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on October 19, 2007
Paul is a boy who is highly religious, goes to a Christian school, lives in a very small town, and loves God and his girlfriend of several years. Living in such a small town and going to a small school, everyone knows the new kids.

The knew person, Manuel, is weird. Everyone talks about him, especially when he joins Paul and his friends at their lunch table. Manuel proceeds to tell them that he is both gay and Christian, two things that don't mix well.

The girls love Manuel, but the boys want to stay far away from him -- except for Paul. Manuel is trying to be Pauls friend and all the guys start talking about the both of them.

As Paul and Manuel hang out, a friendship is formed and Paul challenges Manuel about God, the Bible, and being gay. Every answer Manuel gives makes Paul think differently about his religion and what it says. Is being gay okay, and can you still go to Heaven?

While examining his feelings, Paul wonders about his own sexuality and if his friendship for Manuel is just that -- a friendship. When a series of events happens, Paul finds his true feelings, his true identity, and, most importantly, love.

Alex Sanchez's latest novel is amazing. It gives a new interpretation of "the Bible says that being gay is a sin," an excuse that many use. Very thought-provoking, this book will keep a smile on your face until the end.

Reviewed by: Jeremey
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on September 10, 2014
I've read a lot of books about teenagers dealing with their sexuality, so it takes a lot to impress me. Congratulations, Alex Sanchez, this book blew me away. It also had me crying every chapter or so-that's how real and relatable it is. I read this book in two days-would have been one, if I hadn't started so late the first day. It is one of those books where you HAVE to know what's going to happen next. Great plot line, great characters-I can't say enough about the characters.
I also can't say enough about how wonderful the love was in the book. Not just romantic love, but friendship love, family love, love of enemies, love of thyself, and-love of God. The dedication said it all: "To those who believe in a loving God and those who struggle to love themselves."
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on October 18, 2007
The God Box

The God Box is the 6th book by Lambda award winner Alex Sanchez. This fictional book is about one teens struggle to reconcile his sexuality and his Christianity. Although this book is geared towards youth, I recommend it to everyone regardless of age or sexuality. This groundbreaking book takes a very Christian approach to answering questions about why it's okay to be gay. Using scriptures in the correct context, he easily reconciles one of the churches hottest potatoes right now. If you never listen me again, listen to me now. Order you and your best friends a copy of The God Box today. It is the best book I have ever read.

Shine!

Pastor Jayeson
Senior Pastor of Shine Ministries in Fort Lauderdale
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on December 26, 2011
"`What's unnatural is homophobia,' Manuel said. `Homo sapiens is the only species in all of nature that responds with hate to homosexuality.'"

Paul, a Mexican teen who moved to Texas, was a strong follower of God and had a model relationship with his girlfriend, Angie. He was sure of who he was and what he believed in. That is, until he met Manuel, an openly gay Christian who shakes up the Bible Club with his confidence and love for God. After Paul met Manuel, he noticed that he was having confusing feelings for Manuel, feelings that he once thought were disgusting and sinful. However, his mind changes as Manuel discusses his faith with Paul and how the Scripture verses used to condemn homosexuality are really not used in context. In addition, Manuel causes everyone in the Bible Club to reconsider their morals. For instance, Angie is discussing John 4 when she says, "`What this passage says to me,' Angie continued, `is how no one was--or is--beyond the love of Jesus, regardless of their tribe, gender, or sexuality.'"

This Young Adult LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Questioning) novel may be slow at first, but the drama--and emotion--escalates as the story unfolds. Alex Sanchez uses first person point-of-view to make Paul seem more relatable. As Paul struggles with his definition of right and wrong and his identity, Sanchez describes Paul's thoughts and actions in detail. In addition, he uses Scripture to convince the reader and make them ponder themselves. The author uses very little imagery, which is acceptable because most people do not speak or think in metaphors or similes.

The God Box tackles the sensitive issues of homosexuality and its place in Scripture. It deals with the maturing of several students and the processes they go through to strengthen their faith and confidence in themselves. This book is specifically for LGBTQ youth, but it is wonderful for anyone who wants to confirm what they believe and why they do. Most Christian books on this topic condemn homosexuality, so this is a welcomed change to the hateful words. I do not have a basis for comparison, as I have never read any others in this genre or by Alex Sanchez, but from reading other reviews, this book seems to be one of the best in its genre.

