Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
224 Pages (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster
April 19, 2011
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 gay? 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 Girlfriendsis 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.
I don't really know what to think about this book. On one hand, it deals with very real, difficult teenage issues. But on the other, nothing really happens other than discussions of sexuality. But I guess that is was some teenagers need to want, what they needto read. With that said, it was a really quick read and I was entertained.
Boyfriends with Girlfriends follows four main characters. Lance, openly gay; his best friend Allie, bi-curious; Lance, bisexual; and his best friend Kimiko, lesbian. So obviously there was a lot of sexuality, curiosity and challenges for all of them. Each one of them faces their own journey; whether it is figuring out who you really are, embracing yourself, dealing with past, present and future girlfriends/boyfriends, or something else completely. The interesting part is that although each character is facing his/her own, unique, choices and revelations, their stories intertwine, reminding the reader of how similar people really are.
In case this is not obvious - this is not a "clean" novel. There is alot of graphic sexual activities and discussions. It is definitely provocative, no secret there. That is not necessarily a bad thing, I just felt the need to make the reader aware because I was not expecting that aspect.
So what I liked... I was kind of expanding my horizons by reading this book. I am straight (which really shouldn't be important), but I wanted to be able to empathize with what some teens go through. I couldn't even fathom how it would be to have to prove yourself to people who don't understand after just struggling to figure out who you really are. Boyfriends with Girlfriends helped me to see and start to relate to a whole side of people and barriers that never applied to me. The book is very dialogue driven, which helped create a more personal feeling, making it a great exploration in many different ways.
But that is just a view for people who aren't gay (I hate to use labels, but there is really no getting around it here). I'm sure teenagers who are gay, trying to figure out their sexual orientation, or even adults who wish there was a book like this when they were young will really enjoy title. It is filled with those confusing, awkward, consuming emotions that play with your mind leaving you even more confused and exhausted.
But... I do have a few criticisms... this book doesn't just focus on LGBT relationships, but it is the only thing that happens. There really isn't much of a plot, it is really focused on the characters, not what they do. Some people like this, some don't. It really depends on you. Also, some dialogue was really, really awkward. I know that these situations would, realistically, be awkward. Maybe it is just me, but some lines didn't seem real.
So there was good and bad - but then again, I wasn't really the target audience. I'm sure many people will really love this novel. If you are like me, open and want to understand, give this book a shot. If the content in this book are issues you are dealing with, I'm sure this book will be helpful and enjoyable.