Rainbow boys

by Alex Sanchez

Paper Book, 2003


Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other.



Call number



London : Simon & Schuster, 2003.


Media reviews

User reviews

LibraryThing member writecathy
2nd title picked up after reading the God Box and Sanchez has found a niche in gay teen fiction. Follows 3 boys--stereotyped as the jock, the normal boy next door, and the flaming proud, loud and out--then creates an interesting triangle with a handful of issues thrown in: AIDS, hate crimes, coming
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out, parental support (or lack thereof).

The writing is a bit uneven at times (short sentences are almost too direct), and a few characters are introduced only to be left undeveloped. Also, some portions veer on the formulaic if you've read another of his works (movie theater!) and the book ends right at the point where you wish to continue reading... (portions of the middle could have been edited, felt he was trying to cover all issues to please everyone).

Overall, a good read.
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LibraryThing member louisedoherty
This work speaks directly to gay and questioning youth in an authentic voice. Nelson, loud and in-your-face out, is continually harassed by other students while adults look the other way; he is full of insecurity at the same time he exudes confidence. Kyle, a nice quiet swimmer, is afraid to
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confront his parents and wants to keep it quiet; Jason, basketball jock, finds the closet still can’t protect him from his abusive father, and he is confused, afraid of the risk and in denial. Rainbow Boys tells the story of three different gay teens (“types?”) who have all the usual teen angst (too fat, ugly braces, poor grades), combined with all the gay teen issues (coming out, parents, bullies) and so much more ( first sex, safe sex, first love, getting used, getting rejected, falling in love, therapy/help groups). The characters are well thought out and are imperfect (until the end) and real. I saw bits of many gay men I have known in their story…the beatings, the political activism, the depression and self loathing, the problems with dad. It reads well and really pulls you in; you care what happens to these characters.
Overall I loved it, but at the end it seemed like Sanchez added in a couple of quick things, perhaps… suddenly it got little hokey, i.e. The GSA is approved “unanimously”; the sudden re appearance of Debra to tell Jason she accepts him and they can still be friends (this isn’t boy meets boy!); the seeming ease with which Kyle and Jason came out in high school at the end lacked the credibility that had been present in the entire book before this. Still, it does not detract much from the work. I really enjoyed reading this book and I think it is good for all youth to read; either to validate your own experience or to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a gay teen in high school. 11/06
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LibraryThing member llpollac
'Rainbow Boys' follows Jason, a closeted jock, Kyle, a pleasant average guy, and Nelson, who is flamboyantly out of the closet, through the first semester of their senior year at a public high school, as they deal with homophobia, coming out, starting a GSA, and finding their first loves. This
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book, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, is a realistic depiction of the issues that many queer teens face when coming out, such as harassment, disbelieving families, and internal confusion. The romantic entanglements the three face are similar to those faced by other teens, regardless of orientation. However, the character development is in many cases lacking, with the three main characters being take-offs on common characters in queer fiction. A comprehensive list of resources for people dealing with the issues treated in this book is provided at the end of the volume. Recommended for high-schoolers, especially teens who are or who know others in the process of coming out.
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LibraryThing member mamzel
Each chapter is from the viewpoint of one of three high school boys; one openly gay, one closet gay, one closet bisexual. We get from these boys an idea of the hopes, fears, and everyday occurances that must happen in the life of young gay men. Their parents run the gamut from supportive and
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activist to alcoholic abuser. They share deep uncertainty about their futures and relationships. This book should sit on every high school library shelf with the hope that young men struggling with their feelings may find some confidence in that they are not alone and that there are others who will accept them - they just might be hard to find.
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LibraryThing member DAianna808
This book might give kids that can relate to it the piece of mind to make the right desicion
LibraryThing member cmblume
Perhaps the best gay novel geared towards the young adult-teen crowd. Sanchez presented a brutally honest protrayal of gay adolescents.
LibraryThing member Nwolfie5
