

      Like

  3. Sarah says:

    This is super yikes!! I always get nervous when I see media involving drag queens because it’s usually super hit or miss imo. I would agree with Avery, though, that this kind of language is unfortunately super common in drag culture, which is such a bummer. But, like, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s okay and the author should have looked into what kind of language is actually **acceptable** and appropriate. I have so many feelings about misogyny and transmisogyny in drag culture, in case you can’t tell, haha.

    Liked by 3 people

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