RAINBOW BOYS: GAY YOUTH BOOK OF THE
YEAR Review by Eric Eshl
would be insufficient praise to call Rainbow Boys
the gay youth book of the year simply because Alex
Sanchez's debut novel is even more than that -- it's one
of the year's ten best, regardless of genre and intended
The Rainbow Boys of the story's
title are three very different high school seniors.
There's Kyle, a smart and quiet swimmer who'd
almost fit in if it weren't for his best friend,
Nelson -- or "Nelly," as he's taunted on a daily basis.
Nelson, the official school fag, sports numerous
piercings, wild haircuts and wants to start a
Gay-Straight Student Alliance. And then there's Jason
Carillo, the superjock, the dreamboat, the most popular
guy in school, who, in this tale, just happens to be
From the first chapter of Rainbow
Boys, Sanchez hits the ground running. Not since
Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City have I read
a book featuring gay characters that wouldn't let me put
it down. Technically, Rainbow Boys is a teen
novel -- about teens, for teens, written in a style that
teens will have no trouble reading. But anyone,
regardless of age, will find something to like about
this book. Rainbow Boys is charming, compelling
and too socially relevant to ignore.
importantly, gay and questioning youth will find
Rainbow Boys to be nothing short of a revelation.
Kyle, Nelson and Jason are as real as you're going to
find in gay fiction today. The dialogue and situations
that kick off and propel the story and its characters
toward their destinies are familiar and fresh, realistic
and fascinating, shocking and satisfying.