The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride is part romance, part coming-of-age, and part emotional whirlwind.
In the story we follow Taylor who entered a diversity contest to win and internship with Saturday Night Live, coming out as a lesbian for the application. Problem is, she hasn’t told her family yet. And she really doesn’t want to. It’s a story fraught with angst and personal growth and emotional ups and downs, as Taylor has to battle her fears and self-destructive tendencies to reach for her biggest dream. She wants to be a comedian so badly — but say hello to self-doubt. Taylor is besties with her (young and single) mum, has a huge crush on Charlotte (who maybe even likes her back!?!), and has has great friends. But what if coming out changes everything irreversibly?
The thing is, just because a person knows what they want, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to go after it.
There’s such a strong voice in the book; Taylor’s humour is very sharp and quick, and she packs references into every sentence. There’s also such a lot of quirky energy on the page.
We’re joined with a cast of vibrant side-characters that really complimented Taylor’s character. Her best friend, the group at the improv acting group, her larger-than-life mother and her mother’s BFF, Jen (also queer and something of an idol for Taylor). It’s also set in Salem and there are museums and plays and references to the history there, which was quite fascinating to read and added an extra layer to the tale. (The author is Australian, but the book and characters are set in the USA.)
The story is really delves into the struggles of being closeted, of the immense pressure and heartache that can come from trying to figure out who you are and how you fit with the world. Taylor is by far not a perfect person and she’s often off in her own privileged world and oblivious to others struggles while she focuses only on her own. But there’s a lot of growth and development for her to face as the story progresses too. And the romance is undoubtedly super cute!
Because the thing about being closeted is that you’re constantly tearing at the seams. And the world doesn’t do you any favors.
A forthright and quirky story about an amateur comedian learning to live her truth, fall in love, and reach for her dream future.
Thanks to HarperCollins AU for the review copy!
Title: The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride
Author: Hayli Thomson
Date Published: 15/06/2022
Genre: YA Contemporary
Purchase: Book Depository, Dymocks, Amazon AUS
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Wicked funny and hella gay, it’s time for Taylor Parker to come out about a lot of things.
When Taylor is accepted as a finalist for a diverse writers’ internship at Saturday Night Live, it turns her life upside down. And if Taylor wants a shot at winning, she’ll have to come out about both of her secrets: she wants to be a comedian … and she’s a lesbian.
The only thing keeping Taylor from self-combusting is her pining for Salem’s most bewitching actress — out and proud classmate, Charlotte Grey. So when Taylor finds herself sitting opposite Charlotte to discuss a school project, Taylor’s simmering need to tell everyone exactly who she is and what she wants burns hotter than ever …
From Australian author Hayli Thomson comes a deeply relatable and hilarious queer rom-com about coming out as funny and gay.
Hayli Thomson lives in Sydney, Australia, and writes novels about candid characters for anybody who ever watched Jo March leap a fence and longed to be her best friend. Bizarrely, during her teen years, Hayli was afflicted with a ‘headache’ every third Monday in September, when she was left with no option but to stay home from school and watch her favourite female comedians collect Emmys live on the other side of the world. The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride is her debut YA novel. You can visit her online at haylithomson.com.