Before extraterrestrial Trash Queen Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 rocketed to superstardom on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Justin Andrew Honard was a small-town Pennsylvania boy searching for a stage. This dishy, visual memoir spills the tea on Alaska’s meteoric rise to fame, from her childhood makeovers of Mickey Mouse dolls all the way to her legendary Drag Race lip-syncs. With heartbreaking honesty, humor, and her signature drawl, she shares never-before-heard stories about the man behind the beat and sheds new light on the well-worn tales of her career, such as her time at Trannyshack and relationship with Sharon Needles. Intimate and alluring with exclusive photography throughout, this book is the ultimate backstage pass to the making of everyone’s favorite Glametron transplant.
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Average rating from 38 members
I love Alaska, she was one of my favorite queen's on Drag Race. I was so excited to be given an arc by Netgalley to review. Alaska really goes into detail in regards to life, her journey in drag, to drag race, and her relationship with Sharon. I loved seeing the intimate details of her life. It made me love her even more! The pictures in the book were great. I loved seeing the way her drag transformed. She's had some rough points in her personal life, but definitely came out on top! The only reason this didn't get 5 stars was because the beginning was a little hard for me to get into. After about 25% or so I couldn't put it down. Definitely recommend to any Alaska or Drag Queen fans!
Sometime during the pandemic, I got hooked on watching Drag Race. It brought levity and joy and color to some of the dark days of COVID. Alaska captured my attention on the show, and reading this and learning more back story was a lot of fun. I've always appreciated Alaska's conceptual take on drag and willingness to play with (and outside) gender, and that comes through in this book. While certainly far from a literary masterpiece (sometimes transitions are a little few and far between), most of this reads well in Alaska's voice. Providing loads of back story, this book details how Alaska started in drag (including life before drag), auditioning repeatedly for Drag Race, dating Sharon Needles, getting on Drag Race, and how life changed after Drag Race. I appreciated that throughout the book Alaska owned past mistakes, writing about the bad decisions alongside the good. It's filled with photos, providing glimpses of how Alaska has developed as a queen over her career. I would have loved more tea on Drag Race, but even as it stands, this was a fun light read that I fully enjoyed.
As lovely, cleverly written and full of the humor I expect from Alaska. A peek into the who, what of all is Alaska was a journey I’d happily read again.
As many people, Alaska crossed my path via Drag Race. This isn't a fluffy book. It spills the real tea on who Alsaka was and who they are now. They've made mistakes, and been through a lot. Tw for emotional abuse/IP abuse/racisim/homophobia/transphobia/drug abuse/arson. They go into detail about their controversial relationship with fellow DR alum Sharon Needles (which isn't pretty to read) but I found this entirely fascinating.
Alaska is a great storyteller and her love and talent for the art form of drag really shines. Despite being different in almost every way, I found myself connecting to her as she spoke about her journey of self love and acceptance and related to her feelings of dissatisfaction despite her successes. It hits a lot of the same notes as many celebrity memoirs do- childhood memories, humble beginnings, struggles with addiction etc.- Alaska is still able to put her own spin on her story. While it may seem like this book would have niche target audience, I truly feel everyone should give this memoir a read!
This was hilarious and a great work from one of the best drag queens to come from Drag Race. Alaska is quirky, weird... and this book showed her personality at its finest.
I love Alaska, and this wasn't bad as celebrity memoirs go, But also so, so much of it was about Sharon and I don't love Sharon...
First, I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to receive an eARC of this book. Unlike many reviewers, I’ve never seen RuPaul’s drag race. I have heard of Alaska but not as much as many others. But after reading this book, I feel like I know Alaska. The amount of detail given in this book with different situations truly helps you paint a picture of the situation and put yourself in it. I appreciate that Alaska takes the opportunity to talk about her Drag story, her relationship with Sharon, and calls herself out on things that she has done “wrong”. Please note, this book does have parts that can be triggering.
In her book, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 peels back the garbage bags for an fast-paced celebrity memoir. Full of fantastic photos and raw, honest truth about fame, addiction and loving yourself, the book is an essential for fans of RuPaul's Drag Race and anyone grappling with coming into their own.
(Thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for an advance eARC of this book!) I was totally enthralled by this book. I'm a fan of Alaska's but came to this book with relatively low expectations -- the bar is not super high for drag queen books, and I would have been totally satisfied if this book had been glossy pictures and short funny stories. But I found Alaska's honesty and vulnerability in telling her own story to be captivating. She (and certainly Sharon) do not always come off well, but she does not gloss over or minimize her mistakes; demonstrates that she understands that they crossed lines that she wishes she had not. And, she has had a super interesting life so far, and it was a thrill to see the world through her eyes. I couldn't put this short and action-packed book down, read it in a day. Behind the scenes stories of Drag Race? Check! A generous account of her tumultuous relationship with Sharon Needles? Check! A FOMO-inducing backstage romp through the Haus of Haunt days? Check! An origin story for one of the most distinctive drag queens in RPDR history? Check! And, it does have the glossy pictures, of course. I will be getting copies of this book for some folks for Christmas, for sure -- this book sets a high bar for future drag queen memoirs!
I read an eARC of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. Alaska is iconic to RuPaul's Drag Race herstory, and it was fascinating to read this Queen's life before drag and her subsequent celebrity stardom. This book is an expose that gives intimate details about growing up in Pittsburgh, her relationship with Sharon Needles, performing on television, and perfecting her Drag. It is a story about finding your true identity, owning up to times you were wrong, and believing in yourself. I felt I learned a lot about both Justin and Alaska through reading this book and recommend to any and all fans of RPDR, as well as supporters of Drag Queen culture.
