So while reading up on LGBT writers, Alex Sanchez came up a few times. While Rainbow Boys is one of his more popular novels, I chose to begin with Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Review and summary after the jump.
Four teens explore the fluidity of love, sexuality, and identity in this acclaimed novel from Alex Sanchez, now in paperback.Sergio is bisexual, but his only real relationship was with a girl. Lance has always known he was gay, but he's never had a real boyfriend. When the two of them meet, they have an instant connection--but will it be enough to overcome their differences? Allie's been in a relationship with a guy for the last two years--but when she meets Kimiko, she can't get her out of her mind. Does this mean she's gay? Or bi? Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out."Boyfriends with Girlfriends" is Alex Sanchez at his best, writing with a sensitive hand to portray four very real teens striving to find their places in the world--and with each other.
This is not an allegorical story. What you see is what you get. It’s a love story, but one mostly directed towards teens. I felt a bit of the same way reading this as I did with David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy. The relationships portrayed, while very realistic are after all young adult relationships, focusing on points that only young couples falling in love for the first time deal with. That is not to say, that I find the characters two-dimensional and shallow, just the opposite. They’re richly described and they believe that the hurdles they face are the most difficult thing ever. They are not caricatures of themselves. Allie’s struggle to come to terms with her sexuality, Lance’s difficulty accepting Sergio for the way he is; these are problems every person deals with, and it makes the characters more likeable. The characters all have a few flaws and the story progresses at a slow pace at some points, while other things are skimmed over a bit too quickly in my opinion. I’d actually like to know what happened to the characters after this novel. It’s perhaps not the best LGBT book for people over 25, but it’s a good starting point for a younger generation who wants to read about LGBT relationships.
You can buy the book (as well as all the others mentioned) here