Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rainbow Trilogy by Alex Sanchez

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Rainbow Boys (Rainbow Trilogy, #1)
Kristin @ Blood, Sweat and Books was
awesome enought to point out that the
cutie in the back is a young Matt Bomer!
Rainbow Boys

Jason Carrillo is a jock with a steady girlfriend, but he can't stop dreaming about sex...with other guys.
Kyle Meeks doesn't look gay, but he is. And he hopes he never has to tell anyone -- especially his parents.
Nelson Glassman is "out" to the entire world, but he can't tell the boy he loves that he wants to be more than just friends.
Three teenage boys, coming of age and out of the closet. In a revealing debut novel that percolates with passion and wit, Alex Sanchez follows these very different high-school seniors as their struggles with sexuality and intolerance draw them into a triangle of love, betrayal, and ultimately, friendship.

Rainbow High (Rainbow Trilogy, #2)
Rainbow High

Jason Carrillo, the best-looking athlete in school, has had his eyes on the prize from day one: a scholarship for college.
But then his eyes turn to love -- and Kyle.
Kyle Meeks, swim team star and all-around good guy, is finally in the relationship he wanted. Being in love feels so good, in fact, that he can't imagine giving it up to go to Princeton.
Something he's worked for his entire life.
Nelson Glassman, outgoing and defiant, might be HIV positive. Jeremy, the boy he loves, is HIV positive. Although Nelson fears testing positive, if he is infected Jeremy might stop protecting him and pushing him away.
They can be together.
High shool's almost over. Graduation is ahead. Life's a bowl of cherries, right? Right...

Rainbow Road (Rainbow Trilogy, #3)Rainbow Road

Jason Carrillo came out to his basketball team senior year and lost his university scholarship. Now, with graduation behind him and summer ending, he's asked to speak at the opening of a gay and lesbian high school across the country. But after spending years in the closet and losing his scholarship dream, what message can he offer?

Kyle Meeks is getting ready to go to Princeton in the fall and trying to see as much as possible of his boyfriend Jason before they have to separate. When Jason tells him about his speaking invitation, Kyle jumps at the chance to drive across country with him. Yet he can't help worrying: Will their romance survive two weeks crammed together in a car?

Nelson Glassman is happy his best friend Kyle has found love with Jason. Now he's looking for his own true love -- and hopes he might find his soul mate during the road trip. But will being the "third wheel" in a trio ruin his friendships with Kyle and Jason?

During an eye-opening postgraduation summer road trip, each of the three very different boys also embarks on a personal journey across a landscape of love, sexuality, homophobia, and above all, friendship.


Over a year and a half ago I went in search for gay YA titles.  One of the first things that came up in my search was the Rainbow Trilogy by Alex Sanchez.  I added them to my Nook wishlist but then ended up getting distracted by the gazillion other titles that I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) say “no” to.  Then last week I was at the library signing me and the kiddos up for the summer reading program.  Before we left, I made the requisite trip to the Teen Room (yeah, my library has a Teen Room – how COOL is that?) and started browsing.  Because, you know, I need more on my TBR pile.  Some how, The Rainbow Trilogy jumped out at me from the bottom row.  Actually the audio books jumped out at me which made me think, “Hey, I’m finally going to read these!”  And then I turned the corner and grabbed the printed books.

So I brought them home. And I read them.  And they were alright.  I could (and would like to) go into a long discussion about these books and my thoughts on them but it would be one sided and not nearly as fun as it would be to discuss them with someone else that has read them – hint, hint to anyone that has read them.  I would love to discuss these in the comment section so don't be afraid to engage.  I really want to know how others feel about this trilogy.

To make this a little easier for me, I have decided to break this down Shel-style.

The Good:

These books address a number of issues that gay teens might experience – coming out, parental abuse, bullying, insecurity, tolerance/acceptance, sex, the intricacies of gender identity…just to name a few.  They are fast and easy reads and are a great educational resource for teens. I would actually recommend this to most teenagers and use it to open dialogue.

The Bad:

I loved that these books were educational.  The problem is that so much is covered that some issues were not given enough detail.  But then what is covered might make someone ask enough questions that they will look for further detail in another book.  The one other thing I did not like about these books was the writing style.  It made me feel like I was watching an after school special.  The dialogue left me feeling completely un-connected to the characters.  And we all know how much I love to be connected to my imaginary book friends.

The bad aside, I can’t deny that these books are a wonderful resource for teens and many will identify with the characters and the issues they face day to day.


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