Sanchez, Alex. Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Simon & Schuster, 2011. 217 pages. ISBN 978-1-41693-773-9
Lance is searching for a new boyfriend online. He found this guy who seems like he will be perfect, his name is Sergio. Lance, and his best friend Allie, are going to meet Sergio at the mall, and Lance is beyond nervous and excited at the same time. And on the Sergio’s side he is also beyond nervous, especially after just getting over a terrible break-up with his girlfriend. He is bring his best friend Kimiko along for moral support. When Lance and Sergio meet they hit it off and plan for another date this coming weekend. Allie and Kimiko also hit it off and plan to hang out. Allie can’t quite explain it but she feels something when she is around Kimiko. Lance discovers that Sergio is bisexual and has a hard time understanding how that can be. Sergio doesn’t want to feel pinned down into another relationship and keeps an open book. Allie realizes that she really likes Kimiko and may be a lesbian. And Kimiko really likes Allie, but can’t understand why she would like her. And this leads to one great big drama mess that ultimately works out in the end.
This is one of the first books I have stumbled across that covers all angles of sexuality. A lot of books have one or the other, but this book has gay, bisexual, lesbian and straight characters. Lance is gay, he meets a guy online, Sergio, who claims he is bisexual, but Lance cannot understand how anybody could be bisexual and is trying to come to terms with this idea. Allie, Lance’s best friend, has a boyfriend, but after meeting Kimiko, Sergio’s best friends, who is a lesbian, she starts to have feelings that she can’t quite place and now she is struggling with the idea of being a lesbian, or at least bisexual. This novel has a lot of ups and downs, struggles and hardships that people face every day, but don’t always like to talk about. A beautiful story that should be read by all so that they might better understand what some people struggle with, if they don’t already know that is. Sometimes it is hard to understand the feelings that other people have and this book does a great job of talking about those feelings. Four people with four different sexual orientations are able to become friends and come to understand each other after they are able to talk about their feelings and differences. This shows you that talking about how you feel is very important.
Four people, four desires. Will they come to an understanding they can live with?
Alex Sanchez was born in Mexico to parents of German and Cuban heritage. He is the author of the Rainbow Boys trilogy of teen novels, along with The God Box, Getting It, and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel So Hard to Say. His novel, Bait, won the 2009 Florida Book Award Gold Medal for YA fiction. Alex received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor, His newest novel, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, was released in 2011.
When he was in college he dreamed about becoming a writer. However, he worked as a counselor for ten years. During those ten years, he began his idea for a novel of gay teens and their families. While writing his first novel he wanted it to be upbeat and encourage empathy, but it ended up be an agent of social change. Since publication of Rainbow Boys, he has be bombarded with emails from empowered young people. He now lives in Florida, Thailand, and on his website http://www.alexsanchez.com.
Lance is gay. Sergio is bisexual. Kimiko is a lesbian. And Allie is undecided at the moment, but she is leaning towards lesbian.
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Why I included this book:
Sanchez is a great go to author when you want a good GBLT novel. I saw this one on one of the slides for the genre presentations and thought I would use it.