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Rainbow High Paperback – June 1, 2005

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A forthright portrayal of growing up gay." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689854781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689854781
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of cool, sometimes controversial teen books, including the Rainbow Boys trilogy, The God Box, Getting It, and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel So Hard to Say. My novel, Bait, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for YA fiction. My newest novel, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, came out in April 2011. I received my master's degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor. Visit me at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ian Kendrick on November 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alex Sanchez deserves a tremendous amount of praise for writing such an excellent sequel to his immensely popular Rainbow Boys. Two of Alex's signature writing methods shown through this time, too. Those being his succinct writing style and the rotation of the chapters where we get the point of view from Jason, Kyle, then Nelson.
By writing about three distinct personalities, Mr. Sanchez gave us a perfect way to easily follow their lives. And, whereas I felt the most for Jason in the first novel, this time I seemed to focus more on what Kyle was going thru. Perhaps this is what Alex wanted us to experience, I'm not sure. Regardless, his writing method worked.
Despite giving this story 5 stars, I felt that the interruptions that kept the boys from being intimate with others was a bit contrived. I believe that his boys should have been given more moments to be together (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) than the single instance between Kyle and Jason that was depicted (which was very tastefully done, BTW). Otherwise, the various interactions amongst the characters (boys and girls) was spot on.
Speaking as a writer and not as a reader, I have to say that one of the best parts of the construction of this story is how Mr. Sanchez builds the tension and conflict level as it progresses. Alex, you know what you're doing! It kept me turning the pages to find out how the different situations would be resolved.
And it's the end that leads me to think that this will be a trilogy at some point. Since one of the characters doesn't get his due yet, and Alex's stories are always upbeat, I hope he will continue the series to a positive conclusion.
Thanks, Alex, for your new contribution to our literature.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By andrewjack on January 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I started this book with some trepidation. First, this is a sequel, and I didn't have the benefit of reading its predecessor, Rainbow Boys. (Rest assured, the events from the previous novel are helpfully recapped in the beginning of this one) Secondly, I found this in the young adult/teen section of the bookstore. Don't worry, this funny, sarcastic, and sometimes touching book can be enjoyed just as easily by adults as teenagers.
Nelson, Kyle, and Jason are three gay teens navigating through the sometimes happy, sometimes overly maudlin, and always confusing world of high school. This novel opens on the boys' senior years at Walt Whitman High School. Nelson Glassman, the outrageously flamboyant school GSA advocate, is facing problems of his own. An impromptu internet tryst with a complete stranger without protection may have left him poz...HIV positive, that is.
Kyle Meeks is in the midst of a reluctant relationship with "megajock" Jason Carillo. Jason, out to only a select few, including his ex-girlfriend, is uncomfortable announcing to the whole world (or at least the entire school populace) that he has a boyfriend.
Also, the fact that it's their senior year, they may go their separate ways after graduation, a major case of collegiate confusion, and a whole host of catty and bitchy situations, is the perfect recipe for a truly fun read.
Teenagers will revel at the rebelliousness and free-spiritedness of the lead characters, and the steamy slow scenes, (PG-13 at the most) in good taste, never get *too* out of hand.
This, obviously, is not War and Peace, or The Diary of Anne Frank. It is, however, a fun read that will make a couple of days (or hours, depending on how voraciously you read) pass with more enjoyment.
The ending leaves plenty of room for another sequel, so expect one soon. Here's to Alex Sanchez and the continuing adventures of Nelson, Kyle, and Jason.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Foster Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Nelson, Kyle and Jason whom we met in RAINBOW BOYS are back again, pretty much as we knew them. Well, Nelson has gone from dying his hair lemon-lime to "flame-blue," an appropriate color since he is certainly the flamer of these three. He is the outrageous one who never had a chance of being in anybody's closet, even if he had wanted to. Kyle is still the shy one on the swim team who can "pass" if left alone. Jason, of course, is the high school jock equally attractive to both young men and women.

There are no surprises here. We pretty much know where Mr. Sanchez is going with his plot. Will Nelson break up with his new boyfriend Jason because he is HIV positive? Will Kyle go to Princeton rather than to a lesser university even though it means he will be separated from Jason? Will Jason come out to the other members of the basketball team? If he does, will he lose his college scholarship? Will they all attend the senior prom?

What this novel does extremely well is provide a story that gay teenagers can read and know that they are not alone, particularly those who live in out-of-the-way towns and attend small high schools. It is comforting to learn that RAINBOW BOYS was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.

As in the previous novel, there is information about all kinds of organizations and help for gay teenagers at the end of this novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on January 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Continuing from the successful "Rainbow Boys", "Rainbow High" follows Nelson, Jason, and Kyle through most of their senior year in high school as they look forward to their futures after graduation, but will they all be together? Nelson struggles with having an HIV+ boyfriend, while Jason and Kyle work through the beginnings of their relationship. Kyle is hesitant to decide on a college until he knows where Jason is heading. Jason, meanwhile, decides to come out to his basketball coach and team, but this could jeopardize his scholarship, or will it? This young adult novel explores friendship and dating in these characters' lives, and paints a hopeful picture of being young and gay. While the story does gloss over much of the emotional intricacies of the teens, "Rainbow High" is a delight to read. Like in his first book, Sanchez also includes resources for gay youth after the story's conclusion.
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