cover image Getting It

Getting It

Alex Sanchez, . . S&S, $16.95 (210pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-0896-8

Sanchez (Rainbow Boys ) begins with an intriguing premise: inspired by the TV show Queer Eye , 15-year-old Carlos Amoroso asks Sal, the gay guy at school, to make him over so he can stop being a "girlfriend-less virgin." Sal agrees, in exchange for Carlos's help with forming a Gay-Straight Alliance. As Sal helps Carlos fix up his room and shop for clothes—and even eat better—he also teaches Carlos to be more honest and to stand up for what is right. The story goes on a bit too long, but the author presents an authentic if somewhat raw world here: the characters describe their hookups, many of which begin with the Web; his friends tell Carlos about the "hookup rules" that explain why his crush, Roxy, ignores him the day after they make out. The author also gives readers valuable information and ideas: his mother's boyfriend tells Carlos of the importance of condoms; when forming the GSA, Carlos tells his uncooperative principal that "because of, um, a Supreme Court decision... you have to allow the club"; and Sal speculates about why gay guys have style ("None of the guys will come near you—and you try to figure out why. So you notice things—how people dress, wear their hair, decorate their room"). In the end, it is sensitive-but-flawed Carlos and his struggle to do right that keeps this story grounded. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)