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Rainbow Party Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141690235X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416902355
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Promiscuous sophomore Gin is throwing a "Rainbow Party," at which girls "put on a different color lipstick, and the guys all drop their pants." In theory, after the girls perform oral sex on the boys, they would be left with rainbows around their penises. The author takes the perspective of Gin and her invitees in the hours before her after-school party. They all have reasons for going (Sandy hopes to find love, virgin Brick is being pressured by his friend to gain sexual experience, and there are rumors that Perry is gay)—and their own anxieties, too. This debut novel takes a steamy premise, and adds in plenty of racy material, too, including oral sex between two boys in a school bathroom, but while the author makes a compelling argument against abstinence-only education and also against limited definitions of sex, readers may tire of the standard-issue characters. They may also start to cringe every time a character talks about oral sex not really being sex. There is some important information to be gleaned here (Gin and Perry have mysterious sore throats, and Hunter notices a "burning sensation" when he urinates; later they learn of a gonorrhea outbreak among the sophomore class), but in the end, the story here is not as compelling as its premise. Ages 14-up. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up -When Ginger arranges for an oral sex party to be held at her home, most of the teens she invites-some in relationships, some not-say that they will attend, and then figure out ways to avoid it. Egomaniac Hunter talks his friend Perry into going, although Perry regularly gives him plenty of oral sex. Surprise-having left work early, Gin's father shows up. Even though Hunter arrives with a bunch of condom balloons, Dad doesn't notice anything out of the ordinary. But when 39 members of the sophomore class are diagnosed with gonorrhea, Gin gets the blame. The story is told in sometimes crude or suggestive language, the writing is stilted, and there is little character development. The inclusion of a health teacher who happens to be covering the issue of STDs, along with opposition to the party by the teen founder of the Celibacy Club, seems forced. Actually, with its too-obvious agenda, much of the novel seems forced, but particularly curious readers will plow through to the end. Melvin Burgess's Doing It (Holt, 2004) is far more graphic in its depiction of teen sexuality, but it is a much better crafted book. -Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Paul Ruditis has written over 30 books based some of the best shows on TV, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, The West Wing, Alias, and Prison Break. While he continues to work on these media tie-ins, he has also focused a great deal of attention on his own original fiction, including his teen series DRAMA! and the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy Love, Hollywood Style. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

It would be to give them a perfect example of how not to write.
Mrs. Wendy D. Rakus
Wanting to be popular or to be liked by someone might cause you to want to do something you'd rather not do.
Donna
I wanted to read, first hand, what this book was all about so I could judge it fairly.
J. Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

252 of 275 people found the following review helpful By Aly on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am an eighteen-year-old female who, not too long ago, went through middle school and high school; I am very familiar with young adolescents' fixation with sex and the other issues that weigh on their minds. I encountered this book when reading a news article on it and decided to see for myself what all the controversy was about.

The first few pages had me laughing. Not only is this book devoid of any literary merit, it is an extremely unrealistic look at the adolescent world. I realize that oral sex is rampant among young teens, but to have an "issue that needs to be confronted," as some reviewers have referred to it, presented in such a substandard way is doing a disservice to our teens.

If this book is indeed aimed at the young adult age group (as it says), why isn't it written in a more mature style? Compare this novel to the style of To Kill a Mockingbird, a book included in a standard ninth-grade English curriculum-or A Separate Piece, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Great Expectations. At fourteen years old, one's intellectual capacity is much deeper than the shallow writing of Rainbow Party pervades.

Yes, parents, you DO have to worry about issues of sex with your children. But please, do them a favor and confront them yourself with the reality of it-don't let them read about oral sex in a book that glamorizes it, letting them think that it guarantees you popularity, unless you MIGHT get an STD. Let them learn from a more reliable source than a feeble semi-pornographic teen novel.

