Apr 29, 2011

Review - Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez

Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
April 19th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

From the Publisher:
Lance has always known he was gay, but he's never had a real boyfriend. Sergio is bisexual, but his only real relationship was with a girl. When the two of them meet, they have an instant connection--but will it be enough to overcome their differences?

Allie's been in a relationship with a guy for the last two years--but when she meets Kimiko, she can't get her out of her mind. Does this mean she's lesbian? Does it mean she's bi? Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out.

Boyfriends with Girlfriends is Alex Sanchez at his best, writing with a sensitive hand to portray four very real teens striving to find their places in the world--and with each other.

Two sets of friends, Lance and Ally, Serio and Kimiko, meet and sparks fly from every direction. Lance is a an openly gay 17-year-old who thinks that bisexuals are on the fence about thier sexuality. When he meets and falls for Sergio, a bisexual, Lance must come to terms with his own preconceived notions about what it means to be gay/bi. Lance likes to use the term, "bi now, gay later." Sergio doesn't find Lance's closed mind endearing. He wishes Lance accepted people for who they really are...themselves. Kimiko is Sergio's friend. She is comfortable with her gay status, but the problem lies with her parents. They have zero clue about Kimoko's attraction to other girls. When she meets Ally, Lance's straight friend, Kimiko starts to tire of living a double life.

The theme of this book is all about teen sexuality. That alone, and the title, may turn some readers away. For me, when I first glanced at the cover, I got an uneasy feeling. The title and cover *kinda, to me* suggest that there might be a little swapin' going on. Hey, people are free to do what they like, but I wasn't sure what message that would send teens. I am happy to report, if anyone cares, that there is no such switcheroo.

This book is a character driven read. We weave in and out between the heavy dialogue of these four teens. They try to make sense of what they are feeling and some try to make sense of where they fit in the world. Isn't that an age old question that? Who am I and where do I belong? Lance tries to put people into nice little boxes, while Sergio simply is who he is. The dialogue between the two are the best qualities of this book.

Stereotypes, even the good ones, are present. Kimiko wears mens clothing, and Lance loves show tunes. I would have liked to see a little diversity in the characters. Not racial diversity, character wise. Give us something new, something we haven't heard or read of time and time again. Personality traits and physical appearances were all a little cliche. Just my personal opinion.

Although I enjoyed this book and thinks it is a good addition to the GLBT lit community, it came off a little heavy handed for me. Meaning, the story seemed to want to cover every aspect of the gay community; gay, lesbian, bisexuality, etc...., in one story.I think the most intriguing part of this book is the relationship between Lance and Sergio. I wish, just a little wish, that the story stuck with them.  

3.5 Stars