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 58 members
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.
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!
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
There was something that happened around the 4th to 6th series of RuPaul's Drag Race in which an underground phenomenon became a juggernaut, but before it became self-referential. Even contestants who didn't make it all the way to the crown became true stars. There were world wide tours, spin off series, girl groups, and yes, there were books. Many, many books. Coming out of this grand era, Alaska has forged her own identity. With this memoir, they show how a young man from a small town in nowhere, America, became the Queen we know now. Unsparing of detail, yet still full of light and joy, this is NOT the misery memoir that many young queer people unfortunately could write. It is also not a how-to guide that some readers would enjoy. Instead this is a story of evolution and self-creation. Are you there world? It's me, Alaska, and I am FABULOUS.
A massive thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of My Name's Yours, What's Alaska? by Alaska Thundeefuck 5000. I love Alaska. I loved her from seeing her audition tapes that didn't result in her being on the show. I loved how 'out there' and different she was from the drag I had seen before. This book was a fantastic, truthful, open and honest look in to the life of Alaska and the life of Justin. I was proud to read about Alaska's successes, but also really proud to read about their mistakes and how she has owned up to them, recognised them, learnt and grown from them. There is always more going on with a person you see on a reality TV show, and Alaska was no exception. Reading about what the drag race experience was like for her, and how chaotic the aftermath was was really humanising for me. I felt like I was sat down with one of my favourite Queens whilst she shared her experiences. Alaska has been one of my favourite RuGirls since her run on season 5, and reading her open-hearted, blunt and honest memoir has stoked the fire of my love for her more.
Memoirs can be tricky, particularly memoirs of drag queens. Past drag queen books have been more “self help” or more “how-to” books, but in “My Names Yours, What’s Alaska?” Alaska does not shy away from the topic s she knows her readers are picking her book up for. It’s always fascinating to read how a person starts their path to fame, and Alaska’s path was a rocky one. Her toxic relationship with Sharon Needles is talked about in depth and at length. It’s clear there was a power dynamic between the two that we as viewers of the show had no clue was happening. Alaska is alone very candid about her substance abuse, and the role that played in her professional career. She also speaks openly about her public meltdowns, namely her reaction to losing season 5 of Rupaul’s Drag Race to Jinkx Monsoon and of course her legendary breakdown on All Stars 2. She peels back the layers of the character of Alaska and reveals her insecurities, her fears, and her drive for fame. It’s not often a person, let alone a drag queen, openly admits to their faults, but in “My Names Yours, What’s Alaska” Alaska takes every opportunity to let you know that yes she’s flawed, but that is what makes her the amazing drag queen and person she is. By far the best drag queen book I’ve read yet. Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC!
This was SUCH a fascinating look into one of the most prolific Drag Queens of our time. I can't speak to how interesting it would be to someone who was NOT a fan of Drag Queens or Drag Race, but as a fan, I was utterly enraptured. A perfect recommendation for the LGBTQIA+ readers in your life.
Very delightful to read, about Alaska’s early life, drag exploration experience and can feel some true feelings about her former relationship. There’re so many details and story about Sharon Needles making her sounds like an extremely charming, interesting and also dangerous persona, but i love to read about these. Maybe consider let Sharon write a foreword since she is a significant participation of this book.
I was so excited to read this book. I was so excited while reading this book, I have loved Alaska from the first moment I saw a glimpse of them. This was such a quick ,fun, no holds barred journey into their life beyond the makeup and witty banter. I will probably shelf this and read over and over.
This is what a memoir for a drag Queen should look like. The photos are all supremely done, Alaska writes with a transparency and openness that just screams who she is as a person—flaws and all. She doesn’t shy away from letting her demons show, but doesn’t dwell on them, doesn’t make that who she only is. As we know so much about her now, it was wonderful to read the origins of Alaska from her PA days. She’s always been a fan favorite, and this book will certainly not lose her any fans.
I absolutely adored this book. Having such an insight into one of the most iconic’s drag queens to have ever grace the stage of RPDR has been an amazing experience!
I love Alaska and was interested in reading about their life. This book is not light and fluffy so be prepared. I feel like I understand Alaska a lot more now and that only adds to my love for them.
My Name's Yours, What's Alaska? is an honest and engaging memoir about Alaska Thunderfuck 5000's road from a young boy obsessed with Catwoman to a Drag superstar. I have watched Alaska on Rupaul's Drag Race and was excited to read about her life and what brought her to her stardom. I appreciated the humor as well as the vulnerability that Alaska showcases in this memoir. She truly writes of the good, the bad, and the ugly in her life, such as the highlights of her career, her toxic relationship with Sharon Needles, and her struggles with addiction. I appreciated that she owned up to the mistakes she had made in the past rather than gloss over them. All of that tied in with her strong, humorous voice made for a great read! I also enjoyed all of the photos included. I recommend My Name's Yours, What's Alaska? to fellow fans of Alaska or Drag in general.
