Bibliographic information: Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Alex Sanchez. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $16.99. 217p. ISBN-13: 9781416937739.
Summary: 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.
Reading level and interest level: RL: 12 and up IL: 12 and up
Review: 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. 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. 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.
Readers’ annotation: Four people, four desires. What paths will they decide?
Bibliotherapeutic usefulness: This is an excellent novel for GLBTQ teens who are having a hard time understanding their feelings and need something that can give them some perspective on the subject. This book shows young adults that is a good idea to talk about their feelings with friends and family so they may better understand who they are and what they are feeling.
Issues present: This book has GLBTQ content that could be considered objectionable, but it is a great source for teen struggling with their sexual and gender identities. People have a right to choose how they want to live their lives and most of the time it is not even a choice, it is just who they are and they should be respected for who they are.
Booktalk ideas: Introduce characters – Lance is gay. Sergio is bisexual. Kimiko is a lesbian. And Allie is undecided at the moment, but she is leaning towards lesbian.
Genre or subject: Realistic Fiction: GLBTQ, relationships, love
Readalikes: Other Alex Sanchez novels, Boy Meets Boy, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Totally Joe, Kissing Kate
Author’s website: http://www.alexsanchez.com/
Awards: American Library Assn “Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers”, American Library Assn “Rainbow List”, Bankstreet College of Education Children’s Book Committee (2012) Best Children’s Books of the Year, Lambda Literary Award (2011) Finalist
Reviews: Booklist: http://www.booklistonline.com/Boyfriends-with-Girlfriends-Alex-Sanchez/pid=4566932; Kirkus Reviews: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/alex-sanchez/boyfriends-girlfriends/
Why I chose it: Sanchez is a great go to author when you want a good GLBTQ novel. I saw this one on a presentation in another class and thought I would read it.