Book Review

REVIEW: The Black Flamingo

February 27, 2020
The Black Flamingo Book Cover
The Black Flamingo Young Adult Contemporary Hodder Books Hardcover 360 pages

Fiercely told, this is a timely coming-of-age story, told in verse about the journey to self-acceptance. Perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan, Poet X and Orangeboy.

A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

*I masquerade in makeup and feathers and I am applauded.*

My Thoughts:

I love books in verse, especially strong powerful books in verse. Let me tell you this book is exactly that, emotive strong and powerful. I loved so much the perspective of a mixed-race/black gay boy, that he was mixed race, and the close friendship he had. I loved the drag queen representation and that it truly highlighted the more artistic side of it!

This book starts when our main character Michael is about 9 and follows him through to highschool. It is presented in a mixed media manner with the whole narrative written in verse while sprinkled throughout are poems written by Michael. I really loved this aspect as well. It all felt natural and not at all forced as if this is just the way that Michael thinks.

Michael’s relationships with the people around him are clearly coloured by his lack of personal identity something that he struggles with for most of the novel. This aspect is written very well and avoids being overly angsty or melodramatic. Each step of the way an overwhelming urge to protect Michael and keep him safe filled me, he is the softness and wisdom the world needs.

Definitely recommend, especially to fans of The Poet X.

I give The Black Flamingo:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Black Flamingo was by Dean Atta was published on 8 August 2019 by Hodder Books. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, Unity Books, or wherever you like to purchase books.

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  • Reply Sue - doddyaboutbooks February 27, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Great review! This book sounds like it ticks all of my boxes! I’m so glad you’ve talked about it as I haven’t seen it anywhere else!

  • Reply littlemissstar55 February 27, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    This book sounds so epic, I can’t wait to read it myself!

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