I was so excited to have a chance to read this book. I'm a fan of the Drag Race series and Alaska is one of my favorite Queens. She combined heartfelt stories with humor and honesty in a way that was easy to follow and understand. I enjoyed the flow of pictures and the lineal path the book took. We got glimpses into Alaska's childhood, introduction to Drag, career pre- and post- Drag Race, and a hint of what's yet to come. I was surprised that so much of the book focused on her relationship with Sharon, but I also believe that her story could help many others who are in the wrong relationship. Sometimes it is hard to see things clearly and I think Alaska's story reminded us of that.
My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? is a clever memoir about the hilarious queen Alaska Thunderfuck 5000. The book shows Alaska’s rise from small down queen to becoming the winner of RuPauls All Stars season 2 and everything in between. One of the things I loved most about this book is just how much of herself Alaska shared with us. We got to see the lowest points as well as the highs and she didn’t try to hide the moments where she messed up. In particular when she struggled with her issues with overcoming her substance abuse issue and how to navigate the drag world as someone other than Sharon’s boyfriend I was really rooting for her. Even though she was not a great person at time, she seemed to learn from her mistakes and really grow. I’ve been a fan of drag for awhile, so it was really fun to learn more about how much drag has changed just in the past ten years alone. I also enjoyed learning a bit about some of the history of drag, and I’ve definitely added the documentary The Queen to my viewing list. I also loved the photos throughout so we could really see the evolution of Alaska. The first part of this book did drag a bit, but once I got about a quarter of the way through I finished the rest in one sitting. That being said I really enjoyed this book. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Chronicle for the advanced copy.
I really liked this book. The setting was imaginative and the characters were memorable. Thank you for the ARC, I will definitely recommend this book and this author to my peers.
4.75/5 stars Thanks to Netgalley and Chronicle Books for providing this e-arc! This was such a fun and quick memoir that kept me wanting to here more from the author. Its rawness makes it a perfect blend of the painful truth and the campness of the profession that consists of dressing up to entertain drunk gay people. It also deals a bit with Alaska's troubles with love but i'm happy to see this book have a happier than expected ending. Also a very fun book to read to then analuze the author's music and performances after! ps. not giving this a full 5 due to lagging problems with the e-arc which the publisher and site should be responsible of
I started watching Drag Race in high school, when season four was airing. I was mesmerized by the artistry and hard work involved, as well as the community formed between LGBTQ+ people from different walks of life but who all faced similar hardships when it came to their identity and sexuality. As a teenager who felt very much like the “odd one out” and had interests other kids my age may have found weird, I felt seen by a lot of the personalities that came and went on the show. It’s interesting to hear from a queen like Alaska (who has become so well known and widely loved) about not only the challenges she faced while being on Drag Race, but also the situations and inspirations that led her to drag. She is truly an artist of experimentation, and simultaneously acting like she doesn’t care what people think but putting so much thought into her work and performance. As a casual fan of hers, I didn’t know about the extremes she went through involving substance abuse at various points in her career, and how that affected her. I imagine that’s a terribly difficult thing to talk about in detail and relive, but she does so in an eloquent and raw way with this book. I feel like Alaska covered a rather large span of time in not a lot of pages, which had me wishing for a little more detail about certain situations and moments from her career that she briefly mentioned or didn’t mention at all. That being said, this isn’t advertised as a “tell-all”, so I can’t expect her to give away *all* of her secrets and honest opinions. Overall, fans of Alaska and of drag in general will really enjoy this memoir. It’s surprisingly heartfelt and earnest, while still maintaining the level of camp and humor she’s known for.
I really enjoyed reading this memoir. I loved how it felt like it was just Alaska talking and I could actually hear their voice in my head. Seeing what made Alaska, Alaska, was very interesting and getting insight into Sharon, other Ru girls, and some insight into the show as well was fun. Only issue was there were some things I wish were talked about but weren’t, like for example the AAA girls. Especially since there was some pictures from that time frame. Other than that, I loved this book.
A fantastic glimpse into the life of Alaska, superstar drag queen. I loved seeing bits and pieces of her life before drag, growing up in Erie, PA. I learned a lot about Alaska, and loved all the little anecdotes of what made one of Drag Race’s most beloved queens into Alaska, including the fact that she stole all of Jackie Beat’s ideas to try and make drag, pre-drag race, a viable career, and that she was voted Prom King! A great book for all drag race fans, I really enjoyed this one.
