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Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
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Rainbow Boys (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Alex Sanchez

Series: Rainbow Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0712715,226 (3.66)18
Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other.
Member:foucaultismyhomeboy
Title:Rainbow Boys
Authors:Alex Sanchez
Info:Simon Pulse (2003), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez (2001)

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Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other.
  Lake_Oswego_UCC | Mar 13, 2022 |
This was one of those books that was on my to-read list years and years ago when I first discovered YA queer lit, but I never actually read it until I had to take a class on it. Go figure.

That being said, I think I would have liked this a lot more when I was younger. 2011-2012 was when the narrative of "miserable queer teenagers" was ending and being replaced by stories where queer teens just happened to be queer, and in the past couple years I've grown to like the latter narrative more. But I recognize that we wouldn't have gotten to these stories - where gay teens are allowed to be gay, and happy, and face little homophobia in their lives - without stories like Rainbow Boys. And sometimes in this world, where I can talk about being queer, wishing I had a girlfriend, and happily post fanart and posts about queer ships on an Instagram account with 1700 followers and get no homophobic comments; where so many churches in my city hang up rainbow flags at its doors and not only tolerate but welcome members of the LGBTQ community; where the Queer Centre at my university inhabits a space covered with rainbow flags on the outside - I forget about how hard it used to be for kids and teens. I was in the GSA at my high school, but I forget how difficult it used to be to set up these, to go to these.

So this book was a bit of a brutal kick, but I think one I needed to remember: how hard queer people before our generation fought for people who would come after them, and how hard some people are still fighting.

Sanchez presents three different boys, but all of them are unique, but somewhat stereotypical. There's the soft flamboyant gay guy (Nelson), and then there's the closeted jock (Jason). Kyle wasn't quite as stereotypical. I think my favorite of them was Nelson, though, because he does not know when to shut up and is sarcastic and I love that. I liked how Nelson's mom was such a good and accepting mom, you'd think it would be one of the other two's parents that were like that. But it was good, because in a lot of earlier queer books no one had even one accepting parent. I think I connected to Kyle the most - I'm low-key, but I'm not really out to anyone (except on the Internet and I suppose people who like read my stuff on the internet OOPS HAHA). It kind of sucked that there weren't too many accepting kids who weren't gay at their high school, which would have been nice.

I do think that Sanchez's writing style is a bit too telling, not showing, which made it kind of hard to read sometimes because telling doesn't immerse you as much, but it was pretty good altogether. ( )
  jwmchen | Nov 4, 2017 |
Fiction; I think YA. Interesting enough, but a bit banal. Some good insight into not-het teenage boy angst. ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Feb 12, 2017 |
Wonderful to listen to the trials of three kids as they come to a great understanding of themselves. ( )
  MichaelC.Oliveira | Sep 16, 2016 |
Carson High owns the trilogy - yay! As my son says, CHS is pretty enlightened. These boys wouldn't have as much difficulty there as they do at their school. Hopefully schools like CHS are becoming more common.

But we're not there yet. We need books like these, still. There are parents, still, like Jason's father and like the bigots at the community meeting. So, even though this isn't great literature, it's a valuable read.

And it is a very good story. The first half is a bit 'educational' but the story picks up and gets more interesting as it goes along. And of course the boys are adorable. Fast-paced, with short chapters and plenty of drama (but no melodrama and nothing too intense). And I loved that one of the boys is bisexual - we're a minority within a minority, and sometimes feel even more isolated, so it feels good to see us included. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
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added by gsc55 | editLGBT Bookstore, Kevin Creech (Jun 20, 2015)
 
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To the courage of youth-- present and past
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Jason Carrillo walked around the block a third time, working up his courage to go into the brownstone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other.

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Book description
Navigating through an intolerant world and their own insecurities, three teenage boys find each other and the confidence to come out of the closet.

Three teenage boys, coming of age and out of the closet. 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...

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.
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