This book is a very accurate description of gay teen life. The three teens in this book span entirley different stereotypes and cliques. Nelson is openly gay, and quite obviously proud about it. He makes no effort in hiding it either, he's more of an outspoken, spontaneous character, and now has to
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deal with the AIDS/HIV issue. Kyle is what most people would consider "average". He's a star swimmer, and isn't quite comfortable with being gay. Jason is a star basketball player. Most people consider him a "jock". He has a girlfriend, but is realizing it's not girls he wants. These three boys try and help each other through very difficult times in their lives. A truly amazing book, a must read.
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LibraryThing member YAlit
This book demonstrates how love comes in all forms, and how for many teens gay and straight, falling in love is heartwrenching. This helps fill a neglected niche for male gay teens and will also promote acceptance for all teens.
LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
Jason, Kyle, and Nelson, three teens experiencing the stresses of high school, family, and growing up, with the additional pressure of coming out of the closet. I really enjoyed this - it took me a little while to warm to Nelson, with his flippancy hiding his real feelings, but by the end, all
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three boys felt very real to me. The chemistry between all the boys was very well done, and the moments where emotion overrides sense were very easy to sympathise with. I will eagerly read the rest of the trilogy. I also appreaciated that this wasn't just a set of coming out stories, a 'problem book' the pressures the boys experience at school and home, the expectations for their future, all contribute to the story of friends helping each other through a challenging time in teen life.
I'd give this to people looking for a realistic story of high school life or GLBTQ romance.
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LibraryThing member toy28205
What does it take to come out in High School AND start your own LGBTQ support group in your conservative town? The Rainbow boys show one way of doing this.
LibraryThing member robreadsbooks
Wonderful book. One of the best I've read in this genre. I highly recommend it for gay young adults.
LibraryThing member starlight70
Even after years since reading Rainbow Boys, it is difficult to avoid recommending this book when one is asked to recommend a good gay novel on teenagers facing the issue of coming out and coming of age. Until now I am still curious to see how Jason and Kyle would look like, if they were ever going
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to make it to a play or a tv movie. Among all the gay themed book on a low profile gay meeting a closet-case jock, this book stands out as one of the most popular ones. One day soon, I shall find myself some time to read again this delightful book. Only wish that there is no Nelson in the series - the irritating sore-spot-in-the-book that just fills in the gaps before we get back to reading on Jason and Kyle.
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LibraryThing member mlake
This was ok. Three high school boys struggling with beoing gay and coming out.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Carson High owns the trilogy - yay! As my son says, CHS is pretty enlightened. These boys wouldn't have as much difficulty there as they do at their school. Hopefully schools like CHS are becoming more common.

But we're not there yet. We need books like these, still. There are parents, still, like
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Jason's father and like the bigots at the community meeting. So, even though this isn't great literature, it's a valuable read.

And it is a very good story. The first half is a bit 'educational' but the story picks up and gets more interesting as it goes along. And of course the boys are adorable. Fast-paced, with short chapters and plenty of drama (but no melodrama and nothing too intense). And I loved that one of the boys is bisexual - we're a minority within a minority, and sometimes feel even more isolated, so it feels good to see us included.
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LibraryThing member HilAVer
This book does a great job of telling 3 different stories that are melded into one. This book is great for any YA exploring their sexual identity. I love the way in which Sanchez gives the readers 3 different situations and degrees of "coming out" to consider. Puberty and Sexuality can be very
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frightening things for teenagers, but the experiences described in this book may be absolute terrifying. Sanchez describes them and the characters reaction with grace and integrity.
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LibraryThing member peonygoat
Good. About three gay guys at high school: Jason is almost completely in the closet, Nelson is completely out and Kyle is somewhere in between.
LibraryThing member MichaelC.Oliveira
Wonderful to listen to the trials of three kids as they come to a great understanding of themselves.


Original publication date



0689857705 / 9780689857706
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