Now in their senior year of high school, the three gay youths we first met in Rainbow Boys are struggling with new issues. Wisecracking, impulsive Nelson, who is "out and outrageous," is being tested for HIV and is dating an HIV-positive guy, to his mother's dismay. Shy Kyle is seeing Jason, and he worries that being accepted to Princeton will mean the end of their relationship; he also must cope with the anti-gay gibes of his fellow swim team members. Meanwhile, popular basketball star Jason has decided to come out to his coach, his teammates, and the public, and becomes a role model of a different kind, but has his college scholarship revoked as a result. The opening of the novel summarizes the main events of the prequel, so that it's not necessary to have read the first book to become absorbed in the ups and downs of the boys' lives in this one. Sanchez, a counselor whose mission is promoting tolerance, illuminates various facets of adolescent gay life through his characters, and includes detailed information at the back of the book on organizing a peer group, issues with parents, violence and hate crimes against gays and lesbians, human rights campaigns, HIV and AIDS, teen sexuality and suicide, and services on the Internet. But the book is not just a polemic (and there's no graphic sex, if you're wondering); it's an involving story of growing up, not just growing up gay, and it deserves a wide readership. KLIATT Codes: S-Recommended for senior high school students. 2003, Simon & Schuster, 256p., Ages 15 to 18.
Gr 10 Up-Nelson Glassman and Kyle Meeks, best friends for many years, are gay teens at Walt Whitman High School. Kyle becomes romantically involved with basketball jock Jason Carrillo, while Nelson embarks on a strained relationship with Jeremy, who has tested positive for HIV. Jason comes out to his teammates and endures public scrutiny on television, eventually losing his athletic scholarship. On the homefront, Kyle's parents desperately want him to attend Princeton, although this would mean leaving Jason behind, and Nelson's mother insists that he end his relationship with Jeremy. Throughout these vicissitudes, the young men provide support for one another as graduation approaches. Sanchez has written a respectable sequel to the noteworthy Rainbow Boys (S & S, 2001). He has a definite feel for the thoughts, feelings, and speech patterns of contemporary high school students, and his characters are believable, although perhaps not as fully developed as one would like. The narrative flows smoothly, with plenty of soap-opera dramatics to keep readers interested and a steamy scene or two to boot. Mature YAs will identify with the problems and decisions these individuals must face.-Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kyle, Jason, and Nelson from Rainbow Boys (2001) return to continue their Dawson's-Creek-with-extra-gay-boys soap opera and finish out their senior year. Kyle wrestles with his decision over which college to attend and faces homophobia from his swim team. Jason comes out to his basketball teammates and deals with becoming a role model when he draws media attention. Nelson has to have an HIV test after finding out his first sexual experience might have infected him. Since he tests negative, he must then decide whether he can date someone who is positive. All three boys have some trouble and some support at home. The end of the school year and the prom help tie things up neatly. The issues come fast and furious, but they're handled well and are intrinsic to the story and characters. Fans of the first book will enjoy this second helping of sometimes-melodramatic soapy goodness. However, if your budget will only support the purchase of one gay-themed novel this year, David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy (p. 1075) is superior in many ways. Includes a list of advocacy groups and help lines. (Fiction. YA)