I really enjoyed this book, it felt like a conversation with a friend. It was super accessible too, I feel like someone who saw this book and knew little to nothing about drag culture could pick it up and still understand everything Alaska talks about. She doesn’t hold back at all, which I loved. My only complaint is that for the first like 75% of the book especially I didn’t feel like the pictures had much to do with what was being discussed most of the time. Another issue I had was that right before a chapter discussing her being chosen for season 5 of Drag Race, a photo is displayed congratulating her for it. I feel like most people reading this would know she was chosen, but for those that do not this could be a major spoiler, and I think that picture would do much better at the end of the chapter. Just a couple nitpicks, overall I loved taking a deep dive into the story of an iconic queen.
“By senior year of high school, I felt like I knew who I was as a person. I knew I didn’t care what people thought about me, I knew I liked playing with the meaning of gender, and I knew I wanted to be an actor.”—from My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? I’m envious of Alaska. Not for her beauty or fame. I envy her confidence and don’t give a f attitude IN HIGH SCHOOL! It took me thirteen more years to reach that level. “It didn’t matter if you were really good at make up or if you were a giant hairy dude; you could make magic happen with Drag. It was like they were taking pop culture, flipping and inverting it, chewing it up, turning it queer, and spitting it back out again. It wasn’t lofty or unattainable; it was for everyone. It didn’t matter if you had money or an education.” Alaska seems like a nice enough person. Sharon Needles is maybe not so nice. But we are only hearing Alaska’s side of their relationship. I was expecting much more tea to be spilled in My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? The best revelation is that RuPaul films all three finalists winning Drag Race live. Only when the televised version airs do the winner (and the losers) discover who has really won. Overall, this book is best for hardcore fans of Alaska or Sharon Needles. It would also be fascinating for any new Justins thinking about a career in Drag. 4 stars! Thanks to Chronicle Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
This memoir is a must-read for fans of RuPaul's Drag Race. It provides a different lens on the diva that viewers came to seemingly know well during Season 5 of the mothership and Season 2 of All-Stars. Alaska had a very defined narrative on the show, so it's interesting to see where her story has done since the cameras stopped rolling. Yet, it's still enough inside ball that diehard fans may struggle to get engaged.
It’s always interesting to hear someone’s life story from their point of view. Learning the moments they feel impacted their life and made them who they are today. Alaska’s story starts out like most drag queens story (Including mine and 99% of the rest of the queens I know). The beginning of the book made me nervous, thinking to myself, “any queen could have written this.” However after we get past a few “in the beginning” chapters we start learning the stories… and I couldn’t get enough! Alaska takes us through the ups and downs in her life, those critical moments that shaped her into the person she is today! Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will get a few glimpses of behind the scenes, but more importantly, fans of Alaska will get glimpses into her mind! The photos are great, the stories are great.
This book feels like a good time spent in a cozy bar with Alaska showing photos and telling stories of her life. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to fans of Drag or Rupaul’s Drag Race. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I truly love that Alaska has published a book, especially one that is unlike what any of her Drag Race sisters have released so far (like Willam's anti-self-help book and Bianca's "Dear Abby" style book of advice). This is the kind of book we WANT from the dolls: a behind-the-scenes memoir! The pictures were mostly wonderful, the stories fun and sometimes insightful. It fell apart a little by the end when Alaska seemed unsure of how to wrap things up and where to leave off, but it was such an enjoyable read!
Alaska Thunderfuck 5000's memoir "My Name's Yours, What's Alaska" is definitely for the essential RuPaul's Drag Race fan which follow's Alaska/Justin's journey from child and teen in Erie, PA, to world traveling drag superstar. Alaska's beginnings are very relatable. A supportive mother. A feeling of being different than most other boys. The obsession with fame and success. But, the true gem of the story is the journey itself. Alcoholism. Drug use. Cheating on a partner. What intrigued me most is that she is fully honest in this book. Drag Race fans will especially appreciate how much text is dedicated to the start and terrible ending to her relationship with fellow Drag Race winner, Sharon Needles. I also appreciated a lot of the Drag Race behind-the-scenes: what it took to be on the show, the hard time she had on All Stars, and the fact that the season fan favorite episode "The Snatch Game" was actually really "boring" to film. I have always liked Alaska, although there is a big chunk of her personality that I can't relate to. I still am in awe of the drag character she has created. It says a lot that I was interested enough to finish the book all in one sitting, yet when I came to the end I asked myself if I liked her more after reading her story and the answer was no, and that's only because I adored her to begin with. I don't think someone who is not a huge fan of the Drag Race series would enjoy reading this book, but then again I doubt any person who has not seen the show would pick it up to begin with. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer. I would have loved more detailed stories about her time on the show. Note: the copy I received did not yet have the introduction by Jackie Beat added. Thank you to Net Galley, Chronicle Books and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 for the advance copy of the ebook.
