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Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  805 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
In this spirited exploration of strength and personality, a fabulous NYC teen knows he’s destined for greatness—if only he can survive his first job.

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
ebook, 240 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Jul 27, 2011 L_manning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carlos Duarte knows exactly who he is and what he wants from life. When he hears about a chance to apply at Macy's to work at one of their make-up counters, he knows this is going to open the doors to his dreams of becoming a famous make-up artist. Carlos soon learns that this may prove to be more difficult than he had first though. Throw in problems with his sisters, a crush, and dealing with severe homophobia , and Carlos soon has more on his plate than he thought he'd have to deal with.

Here's the thing: My friends circle consists almost entirely of LGBTQ people. And I adore them. So when I set out to write a gay romance a couple of months ago, I naturally patterned my MC on the gay people I know most intimately - my best friends. Now a large part of my friends' circle consists of people who are the flamboyantly gay type. You know the type I mean, the ones who wear tight skinny jeans and jewellery (and sometimes, very embarrassingly, feather boas!) and air-kiss and call everyon ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Doret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carlos has been a make up artist in training since he was 12. Now 16 Carlos gets his dream job, working at Feature Face cosmetic counter at Macy's. He believes working at Feature Face is the first step to being discovered. Carlos boss doesn't like him and the new job cost him a very close friend.

This story is about a young man that knows what he wants and is going after it. Carlo's personality is as loud as the cover is bright. Behind his big personality, Carlos loves his mother and older sister
hey rowdy librarians, don't read this unless you want to hear me talk about the same stuff at book club...

carlos duarte is only in high school, but he already knows he's going to be a make-up artist to the stars. with some creative resume styling, he lands a job as a make-up artist for the featureface counter at macy's. his customers love him, but his boss doesn't. meanwhile, his mom has been fired and his sister's boyfriend is beating her. can carlos make his dreams come true while helping his
Feb 23, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Putting makeup on the fat boy” was a nice story. Carlos is such a cute guy. You learn very quickly that he’s gay and has a talent for applying makeup. His family is a bit special, but Carlos doesn’t mind too much. It’s a story about growing up, first love and finding your dream job, but instead of most other books dealing with this theme, a gay guy is the protagonist. I found that very refreshing, because there are not many books like that. Then there was his sister, who just couldn’t believe h ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Rachee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From Amazon:

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 Feature Face 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 mor
Oct 01, 2011 cecilia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blue-covers
I thought the title too irresistable to give this book a chance – and I will have to say that it was a rather delightful sort of read. Imagine if Marc St. James from Ugly Betty gave his own backstory – and I think you will be able to picture Carlos perfectly! He was sassy, confident, and just a perfect blend of ambitious and niceness to make for a likeable main character.

I am not a makeup fiend (…well, maybe I dabble in eyeshadows like a regular Bob Ross), but the enthusiasm that exudes from Ca
Nov 03, 2011 Zeke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtq, favorites, ya
I read this for a committee--definitely a "YA glbt book" but not in the typical, cliched ways. His sexuality is kind of non-issue; it's more about Carlos pursuing his ultimate career dream: to become a professional make-up artist. Light, quick, snappy dialogue--super fast read. A very NYC kind of story...
"When I was twelve, I convinced my mother to let me do her makeup for Parents' Night. When I was finished, my sister, Rosalia, who was fifteen, said, 'Ma, aren't ya even gonna say anything?'

Ma said to me, 'All right, so it looks nice, Carlos. But I don't think I should be encouraging something like this. I'm not gonna go to your school and tell your teacher, 'See my face! Isn't it pretty? My son did my makeup. Didn't he do an excellent job?'

Rosalia asked, 'Why not?'

Ma said, 'You know why not! Do
Sara Latta
Feb 14, 2012 Sara Latta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-review
In “Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy” (Simon & Schuster, 2011), author Bil Wright has conjured, in Carlos Duarte, one of the most authentic teen narrators since Holden Caulfield. Sixteen year-old Carlos has a fabulous sense of style, loves makeup, and dreams of becoming “Carrlos, Duarte, makeup artist to the stars!” He imagines “doing Mary J. Blige’s makeup before a concert, or maybe Rihanna’s, or taking a month off from school to go on tour with Janet Jackson because she insisted if she didn’t ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Madison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2012 Lacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Putting Makeup on a Fat Boy follows Carlos Duarte's path to becoming a makeup artist, a virtual life long dream of his. Along this journey, however, Carlos encounters various personal struggles including bullying and homophobia, as well as his sister's struggle with an abusive relationship.
I believe this book strikes a great balance between light-hearted humor and tough, realistic issues. While almost all of the characters, especially Carlos, fit many character stereotypes a little too well, I
Rebecca Ann
I really did not find Carlos at all likable. He was obsessed with how people looked and while he was horrified by anyone daring to judge him, he judged everyone else constantly. Even his friends, like Angie who apparently ate a lot when she was stressed. He was constantly mentioning how gross it was, but he describes himself as "big" as well, so this seemed really hypocritical. Anyone whose fashion sense and makeup style didn't match his own was viewed as ridiculous. I actually snorted out loud ...more
3.5. I loved how deep this story went. Even beyond Carlos and his heart's desire to be a makeup artist, he was dealing with a lot of issues and never lost sight of them.
Samantha Tai
Carlos knows he is fabulous and he knows one day he's going to be a famous makeup artist, working for Mary J. Blige, Rhianna and Janet Jackson. He gets his break when he gets a job working weekends at the FeatureFace counter at Macy's in New York City. He knows he's on his way to bigger and better things. He soon learns that this world is cutthroat and people will do anything to make sure he doesn't succeed. He doesn't let that bother him though. He has his eye on the prize and he's determined t ...more
Holly Lewis
Putting Makeup on the Fatboy by Bill Wright is about Carlos, a flamboyantly gay young adult pursuing a career in the make-up industry. Having just secured a job at a make-up counter at Macy's, he's trying to learn to juggle school, friends, home life ( with his emotional mother who lost her job and his older sister who can't find a decent job or a boyfriend who isn't a deadbeat), and work. Most of the story focuses on his job at Macy's and how he learns the ins and outs of competitive business; ...more
Carrrlos! Count me amongst the fans of this fierce, fabulous high school student. He's the antithesis of practically everything I was back in school. He's a Latino son of a single mother, living in the inner city of New York. He's gay, wears make-up, is incredibly ambitious when it comes to achieving his dreams... all around awesome! I wish I'd had the kind of terrific self-confidence this character exemplifies when I was that age. Yes, Bil Wright simply nailed the voice of his protagonist in th ...more
Jun 06, 2013 Inge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, gay, lgbtq
Finally. An LGBTQ book that's not about a white, middle class gay dude. This is funny and sweet as hell and avoids predictable answers and messages.
Jul 02, 2013 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so torn about this one!