And I'd wonder about the "insight" that allows a male author to write from a modern teenage girl's perspective. I'm sure he enjoyed putting his perverted fantasy on paper and making a profit off of it, too.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Chris F. on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
You were young once. Try to cut through the smoke-screen of your memory and really, really think about what you were doing back then. The truth is you were probably horny as all get out. But you would never, ever subject yourself to a "party" such as this. And don't be fooled into thinking that the times have changed so drastically that the youth are more open about their bodies than you were.

Use good judgement and cut through this B.S.
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81 of 98 people found the following review helpful By PonyExpress on July 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Please. The number one thing wrong with this book isn't the lascivious story and attitude(yes, it's possible to be liberally-minded about sex--even about sexual longings and exploration of children), it's the lame and unbelievable writing.

The number two thing wrong is its leering, idiotic and insulting take on teenage girls. These books have been around forever--decades, in fact--but with each passing generation they've gotten more and more explicit and exploitative. That last adjective is the perfect one to describe this trashy Jacqueline Susann for young girls: exploitative. Does the author really care two cents about what happens to teen girls in a world seemingly hopelessly screwed up as concerns matters sexual, or the problem of sex education(or total lack of)?

Or does he want to write a book so "Ooooh! SHOCKING!" that it rockets to the top of bestseller lists and makes him (and the publisher) a ton of money? Which do you think?

No girl--not one that's out of her mind drunk(and NONE who are otherwise stoned) would "service" various guys to the extent that they'll leave bright rainbow rings around the base of...just NO. Stupid and demeaning and presents the libido of girls as whorish. Nice stuff for pre-teens, hmmm? No.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Disappointed on December 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Whatever you are looking for in literature, this book isn't it. No drama, no action, no plot, no moral, certainly no erotica. Save your money.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Wendy D. Rakus on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I hear about a book that has a storm of controversy surrounding it, the first thing I do is read it. In this case that was a huge mistake...not because of the subject matter but because this is, without a doubt, the worst-written book I have ever read. The best characters are barely two-dimensional, and the other characters might as well not even be in the book.

A rainbow party should provide the perfect starting point for exploring the different ways that adolescents feel about their sexuality and the motivations behind their sexual behavior. The various storylines of all the characters who were invited to the party could have been developed to show the real issues that teenagers are dealing with when they decide whether or not they will have sex. Instead, the author seems to have made a list of stereotypes...the class slut, the good girl, the religious kid, the kids who's worried about STDs, the stud, the monogamous couple, etc....and never bothered to give any depth at all to any of the characters who represent the stereotypes.

If I were to have my kids read this book it wouldn't be to broach the topic of sex. It would be to give them a perfect example of how not to write.
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48 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Christopher P. Becker on June 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike most reviewers, I have read the entire book. And unlike most reviews about this book, I'd like to actually review the book instead of discussing its controversy or lecturing about society's morals. I have no axe to grind.

On the surface, it's an easy read, even for an adolescent. It has a spectrum of teen characters in a generic teen setting with the central plot building up to an oral sex party. Among the characters, some are virgins (with fears and questions about the party), while some are already sexually active. The story contains widespread dialog about the implications of oral sex (is it really sex?), gender inequality at the party (are the boys simply taking advantage of the girls?) and the effects of sexuality mixed with romance and friendship. The book ends with several characters contracting sexually transmitted diseases, but it seems like a contrived "lesson" tacked-on as an afterthought.

There are a few references to sexual anatomy and function in the book, as well as some profanity. For the most part, the references to sexual function are crude or vague. In other words, it's not a "How To" book; there are no instructions. Even though sexuality is the theme of the book, only one sexual episode is actually played out (it's a scene of oral sex between one boy and one girl; the girl apparently touches herself to achieve orgasm). The oral sex party itself never actually happens.

Of the male characters, one is secretly gay and one is secretly bisexual. They have a sexual relationship, but the book only makes indirect references to it.

The book arguably has some redeeming value. Some characters realize that sex among friends, at a young age, can bring emotional turmoil: fear, mistrust, infidelity and feeling used. (...)
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