Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
Genre: Young-Adult Contemporary
*I received this e-galley from Simon & Schuster free in exchange for my honest review.
Carlos Duarte knows that he’s fabulous. He’s got a better sense of style than half the fashionistas in New York City, and he can definitely apply makeup like nobody’s business. He may only be in high school, but when he lands the job of his dreams–makeup artist at the FeatureFace counter in Macy’s–he’s sure that he’s finally on his way to great things.
But the makeup artist world is competitive and cutthroat, and for Carlos to reach his dreams, he’ll have to believe in himself more than ever.
I think this is probably the first GLBT book I’ve read. I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure. It’s not like I haven’t read books with gay or lesbian characters in them before, but I’ve never read a book where the protagonist is gay. And I loved it. I’ve worked with a lot of gay people and had a few as friends, and I thought the characterization of the protagonist was pretty well done because he reminded me of a few of them. And I loved them all.
The thing I most admired about Carlos Duarte was his perseverance. He had a dream and a plan and he stuck to it. Along the way he dealt with homophobia, catty coworkers, family instability, etc. and he never once wavered on his path or stopped believing in himself. That’s admirable. Especially since so often it’s simpler to take the easy road. But the easy road rarely, if ever, leads to true happiness.
Honestly Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy was a pretty fluffy read. Of course there were a few things that happened that were difficult for me to get through. But for the most part it was a fun story about a teenager that really loves and has a passion for being a makeup artist. And he really wants to make a career out of it. Starting by working at Macy’s. Now why anyone would look at working at Macy’s as part of a dream fulfillment is beyond my understanding. I worked at Dillard’s and nightmare I can understand. Dream, no. But I digress.
Carlos was a pretty amazing character. He was flawed in that he was a bit selfish, but he was still a pretty awesome guy. I liked that he was comfortable in his own skin and that he really didn’t let what other people thought get to him. And he was funny too. He had a great sense of humor. In fact, the entire book was pretty funny. Being that I have worked in retail before, I totally cracked up at some of his customer situations. I’ve been there. It’s worth a read just if you’ve worked in retail alone. But if you want to laugh, if you want a quick and enjoyable read, I think you will find that here.
The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon here: Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy