252 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2005
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.
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2006
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.
82 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2005
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.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2005
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified 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.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2006
I am still a teenager and i bought the book thinking it would be another trashy novel (gossip girl anyone)to add to my collection.. i had not heard anything about it before hand. Once i read it i was shocked its disgusting and totally innapropriat for anyone my age to read. If the author really wanted to make a point that this goes on why did he feel the need for the graphic oral sex scene? ok so oral sex forsure happens in high school but like why was it neccesary to glorify it like something so amazing in a book directed to teenagers.. making it seem like "everyones doing it"
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2005
The book DOES NOT glorify sex, oral sex, or group sex parties. I actually read the whole book.
The book DOES bring up some interesting discussion points:
--Peer pressure led many of the teens in the book to plan to go to the party against their own better judgement.
--Wanting to be popular or to be liked by someone might cause you to want to do something you'd rather not do.
--No matter what rumors you hear, most of your friends are not as experienced as you might believe, or as they may have you believe.
--There is indeed a double standard. The girl who originally planned the party discovers in the end that boys who are promiscuous still have lots of friends, but girls who are promiscuous seldom do.
--Oral sex IS sex. (And no, Bill Clinton didn't invent the idea that it was not--but Bill Clinton isn't mentioned in the book, that's just my humble opinion.)
--Love IS important, and will make you happy, and you don't have to have sex with someone just because you are in love with them.
--Having sex with someone you aren't in love with will not make you happy, and will probably make you unhappy.
--You CAN get STDs from oral sex. And not getting information about safe sex will not necessarily lead to teens abstaining from sex, but may lead to teens spreading STDs.
--There are consequenses to your actions. (Whoa! Now there's a concept for you!)
--The happiest, most well-adjusted teens in the book were abstaining from sex. (There's even a "Celibacy Club" in the school the characters attend, and it is NOT the object of ridicule by the characters in the book. Some of the teens who originally planned to go to the Rainbow Party but didn't, by the end of the book proudly told friends they were "waiting," and one was even dating the president and founder of the Celibacy Club.)
I believe the book was mostly about the pressures that teens feel to fit in, to be popular, and to have sex. I can only remember one or 2 scenes of actual sexual activity in the book--far less than the average young adult book--and they weren't that graphic or even very satisfying to the participants.
This is not porn. It will not encourage teens to have sex (I hear they have already been doing that for centuries). It is written for older teens, not for children. It's not the most well-written book I've ever read, nor is it the worst--I'd say it was average--so if you're looking for Great Expectations, look under D for Dickens.
The party never happens, mostly because almost all the teens themselves decide not to attend.
And if you think that teens today are not already experimenting with sexual activities, I'd love to visit your planet sometime.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was interesting, to say the least. I originally purchased the book because I was watching the news and there were parents that were trying to get the book banned or out of the children's section of their local library. So, naturally, with graduating college this year and never hearing about these types of parties, I had to read it to see what the fuss was about. And let me tell you, if I learned anything after reading this book, it was a miracle. I can, however, see both sides of the issue. Parents are getting upset because the book almost makes you think sex is ok and that oral sex is not sex at all. Sure the kids who are involved in the party/ more sexually advanced, do contract a disease, which happens to be an easily curable one and someone loses in the end, but that's about it. However, the other side of the story is that it does teach kids a lesson in that the girl who organizes the party and starts all the trouble ends up loosing her friends and is looked down upon, a couple in the book end up getting closer because of the party, and a few people end up with a curable STD. So, in the end, don't waist your money, if you want to know what a rainbow party is, look it up on the internet for free.
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2005
Look no further than the opening sentence: "Gin took the slender shaft of the tube in her palm...".
This book is exploitative, sensationalistic, cheap, and shallow - and, yes, I've read it. There are no good intentions here, no deeper message. Don't fool yourselves. The author (and publisher) are out to make as much money as possible off the sexual fantasies of pre-teens.
I think there is a lack of morality operating here that needs to be addressed. These things are wrong - and the more we accommodate and let the lines get pushed back, the more we are complicit in robbing young people of their childhoods. It seems like childhood has almost disappeared already. How very sad....
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2005
As a curious parent and Teacher I purchased this book. The Wall Street Journal made mention of this book earlier this summer. Prior to this I had never heard of Rainbow Parties. The best part of the book was the colorful cover. Apparently this may be a social issue in some areas.
I am guessing this is a new author that will sell many books due to curiosity. But, save your money as it is not worth reading. The one thing that was good was the reference to AIDS on the back page. Again there are other books out there that young adults can read.