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Rupaul s Drag Race meets Ocean s 8 in Caleb Roehrig s upcoming Death Prefers Blondes This upcoming YA novel was really fun to read, folks The non stop action at times was slightly overwhelming, but overall Death Prefers Blondes is a fun, fast paced, multidimensional read, that will be perfect for those seeking a light mystery with a little flair I m not going to dive into the plot with this review, because I feel like it s best to go in with no expectations Margo Manning, the protagonist, is a socialite by day, criminal mastermind by night Breaking into museums, stealing diamonds from banks, you name it Margo can do it Margo teams up with her best friends, a group of men who like to partake in drag culture werk What a spin With the group s attempts growing and difficult, Margo and team must decide if this life of crime is actually worth it before it catches up to them This novel was very reminiscent to the Bling Ring that happened in California circa 2008 2009 I think there was a movie about it as welloh yes, with Emma Watson and crew If you enjoyed that movie, I think you ll love Death Prefers Blondes Death Prefers Blondes is not going to be for everyone In fact, if I wasn t so saturated with psychological thrillers, I may not have been able to pick this story up It s non stop action 24 7, which can get grating for those looking for character development This dialogue based novel really polarize readers, and I think it will I really enjoyed the humor, mixed with mystery in this novel, and I also really enjoyed how non young adult Death Prefers Blondes was, without it deviating too adult Caleb Roehrig, Death Prefers Blondes was a fabulously fun novel and I expect to see from you in the future. Extremely fun and successful at everything it s aiming for definitely going to be my 1 rec for people who ask for books like Ocean s 11 or 8, which is actually a really common request. This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.As soon as I saw Death Prefers Blondes being pitched as Ocean s 8 meets RuPaul s Drag Race, I was all in Because if there s one thing I love than queer YA, it s queer YA that ALSO involves drag queens And, friends, this one did NOT disappoint Not only did the action scenes keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading, but I couldn t help but fall lace front head over six inch heels for this whole cast of characters.I won t go into any specifics about plot in this review, since Death Prefers Blondes is so action packed from start to finish However, I will say that we follow a main character named Margo Manning, a Hollywood socialite by day and LA s most capable criminal by night Along with her team of drag queen accomplices and a little help from her own drag persona, Miss Anthropy , she pulls off some of the toughest, most high profile break ins around the city We re talking everything from stolen jewel heists to stealing priceless art from a well guarded museum One day, though, Margo s fence offers her a sum of money she s only ever dreamed of but it would require her team to pull off a seemingly impossible job Everything takes off from there, and the mystery at the heart of the book becomes increasingly personal to Margo as new information is revealed.As a very character driven reader, I sometimes struggle with plot driven stories However, in Death Prefers Blondes, even though I honestly could not care less about the elaborate action sequences although, let me be clear, they are objectively VERY well written I was still 100% invested in the story because of how much I cared about the characters Each queen in Margo s crew has very specific motivations for their involvement in organized crime There are Axel Moreau, AKA Leisl von Tramp, and Joaquin Moreau, AKA Anita Stiffwon, two brothers trying to keep their family afloat after their Hollywood royalty father landed in jail due to stealing money from the entire who s who of Los Angeles There s Leif Darby, AKA Electra Shoxx, who needs money to pay his dance school tuition in order to remain in LA, far from his homophobic family There s Davon Stokes, AKA Dior Galore, who is forced to pay off the drug dealers who his drag mother can t stop paying visits to And, of course, there s Margo herself, who has her own myriad reasons for her involvement in LA s criminal underbelly.In so many ways, Death Prefers Blondes was a love letter to found families and to queer culture Every queer person will tell you that you naturally seek out other queer folks for understanding and acceptance, and nowhere is this evident than in drag sisterhoods In addition to all of our leading men in this book being queer, Margo is also bisexual, which is representation I was so not expecting but that made my heart SIIIIIING This label is explicitly stated on page, and we also see her involved in relationships with people of multiple genders There is also nonbinary rep in a side character, another wonderful surprise And 3 5 main characters are POC, as is the love interest Basically, Death Prefers Blondes proves that drag is not just for white, cis gay men As a huge fan of drag, but a not so huge fan of RPDR and mainstream drag s frequent disdain for trans, nonbinary, and bio queens and also the RPDR fandom s racist tendencies this book was a much inclusive portrayal of drag, which felt so much true to the queer community that I know and love Fans of drag will recognize a lot of the colloquialisms commonly associated with the community, which made me smile every time they appeared.Death Prefers Blondes also features a romance that I adored, between Margo and Henry Yang, a half Asian, half Hispanic law student who begins an apprenticeship with the Manning family s lawyer I especially appreciated how sex positive this book was in general, but particularly in regards to Margo and Henry s relationship Also, there was witty banter galore between these two And if you re going into this book looking for a cute ownvoices m m romance, you also will not be disappointed on that front A romance develops between Leif and Joaquin, as well as the budding chemistry between Axel and Davon.As I already mentioned, the action sequences in this book, while not something I particularly cared about, were so well described Each high stakes scenario had me on the edge of my seat Really, the adrenaline never left me while reading Death Prefers Blondes, because there was always some looming threat on the horizon The story is full of twists and turns that keep you on your toes I also loved how dialogue heavy this book was, mostly because the dialogue was extremely well written.Overall, if you re looking for a queer YA mystery with no shortage of thrilling twists and turns, Death Prefers Blondes is the book for you It may be long, but it will keep you engaged and flipping the pages