return for making Carlos over, Sal wants help starting a Gay-Straight Alliance
at their school--not exactly something Carlos is dying to do. In this humorous
novel about first love, Lambda Award winner Alex Sanchez again brings honesty
and insight to the trials of growing up.
Carlos clicked on Queer Eye, a show where
five gay dudes gave some grungy straight guy a makeover--plucking his nose hairs,
redecorating his apartment, and teaching him to bake a quiche--so he could confidently
propose marriage to his girlfriend and she'd tell him "yes." Which,
of course, she did. On TV the guy always gets the girl.
As Carlos watched,
he recalled Sal, the supposedly gay guy at school. It was then that the idea first
popped into his brain: If Sal truly were queer...could he possibly help Carlos?...
Not to propose to Roxy, of course--at least not yet--but to get her to maybe like
Find out the answers wherever books
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Read an excerpt
Outstanding Book Award 2007
International Latino Book Awards, 2nd place, Best Young Adult Fiction
in English, 2007
· New York Public Library 2007 "Book for the Teen Age"
· Book-of-the-Month Club InsightOutBooks.com Main Selection
Booklist (starred review) "In this nod
to TVs Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, 15-year-old Carlos is the only one
of his buds who is still a virgin. He wants more than anything to have sexy Roxie
as his girlfriend"and hopefully get laid." When she ignores him,
he secretly hires smart Sal, who is gay, to give him a makeover. In return, Sal
wants him to help form a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in their Texas high school.
... the wry, self-help makeover details about grooming, shopping, and good manners
are fun, and when Carlos hooks up with Roxie, their sexy fumbling is drawn with
wry realism. Carlos and Roxie talk online, and they make out on the couch, but
then she snubs him in public and dumps himleaving him to discover the difference
between a hookup and a girlfriend. At the core of the story is Carlos growing
friendship with Sal, the questions and answers about being gay or straight, and
their fight against homophobia, at school and in Carlos himself. The message of
tolerance is strong, but it is dramatized with humor and truth."
Kirkus "Acne-ridden, slightly pudgy Carlos is the quieter member
of a quartet of cocksure, trash-talking high-school boys who've dubbed themselves
"Los hornitos" since elementary school. Horny they are, and Sanchez
captures their lusty, girl-crazy conversations with a humorously skeptical eye.
Carlos talks the talk, but mostly pines after Roxy Rodriguez, the hottest and
most popular girl in school. Inspired by the television show Queer Eye for the
Straight Guy, he beseeches Sal, an openly gay guy at school, to make him over
from pimply scrub to princely stud. Sal concedes-on the condition that Carlos
promises to come to a Gay-Straight Alliance meeting-and soon Carlos's new haircut,
diet, bedroom redecoration and cleanliness nab Roxy's attentions. All is not well
in the house of love, however, and soon Carlos must face the fact that beauty
is much more than skin deep. Sanchez spins an upbeat contemporary drama set against
a colorful Latino culture. Tone and plot canter along at a cheerful, upbeat pace,
but not without the subtly lingering sense of homophobia that pervades the characters'
conversations. Sanchez acts on these cues successfully and non-didactically, ultimately
conjuring a universe where young men can come together, regardless of sexuality,
to support one another."
VOYA: "Carlos, fifteen,
has never had sex. No girl has ever agreed to a one-night hookup with him. He
has never even been kissed, and his dream girl, Roxy, does not even know he exists.
Certain that it is his gangly, rumpled appearance that puts girls off, Carlos
asks his gay classmate Sal to effect a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy-style total
image makeover. Sal agrees but drives a hard bargain: in exchange for the makeover,
Carlos must co-found a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at their high school with Sal.
Carlos tries to keep the makeover, his budding friendship with Sal, and most of
all, his involvement in the GSA a secret from his best friends-handsome jerk Playboy,
supportive Pulga, and athletic Toro-but the difference in Carlos's appearance,
behavior, and attitude are remarkable. As in his Rainbow trilogy-Rainbow Boys
(Simon & Schuster, 2001/VOYA December 2001); Rainbow High (2004/VOYA December
2003); Rainbow Road (2005/VOYA October 2005)-Sanchez goes beyond common issues
of anxiety surrounding sexuality and peer perceptions to get at deeper issues
like male body image, how boys negotiate friendships and vulnerabilities in romantic
relationships, sexuality in Latino culture, and the increasing number of GSAs
in schools across the country. Sanchez's workmanlike but jaunty, conversational
prose is well suited to his subject matter. This title's sexual frankness may
make it a controversial choice, particularly for school libraries in more conservative
communities, but its themes, appeal, and readability make it a nearly essential
Getting It teaches young teens to stand up for themselves, even if
they get teased. It also teaches readers that friends will like you for who you
are, whether you are gay or not. Otherwise they are not truly your friends. Overall
I think this is a great book, and it will teach you a few life lessons."
Library Journal: Grade 7 Up "Carlos Amoroso, 15, loves video games,
junk food, and hanging out with his buddies. The only thing he can't do is get
a date with sexy, popular Roxy Rodriguez. After watching Queer Eye for the Straight
Guy, he approaches a gay classmate, Sal, for a makeover. Sal agrees but insists
that Carlos help him start a Gay-Straight Alliance at their predominantly Hispanic
Texas high school. Carlos is conflictedwhat if his friends think he's gay,
too? In the process, the teen learns how to clean, dress, clear zits, and talk
to girls. He also learns how to be honest with himself, and how to tell people,
including his macho father and homophobic buddies, how he really feels. ... the
truth of the story and familiar, realistic characters quickly engage readers.
The dialogue is pointed and natural, and the characterizations and plot emerge
deftly from conversation, especially teenage trash talking. Sanchez's usual good-natured
humor flavors Sal and Carlos's tumultuous friendship. The easy pace and farcical
Cyrano de Bergerac meets Queer Eye construct of the novel is deceptive: the mood
is wholly emotional as hate is exposed everywhere and even the minor characters
discover new truths. This sweet, simple examination of homophobia and friendship
is a welcome addition to the genre, especially for reluctant readers."
Lewis, New York Public Library