Pros: Carlos Duarte is totally comfortable with himself (his weight, his career aspirations, his sexual orientation, his sense of fashion, his class and cultural background...all of it) and this is his story. He could have easily been someone's (quirky flamboyant Latino gay) friend and a secondary YA character in another book, but he's not. Instead, Wright puts him at the center of the narrative and explores Carlos's desire to become a professional make-up artist. Alo
Joanne Palin
Aug 02, 2013 Joanne Palin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it. I have read a considerable amount of teen fiction, but none from the perspective of a gay teen boy. Purchased it for my elementary libraries, but it it is too mature for even a 5th grader. Great middle school read.
Feb 20, 2014 Leslie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book i am reading is Putting Makeup on The Fat Boy by Bil Wright. I rate this book like a 3 stars, its a good book but it is not a really good book that i will put as my favorite and i got confused on if the main character a girl or a boy i think i is a boy. This book is about this kid named Carlos that is in High School and he loves to do make up and he judge to mush about how people do their make up (that is what i think about him), and her friend Angie told him to get a job in Macy's. So ...more
Robin Herrera
My Latinas/os in Kidlit book for May!

I like it when, in a story, the main character's goal is crystal clear without being overly obvious. And I also like it when the voice of a character is so strong that I don't read the story in a truncated version of my own voice like I usually do.

This book had all that going for it.

Despite confusion about the difference between 'Carlos' and 'Carrlos' (seriously, did I miss an explanation? I admit I can be a pretty dull reader), the story started out strong.
Miss Jordyn Lemer
Nov 02, 2014 Miss Jordyn Lemer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright is a realistic fiction book, mostly geared towards young adults. This book is about a gay teen, Carlos Durante, aspiring to be a makeup artist, and make it “big” in the makeup world. There are some parts of the book he is discriminated against for being gay, but he is strong. Carlos is hired to work at a Macy’s counter in present day New York City, where his name definitely gets around. Carlos has troubles along the way, struggling to get his name well ...more
Tess Anderson
Nov 18, 2014 Tess Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wjhs, funny, romance, ficton
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright is one of the Best intriguing books I've read this year. If you like a good Romance that any girl does, a good laugh that makes you laugh out loud, and any real life problems that any male goes through, then I highly suggest you check out Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy today.
Carlos really needs to treat his friends better. I know that he's enthused about his potential new job and reeling from possibilities of grandeur, but you really have to remember those promises. His constant belittling of Angie made my teeth grind and it would've been different if she sniped right back at him, but I can't recall any indication of it. And I'm not quite sure Carlos learned his lesson by the end of it, either(view spoiler) ...more
Camden Bailey
OK, so I picked this book up because as an avid member of the LGBT community, I wanted to read more fiction that focused on gender nonconformity. So, Carlos is the son of a single Hispanic mother and a high schooler that loves doing makeup and is good at it. With the suggestion of his friend Angela, who works at Macy's, he applies and gets a job at the makeup counter at Macy's. After he begins his path to be a big shot makeup artist, his mother loses her job and his sister begins to have problem ...more
Marcy Winograd
Jun 27, 2015 Marcy Winograd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I found most interesting about Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy was the protagonist's struggle
to summon enough courage to confront his sister's brutal boyfriend, meet his mother's expectations
of a grown son,and approach a classmate whose sexuality is a constant and compelling mystery. Though it took me a chapter or two to cheer for Carlos, I was soon hooked and couldn't put the book down. I kept turning the page to see if Carlos would, as his mother urged, beat the truth out of his sister's lo
Oct 21, 2016 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-books, ya, 2016
This book is a quality piece of queer YA! It follows the story of 16 year old aspiring make-up artist, Carlos. Refreshingly, this is not a coming of age story in the sense that it is about him realising his sexuality: in fact, how Carlos knew he was gay is never discussed (which I appreciate! Coming out stories are fascinating but they very much dominate the field of queer writing...). The story is instead about him following his career ambitions. This having been said, Carlos is very camp and h ...more
Carolynne Floyd
Aug 29, 2016 Carolynne Floyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cute story.

I loved this little book. The main character, Carlos, truly is a character and one that made me chuckle. He has a great optimism about him and you can't help but hope things go his way.
Oct 24, 2016 Gaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bill Wright is a great novel about a boy who knows who he and what he wants out of life…he’s just not entirely sure how to go about achieving his goal. Carlos has always been good applying at makeup, since he was a little boy. He never thought it was an odd thing for a boy to do. His dream is to work for Hollywood and become a celebrity makeup artist the only thing is, he’s not quite sure how to do that. When his best friend suggests trying to get a job at the pr ...more
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