the entire way through, and you ll totally fall for these characters. Oceans 8 meets Hamlet with drag queensDifferent from Caleb s other books but absolutely a WILD ride and a fantastic epic of heists, revenge, and queer teens taking control where there is none to be foundY ALL ARE NOT READY Full review I love Caleb Roehrig s work, and getting to see his writing develop over the years is amazing, this being his third book and his best so far Death Prefers Blondes knocks the basic idea of a good YA novel out of the park crossing genres and providing a fabulous heist story mixed with the ever popular themes of found families and reasonable teenage rebellion Rating five best friend cat burglars five.For Fans Of Six of Crows by Leight Bardugo, The Gentleman s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, Heist Society by Ally CarterFavorite QuotesIf these past few weeks have taught me anything, it s that sooner or later we all run out of time Safe choices are fine, but if my clock hits zero tomorrow, I don t want any regrets I don t know how long I ll be in Italy, or what the world will look like when I come back all I know is that we re here now, and there s no reason why we shouldn t have what we want You shouldn t doubt yourself, you know Your father has a habit of making everyone feel like a failure so they re forever struggling to do better but you deserve to be proud of yourself to believe in yourself Don t let men or tabloids or even your father s ghost make you question your greatness Drag wasn t a disguise or an illusion it was armor When he stepped onstage, Axel became someone fierce and untouchable, a force of nature that gave no fucks and couldn t be bothered He brought hecklers to their knees, read homophobes until they needed the Da Vinci Code to piece their dignity back together, and faced the worst with a smart remark and a tongue pop Lisel was both shield and weapon, the only refuge he d had from these ugly years A heist y book with drag queens, I m here for it I liked Margo and her friends They re smart and fierce af and absolutely loyal to each other I enjoyed getting their own stories and that everyone had a specific and different reason for participating And hooray for all of the representation queer, bi, non binary, and POC characters Plot wise, it was a bit of a struggle at first It took some time to get invested in what was happening, but once I was in, I was 100% in This book starts off with a bang and doesn t let go and it was quite a roller coaster Yes, I m being vague because I think it s better to go into this story without a lot of info Overall, the characters kept me reading The ending definitely left an opening and I m curious if there will be Huge thanks to Feiwel Friends for providing the arc free of charge .Free Book ♼ Death Prefers Blondes ♩ Teenage Socialite Margo Manning Leads A Dangerous Double Life By Day, She Dodges The Paparazzi While Soaking Up California Sunshine By Night, However, She Dodges Security Cameras And Armed Guards, Pulling Off High Stakes Cat Burglaries With A Team Of Flamboyant Young Men In And Out Of Disguise, She S In All The HeadlinesBut Then Margo S Personal Life Takes A Sudden, Dark Turn, And A Job To End All Jobs Lands Her Crew In Deadly Peril Overnight, Everything She S Ever Counted On Is Put At Risk Backs Against The Wall, The Resourceful Thieves Must Draw On Their Special Skills To Survive But Can One Rebel Heiress And Four Kickboxing Drag Queens Withstand The Slings And Arrows Of Truly Outrageous Fortune Or Will A Mounting Sea Of Troubles End Them For Good Want to see from me Check out my youtube channel I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review Video review Manning lives a double life By day, she is a teenage socialite with a reputation for trouble But by night, with the help of four Drag Queens, she pulls off some of the toughest heists imaginable But, when bad news regarding Margo s personal life comes to light and a job goes wrong, Margo needs to decide what to do and who to trust before she puts those she loves in danger The book is pitched as RuPaul s Drag Race meets Ocean 8 and if you know anything about me, you know that I FREAKING LOVE DRAG QUEENS so ass kicking Drag Queens EVEN BETTER I was beyond excited to pick this one up and it DID NOT disappoint The book is so fast paced and action packed it keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time I love d all the heist and fight scenes and the twists I didn t see coming I think the book was very well written in a way that made you fully invested in the story, its characters and the secrets they were hiding I really loved the alternating perspectives between paragraphs, I think it was a really unique and fun way to tell the story The book has such an amazing diverse cast You can t help but becoming fully invested in each Queen and their backstories Each Queen has a reason why they ve joined Margo s crew of thieves and you root for each one Axel Moreau AKA Leisl von Tramp and Joaquin Moreau, AKA Anita Stiffwon are brothers trying to keep their family afloat Leif Darby AKA Electra Shoxx is trying to pay his tuition for an elite ballet school and Davon Stokes AKA Dior Galore who is trying to pay off the debt his Drag Mama has wracked up with her pill habit Then you have Margo Manning AKA Miss Anthropy who is not only fierce but extremely loyal as well The relationships explored between all of these characters were so well done The brother relationship, romantic relationships between certain Queens as well as all the friendships formed were so carefully executed and I loved every second of it The diversity in this book is so well done as well 3 out of the 5 crew members are persons of colour, and Margo is bisexual and appears in relationships with multiple genders, including a person of colour as well There is a non binary side character which I was so happy to see the representation for I absolutely loved Margo s love interest, Dallas He is so sweet and the banter between the two of them is hilarious I also loved the two relationships that formed between the four queens I think that the book was very sex positive and I loved seeing that in a YA novel If I had to give ONE complaint for the book, it would be that it did drag on a bit in the middle clocking in at almost 500 pages , but I was so invested in these characters and the story line that it didn t affect me too much I could go on and on about how much I love this book, but I really think you should pick it up for yourself and be immersed in this amazing cast of loveable Queens. So good This took me a while to read because of my general reading slump but I really did love this The twists had me genuinely shocked and I honestly love heists so there s nothing to even dislike in this one All the characters were great and I just loved it. That s hair cist