Thanks to Netgalley and Chronicle Books for the advanced copy of this book! Alaska Thunderfuck is probably one of the more notable characters to come out of the Rupaul's Drag Race machine since the show's inception, and though a bit of a controversial queen, she has always intrigued me in a kind of car crash that you can't look away from kind of way. My stance on her kind of depends on the day, but she has certainly left a mark on Drag and provided some iconic moments. Though I wouldn't necessarily say this book spilled a ton of tea, it was unflinchingly honest. Alaska talks a lot about her path to stardom and is very frank about the missteps along the way. She discusses her very public relationship with Sharon Needles and isn't afraid to shine a light on the unhealthy way they both fed into the relationship's toxicity. It was also refreshing to hear a bit more of Alaska before she was Alaska. It humanized her to learn about her upbringing and how she got into performing. There's also a lot of growth throughout as Alaska reflects on choices she's made and things she's done, which made no moves to hide her flaws, which I appreciated. This book is definitely for a niche audience but I am part of that audience and enjoyed it! Lots of good pictures throughout, though the photos rarely matched up with the chapter content.
My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska?: A Memoir by Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 TAGS: LGBTQIA, non-fiction, autobiography, memoir, comedy I thought this book was authentic and real and laugh out loud funny. Girl is HILARIOUS! This books follows Alaska's journey from small-town to drag superstardom. I loved reading all of the behind the scenes stories from RuPaul's Drag Race. The pictures were AMAZE -- full color, full GLAM! I would recommend this book to any die hard RuPaul or Drag Race fans or anyone interested in reading personal stories about a drag queens rise to stardom. Lots of fun, behind the scenes anecdotes about your fave people from Drag Race: RuPaul, Trixie Mattel, Cherri Baum, Sharon Needles, Bianca del Rio, to name a few... I subscribed to her Race Chaser and Moguls of Media Podcasts after reading book because I just want more, More, MORE Alaska content! Let's hear it for LGBTQIA+ representation in the mainstream! We need more books like this on the market. MY RATING: 3.5/5 stars MY RATING SYSTEM: 1 star = I don't recommend the book 2 stars = I would not read the book again 3 stars = I enjoyed the book 4 stars = I liked the book and would recommend to others 5 stars = Everyone should read the book; I would read the book again & again *Thanks to NetGalley & the book's publisher for providing a free ARC in exchange for my honest review. #NetGalley #MyNamesYoursWhatsAlaska #LGBTQIA
I had mixed expectations going into this book. I'm a fan of Alaska's from RuPaul's Drag Race and on the one hand she's always been a top competitor and shown how creative and capable she is. On the other hand, after Drag Race the queens are often doing something gimmicky like releasing really, really terrible music. So I figured this could go either way. I was very pleased to find Alaska's book was just as interesting, colorful, and creative as she is! I found this book to be very readable. The writing is great and I could hear Alaska's voice in the narration. Her story is told in a chronological order, from her childhood to the present. I expected to see more highlights from her time on Drag Race and Allstars, but it's true what she said, that the audience that knows her from the show is already aware of what went on. I guess I was hoping for a little more behind-the-scenes info, but her story was strong even without it. I always liked Alaska but it was interesting to see, in her own words, where she came from and what shaped her into the person she is today, and what influenced her craft. I've seen other reviews saying this book is all about Alaska's relationship with drag queen and fellow Drag Race alumni, Sharon Needles. I didn't feel that was true. Alaska and Sharon don't meet until a third of the way into the book. And while Sharon was a big part of Alaska's life and an integral part of her story, they weren't the focus of the book. The story was always about what else was going on while Alaska was caught up in this toxic relationship. I will say I was surprised by just how toxic Alaska's relationship with Sharon was. I enjoy watching RPDR but I'm not so obsessive as to follow all the social media accounts and forums about it, so prior to reading the book I'm not sure I even remembered that the two of them had a history. By Alaska's account Sharon seemed to have serious issues and all the classic signs of an abuser. It was really shocking and disturbing to see how she manipulated and tormented Alaska. I'm glad they were able to move past it and be friends again, but I'm even more glad that Alaska got out of that web. I loved the book's formatting. The leopard print at the start of every chapter with the hot pink chapter titles, and the glossy photos that accompany the story. This is a book I'd enjoy having on my shelf and would enjoy rereading.
Alaska made me love her even more with her book! My Name's Yours, What's Alaska is a detail account of growing up and blossoming into one of the most memorable drag queens. Alaska talked about hiding her masculine side through most of school. She was blessed with a wonderful bestie, mother, and grandmother that supported her through coming out and being a drag queen. I enjoyed the fact Alaska was so open and honest in this book. She covered drug and alcohol abuse, the drag scene, and her love for Sharon Needles. Alaska and Sharon were so ying and yang! I could totally see why they were each others enabler. I will definitely say I admired Alaska was so persistent to be on RuPaul's Drag Race. This was overall a great read for me. I mostly recommend Alaska's book for all drag queen loving friends and others.