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Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy Hardcover – July 26, 2011
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"Wright’s occasionally flashy but mostly straightforward...prose should work equally well for bookish and non-bookish readers."--Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will simultaneously root for and marvel at this fascinating character."--School Library Journal
"There's a whole lot going on in Wright’s novel, but it’s handled deftly and, for the most part, believably. Best of all, Carlos is not completely defined by his homosexuality. It is an important part of him, yes, but so are his ambition, his concern for his sister, and his capacity for friendship."--Booklist
"A fast-paced and humorous chick-lit read, Carlos is sure of himself and yet willing to acknowledge when he makes mistakes. His loyalty to friends and family and grace under pressure come through as he overcomes stereotyping to achieve his goal."--Library Media Connection
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Top Customer Reviews
Carlos is wonderfully drawn.
The complex emotions he's feeling are so real and his voice is engaging, funny and very heartwarming.
All the characters to me are right on and the whole thing moves beautifully.
The book has lessons about fitting in and being one's own person, without being preachy.
It's a fun and very uplifting read.
And I do like it when our hero comes out on top!
to summon enough courage to confront his sister's brutal boyfriend, meet his mother's expectations
of a grown son,and approach a classmate whose sexuality is a constant and compelling mystery. Though it took me a
chapter or two to cheer for Carlos, I was soon hooked and couldn't put the book down. I kept turning the
page to see if Carlos would, as his mother urged, beat the truth out of his sister's lover or if Carlos's
crush would return Carlos's charmed love.
Without giving too much away, let's just say I had hoped Carlos's character would have more of an arc, but life isn't always
a perfect arc, more of a slow bending toward truth, integrity, purpose and courage. I loved Carlos' proud
and hard-working mother, the protective matriarch, and enjoyed the gender-bending Gleason, Carlos's talented
love interest. The sister, Rosalia, was a mystery though, a frustrating one, as I wanted to know more of her
backstory, why she made the choices she did.
Most of all, however, I got inside Carlos's skin to better understand the emotional tightrope a gay teen
walks as he owns his sexuality while facing homophobic peers.
I am not a makeup fiend (...well, maybe I dabble in eyeshadows like a regular Bob Ross), but the enthusiasm that exudes from Carlos as he lands a job at a Macy's cosmetics counter is all but infectious. I think anyone who has any retail experience can appreciate the challenge of handling a moody, self-centered boss and learning how to make ornery customers feel beautiful again.
I did appreciate that Carlos came from a low-income family, and he struggled to help his family make ends meet. So many books seem to have characters who live charmed lives where they don't have to worry about food or meeting rent, and this story element brought more tension to Putting Makeup On The Fat Boy than what would have been if Carlos had been born to riches.
As enjoyable as watching Carlos walk the path toward his dream career, there were a few bumps in the road that seemed a little too disconnected with the ultimate goal. Of course, no road traveled should be without detours and obstructions, but I did not think enough time had been spent on them - and these projects were left unfinished or else with an less-than-desirable ending. Perhaps I have read too many happy-ever-afters, but even the unhappy-ever-afters seemed not fully realized when I reached the end.
Putting Makeup On The Fat Boy is a charming read, despite the title that sounds a bit rude, and Carlos embraces himself with as much joie de vivre as the cast of Ugly Betty does. A sequel would be very welcomed in my mind since there were a few loose ties that I thought still needed closure.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a well-written book with lively dialogue. I laughed through most of it.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I read this book as part of an LGBT youth literature class that I'm taking and it was a good edition to the course. Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Lux and the Machinist
This wonderful book won the two most important awards for GLBTQ young-adult literature this year -- both the Stonewall Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Read morePublished on July 17, 2012 by "Famous" Librarian
A poor teenager from a bad neighborhood is a terrific makeup artist and decides he's gonna get a job at the Macy's makeup counter and knock everyone's socks off, despite serious... Read morePublished on April 30, 2012 by BookWitch