I absolutely adored this book. I had previously began reading it several months ago at a bookstore but did not purchase it then as I hadn't gotten very far. However, after purchasing it on my Kindle last month, I have read it multiple times. In fact, I restarted and finished the book for the first time in less than a day. The God Box made me ponder my own beliefs and identity, and also gave me some background on both sides of the argument about the morality of homosexuality.

Will Paul realize that his feelings are immoral, or will he embrace the way he is and draw closer to God? Read The God Box to find out!

Kat D
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on July 12, 2015
Like all of Mr. Sanchez' books, this is a simple teen romance that happens to be between boys. The characters are believable and act the way a reader expects of adolescents. They are believable, flawed, lovable and consistent. For those of us whose family and friends are wonderful gay folk, thank you Mr. Sanchez for clarifying many of the bible's often misquoted and misinterpreted statements on homosexuality. I cringe when I hear this disinformation spread in sermons and now use the book as a reference.
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on March 14, 2010
I can't say enough about this book that other reviewers haven't already said. But I felt the need to add one more glowing review to a book that enlightens and delights, without delving into the steamier sexual antics that are so often central in tales of coming into one's gay sexuality. In a world where the Christian 'Right' attempts to demonize gayness -- which in turn incites all manner of ill-will and even violence of against gay youth -- The God Box is a warm, fuzzy and delightful read for every Christian teen, gay and straight. Especially straight, because they need to know that some of their Christian peers are in fact gay. And guess what, it's okay.

Thanx Mr. Sanchez!! ~~ Taylor Siluwé, author of Dancing With The Devil
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on December 4, 2012
A touchy subject handled by a master. As an Episcopalian and a parent of a gay son, even I wanted to talk to our church's minister myself, and as it turned out, she was a lesbian. I can't speak from the kids' viewpoints, but you will not harm yourself or your child by seeking the thoughtful content of this book - or any other by Alex Sanchez. Touchy subjects are always handled carefully and decorously by this author.

Emery C. Walters, author of six books not so careful on the same subject
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on July 9, 2012
I first stumbled across Alex Sanchez when reading "So Hard to Stay" one of his books I found at my library. I was so impressed with that book, I went on amazon to find more books by him. This book "The God Box" is by far one of the best reads I have ever picked up. I 'm not much of a big reader but when it came to this story I felt like I couldn't put the book down. The character Pablo/Paul was so realistic in many ways. His thoughts and actions felt so intense while reading that it put you into his mind like you where him. Manuel was a great and important character in this book. Manuel really help bridge the gap on "Gods" love and homosexuality. This book is definitely a great read for teens and young adults gay or straight.The story-line was amazing and the writing style was excellent. A Big fan of Alex Sanchez.
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on July 21, 2013
I laughed out loud in places. In other parts, tears came to my eyes, and it's not easy to read through tears. Sanchez turns his characters into real people. It was easy to visualize the father and grandmother as I read. Though told as fiction, the story is autobiographical. It's a great book for teenagers who are struggling with their sexual orientation. Maybe if a lot of them read it, the teen suicide rate would decrease.
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VINE VOICEon October 26, 2007
The God Box is a marvelous coming-of-age story of a high school senior's struggle with his sexual feelings. It incorporates confusion, fear, sex, anger, Christianity, race, love, alcoholism, homophobia, acceptance, violence, and almost anything else a young gay student may experience.
Paul is a devout Christian in a small town about an hour's drive from Abilene. He sings in his church choir, belongs to a Christian bible study group in school, and prays daily. While he has been dating Angie for several years, he is not comfortable with even the mildest of teen-age sex play. He has been fighting his attraction to boys since puberty.
Manuel transfers to their school at the beginning of their senior year. Manuel is openly, vociferously gay. When another student asks "Is it true you're a fag?" Manuel responds with my favorite line from the book - "Why? Are you? If you are, I'm not interested."
But Paul is attracted to Manuel. The story, written in the first person, chronicles his struggles with his own acceptance of himself and his fear of rejection - or worse - by his father, Angie, and his peers.
This book is very well done. I recommend it for teens; it should be made readily available in every high school and municipal library, and every PFLAG chapter should have a copy for their guests.
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