aka YA Literature

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World

Ok, as the resident gay here at A True Reality, I felt it was time for me to finally critique some of the prominent gay literature out there for teens...so here are three of my favorites.

Title: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Rating: B+

The Good: Ok, I loved the fact that this is merely a simple love story. The book didn't really seem like a "gay" love story, but somehow tapped into a more universal understanding of relationships, which anyone can relate to.

The Bad: I didn't really care for the unrealistic setting of Mr. Levithan's novel. I mean, a high school with a quarterback who's a drag queen....

Title: Rainbow Boys
Author: Alex Sanchez
Rating: A-

The Good: Rainbow Boys is perhaps the most realistic portrayal of gay life (at least gay life as I've known it.) It has a rawness that most YA books seem afraid to touch...I mean, the teens in this book actually have sex (of course, all graphic details are left out.) The book breeches several of the key issues gay teens face - bullying, safe sex, HIV/AIDS, and the struggle of finding one's self.

The Bad: I have found that there is a standard format for most gay teen literature. Usually there are 3 character types: 1) the average boy that floats the middle range of the high school social ladder; 2) the openly gay character that is extremely flamboyant and hated by most of the student body; and 3) the closeted super jock (quarterback, captain of the basketball team). I found that Rainbow Boys falls too heavily into this overly-used format.

Title: Geography Club
Author: Brent Hartinger
Rating: B-

The Good:
I really liked how prominently the Internet played in the teens meeting other gays. I also liked the underground nature of the student's gay organization....both very realistic aspects.

The Bad: As with Rainbow Boys, I felt that this book relied too heavily on the 3 archetype characters. This was by far the weakest of the three novels I've reviewed.


Holly said...

Good post. I think if I had read Geography Club before Rainbow Boys, then I might have liked it better. But since I read it second, I was like...didn't I already read this?
Boy Meets Boy is definitely the best.

Sheryl said...

I've been waiting for this post! Have you read Dramarama?