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Rainbow High Hardcover – November 1, 2003
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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.
"A forthright portrayal of growing up gay."
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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.