THE (UN)POPULAR VOTE by Jasper Sanchez

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Mark Adams doesn’t exist. At least not as far as the public knows. No one will find an article about Congressman Adams’ transgender son. No one will even find rumors about the Congressman’s separation from his wife. And as for his daughter, Madison–well, there may be speculation about why she no longer appears at campaign events with her father, but no one suspects that she no longer exists, or that the boy names Mark Adams who suddenly appeared at a public high school several hours away from the Catholic school she once attended is the person “Madison” always was, finally living his truth.

Mark knows he has to keep quiet about his past and his parentage. It was part of the deal–he could transition and live life as himself, but only if he didn’t screw things up for his father. But when a homophobic jock starts bullying a queer friend, Mark can stay in the background no longer, and he challenges the jock in the race for Class President. Mark puts all of his political savvy to work, and may even have shot at winning. But as the scent of victory prompts him to make bigger and bigger promises, Mark never stops to ask himself whether his small queer community–and his own integrity–will survive the cut-throat campaign.

This novel has all of the thrilling elements of a competition story and all of the thought-provoking elements of a YA coming -of-age story–all with excellent, authentic queer representation. A great pick for YA contemporary readers.

The (Un)Popular Vote – HarperCollins

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