Title & Authors: Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
Genre: LGBT, YA
Series: Rainbow Trilogy
Release Date: October 1, 2001
Publisher: Simon and Schuster For Young Readers
Jason Carrillo: is a jock with a steady girlfriend, but he can’t stop dreaming about sex…with other guys.
Kyle Meeks: doesn’t look gay, but he is. And he hopes he never has to tell anyone — especially his parents.
Nelson Glassman: is “out” to the entire world, but he can’t tell the boy he loves that he wants to be more than just friends.
Three teenage boys, coming of age and out of the closet. In a revealing debut novel that percolates with passion and wit, Alex Sanchez follows these very different high-school seniors as their struggles with sexuality and intolerance draw them into a triangle of love, betrayal, and ultimately, friendship.
“Some people talk about a homosexual threat. Excuse me, but who’s really being threatened in this situation? The purpose of our club isn’t to ‘recruit’ anyone. What we hope to do is change attitudes and build understanding.”–Nelson
“One night I went home with a guy. I didn’t have the self-esteem to say I wanted to have safer sex. I thought ‘God, if I bring it up, he may not want to have sex with me. He doesn’t look HIV positive. What’s one time?'”–Jeremy
“Your mom said there’s a group for parents, PFAG.”–someone’s dad?
Reasons and Thoughts:
I’ve always seen these books around and have wanted to read them for a lifetime. So one day I brought all three in the trilogy, and the first book is good. To be good is a good thing, and Rainbow Boys is such a fun throw back read to the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
I was in junior high when this book came out, and I can totally relate to what Jason, Kyle, and Nelson experience. If only I knew about this book then, the last pages at the back of the book would have help a lot. It has all this cool information for teens, hotlines with street addresses for; peer groups, violence and hate crimes against gay and lesbians, human rights campaign, suicide hotlines, all these come with paragraphs explaining there individual responsibilities.
There where moments when I felt as if I was reading a public announcement. Yet, I totally understand the book was published in 2001’s when gay married was not recognized pretty much anywhere, and there wasn’t such a thing as PrEp to protect against HIV.
HIV is one of the subtle themes of this book but its a constant fear for one of the characters and it was nerve wrecking to read. Still, Rainbow Boys introduces a lot of good basic structural ideas of writing gay fiction in the 90’s, the aid epidemic was still a huge concern.(And still is today but there is more resources and medicine now.)
I loved that it is told so realistic but each boy omits or doesn’t go into sexual details, the most you get is kissing description, shoes, shirts, and pants are coming off that’s it. If that’s too much for you, then…
Rainbow Boys is a good read, if you want something heart-warming with a slap of realistic accounts of what its like to come out and experience first romance. This is the book for you. Three boys coming of age and coming to term with being gay in a bigoted high school.
Overall Stars: 4.5