3.5/5 Stars As I'm sure most readers of this book are, I was first introduced to Alaska via Drag Race. After her appearance on All Stars, I was left feeling annoyed and disgusted by her childish tantrums on how she felt that she needed to win the season. My Name's Yours, What's Alaska? is an honest memoir that doesn't skirt around the not so flattering parts of Alaska's past. She candidly addresses her All Stars meltdowns, her participation in a toxic relationship with Sharon Needles, and her own shallow obsession with being famous and being a diva. I completely admire her ability to be open about her flaws, even going so far as to talk about how she wore a Confederate flag bikini and has used racial/transphobic slurs. As a public figure, that couldn't have been easy to do, especially in a world where "cancel culture" is more the norm than not. I feel like I really got a deeper insight into Alaska, which I appreciated. Her journey makes her a lot easier to understand and to not immediately write off as a shallow, fame hungry diva, but ultimately, she still does kind of come off as a shallow, fame hungry diva. She seems to have grown a lot as a person, though, and like she says at the end of the book, she's still working on herself and evolving, so I look forward to seeing more of her journey.
I truly enjoyed this book. It was a wild ride of self discovery. All the ups and downs, the seeking of approval, it really made it relatable.
My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? is one of the most painless memoirs I have ever read. In fact, I read it in one sitting. The memoir follows the life and career of the drag queen Alaska Thunderfuck. Alaska was lucky to grow up with a supportive family and began her career doing local theater. Eventually, she moved to Pittsburg where her drag career really took off. There she met boyfriend and fellow Haus of Haunt member Sharon Needles. The book details their relationship and highlights a lot of the unsavory parts of it. Alaska spends a good portion of the book discussing her relationship with Sharon, including the inappropriate behavior that they both used on stage. She acknowledges this behavior and states that she deeply regrets it. I have never seen RuPaul’s Drag Race and was hoping that there would be more on what goes into filming the show. The sections on both seasons that Alaska participated in are very short. However, Alaska does go into great detail about touring and other gigs. Additionally, this book describes the struggles of a broke drag queen. Sometimes this includes violence, abusive relationships, and drug abuse. Alaska struggled with alcohol and drug abuse for a long time. Overall this was a fascinating look into the world of drag queens.
A compulsively readable rags-to-riches tale of life as a drag queen, My Names Yours, What's Alaska?, by the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 2 (and the runner-up of season 5 of the regular season). The book does require a few... actually, many trigger/content warnings. tw/cw: emotional abuse, physical abuse/relationship violence, racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-LGBTQ+ violence, drug abuse/addiction, arson, a missing cat. Alaska's ex, Sharon Needles, won season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race, but has faced controversy for using racist and transphobic language during performances (purportedly to make a non-bigoted point). Alaska deems the incidents unacceptable. Alaska later acknowledges using similar language on stage and says it's one of her biggest regrets. Throughout the book, Alaska is unafraid to discuss alcohol and drug abuse, mistreatment of friends, and other bad behavior. She urges readers, when they make a mistake, "own it and learn from it". RuPaul's Drag Race isn't covered quite as much as readers might expect (Ru and Michelle are both praised, though, especially Michelle.) However, there is so, so much about drag clubs, drag contests, drag pageants, touring, and trying to survive as a working drag queen. It's also so good to see how appreciative and gracious Alaska is to the queens who came before her and those who have helped and inspired her. A fascinating read.
Thank you NetGalley and Chronicle Books for this ARC! 3.5 stars. I love Alaska. She's a fierce queen and just a fucking cool human. I loved reading about her life and all the crazy stuff she has done. This does focus a lot on her time with Sharon, and honestly, I think that's smart because we know folks are gonna eat that up (myself included, haha). I do feel like in doing that, though, some of the cooler things were kind of just barely grazed on the surface, or kind of glossed over. I also feel like it kind of ended rather abruptly. However, I did really enjoy this. The pictures and look back were such an amazing addition. If you're an Alaska fan, I think you'll really enjoy this!
I read this book in one sitting . Fascinating , poignant and inspiring. If you are a drag race or Alaska fan or both this is a must read . If not you will enjoy reading about this real life story . From child hood to drag super star Alaska’s journey is a fabulous unputdownable read
As a fan of drag race and Alaska I really enjoyed a look into the more intimate details of drag, and Alaska’s life experiences. It was a fun ride and I particularly liked seeing all of the images of Alaska throughout her life and career to tie it all together. It is very tongue classic Alaska personality. If you’re a fan of drag race or Alaska, you’re going to enjoy this memoir.
I found this to be a fascinating behind the scenes look at something I had little knowledge of, in fact, I read it in one sitting and was sad when it ended. I appreciated how the author told the good and the bad and didn't hold back, which so many people do when writing books on their lives. There are so many times I read an autobiography and it just drones on with stories that have little to no importance but not this one, I felt that every story told helped create who she became.
I loved the humor funniest biography i’ve red in a long time. This truly gives us on All things Alaska. Also how she cultivated to being famous from humble beginnings and how her brand has evolved so much over the years. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH I WOULD GIVE AWAY MY FIRST BORN CHILD FOR ANOTHER LIKE THIS