cover image RAINBOW HIGH

RAINBOW HIGH

Alex Sanchez, Author . S&S $16.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-689-85477-4

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.)