RAINBOW HIGH


Jason, Kyle, and Nelson have each come a long way since running into each other at a gay youth meeting at the start of senior year. 

Nelson Glassman may have been exposed to the HIV virus and is terrified of testing positive . . . but what if being positive is the only way to keep the guy he's in love with?

Kyle Meeks finally has the guy of his dreams and is ready do anything to stay by his side . . . but will "anything" include sabotaging his own future?

Jason Carrillo knows he has to face his future and is prepared to face it out and gay . . . but is he prepared to let go of the dream that has sustained him all his life? 

Now, as their high school days draw to a close and these three friends move toward one of life's most defining crossroads, each will be compelled to choose his own direction - and prepare for the consequences.

Honors and Awards:

  • New York Public Library 2004 "Book for the Teen Age"

  • Children's Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 

  • Lambda Literary Award Finalist
     

Read the praise (warning: reviews contain "spoilers"):
 

From Publisher's Weekly:  Sanchez returns to the lives of Nelson, Kyle and Jason-the three likable gay characters he created in Rainbow Boys, infusing his sequel with romance and humor. As the author rotates through the connecting stories, even readers unfamiliar with the first book will quickly be engrossed: Nelson is dating HIV-positive Jeremy; Kyle's been accepted to Princeton, but doesn't want to go to college away from his boyfriend, Jason; and Jason risks his own college scholarship when he comes out to his basketball team and catches the media's attention. As with the first novel, the author incorporates some education along with the plotting: in addition to facts about HIV, for instance, complementary story lines demonstrate how Jason and Kyle's coaches each deal with the boys' sexuality (in Jason's case: "By handling the whole thing the way he had, Coach had shown the team they could handle it"). Readers may be more likely to get swept up in Nelson's fights with his mom over his right to date Jeremy, Jason's on-camera denial of having a boyfriend, and of course, the steamy love scenes; indeed this novel shares many of the characteristics of a typical teen romance novel ("In the three-way mirror [Jason's] tall, handsome reflection extended time after time toward infinity.... Kyle thought himself the luckiest boy on earth"). The author expertly mixes coming-out issues with the universal complications of first love in this novel that culminates in the boys' senior prom. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) 
 

From KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick:  Now in their senior year of high school, the three gay youths we first met in Rainbow Boys are struggling with new issues. Wisecracking, impulsive Nelson, who is "out and outrageous," is being tested for HIV and is dating an HIV-positive guy, to his mother's dismay. Shy Kyle is seeing Jason, and he worries that being accepted to Princeton will mean the end of their relationship; he also must cope with the anti-gay gibes of his fellow swim team members. Meanwhile, popular basketball star Jason has decided to come out to his coach, his teammates, and the public, and becomes a role model of a different kind, but has his college scholarship revoked as a result. The opening of the novel summarizes the main events of the prequel, so that it's not necessary to have read the first book to become absorbed in the ups and downs of the boys' lives in this one. Sanchez, a counselor whose mission is promoting tolerance, illuminates various facets of adolescent gay life through his characters, and includes detailed information at the back of the book on organizing a peer group, issues with parents, violence and hate crimes against gays and lesbians, human rights campaigns, HIV and AIDS, teen sexuality and suicide, and services on the Internet. But the book is not just a polemic (and there's no graphic sex, if you're wondering); it's an involving story of growing up, not just growing up gay, and it deserves a wide readership. KLIATT Codes: S-Recommended for senior high school students. 2003, Simon & Schuster, 256p., Ages 15 to 18.

 

From School Library Journal:  Gr 10 Up-Nelson Glassman and Kyle Meeks, best friends for many years, are gay teens at Walt Whitman High School. Kyle becomes romantically involved with basketball jock Jason Carrillo, while Nelson embarks on a strained relationship with Jeremy, who has tested positive for HIV. Jason comes out to his teammates and endures public scrutiny on television, eventually losing his athletic scholarship. On the homefront, Kyle's parents desperately want him to attend Princeton, although this would mean leaving Jason behind, and Nelson's mother insists that he end his relationship with Jeremy. Throughout these vicissitudes, the young men provide support for one another as graduation approaches. Sanchez has written a respectable sequel to the noteworthy Rainbow Boys (S & S, 2001). He has a definite feel for the thoughts, feelings, and speech patterns of contemporary high school students, and his characters are believable, although perhaps not as fully developed as one would like. The narrative flows smoothly, with plenty of soap-opera dramatics to keep readers interested and a steamy scene or two to boot. Mature YAs will identify with the problems and decisions these individuals must face.-Robert Gray, East Central Regional Library, Cambridge, MN

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