Review: Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Review: Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens is a book I had been anticipating for its unique premise. This book about new experiences and self-exploration is uplifting, and there is a strong cast of characters within. That being said, parts of the plot lag, which dulls the shine of what could have been a fantastic story.

Review: Kings, Queens, and In-BetweensTitle: Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens
Author: Tanya Boteju
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 7, 2019

three-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.

Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.

Amazon “Book

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Admittedly, I don’t know much about the drag scene, but this book really opened my eyes as it follows a girl who learns about nightlife herself. The concept of the book is original, and I enjoyed how it has a focus on drag kings, who get less exposure than the queens. As well, there is representation for a wide range of genders, sexualities, and ethnicities. Ultimately, this is an entertaining novel that encourages trying new things.

❀ Enjoyable Main Character

Nima, the main character, is so enjoyable, and I loved being able to join her in her new experiences. She is both sweet and sarcastic, and she learns a lot about herself over the course of the novel. Nima has her share of struggles, such as having a crush on a straight girl, but her journey to self discovery and confidence is inspiring. The side characters in the book are also quirky and amusing, and I must say Deirdre really contributed to my enjoyment of the story.

The one thing that bothered me about the book is the way it was executed. I feel like there are a lot of scenes that are unnecessary to the plot and make the story tedious. Personally, I found the scenes that weren’t about Nima’s experiences with drag to be flat, and the vibrance of the book is lost because of it. As well, I was left with unanswered questions at the end as there are some loose ends that remain.

❀ Lively book about self-discovery

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens is an lively book about self discovery. I enjoyed the main character’s personality and the quirky side characters. While I did enjoy the book, I didn’t appreciate the way the plot drags or the loose ends left at the end. I would still recommend this one for its concept, however I think it could have been better executed.

About Tanya Boteju

Tanya Boteju

Tanya Boteju is an English teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada). She believes feminism, diversity, committed educators, sassy students, and hot mugs of tea will save the day. She is also grateful for her patient wife who builds her many bookshelves! Tanya may have been a drag king in her well-spent youth and knows that the queer community is full of magic and wonder

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