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The God Box

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,208 ratings  ·  261 reviews
How could I choose betwen my sexuality and my spirituality, two of the most important parts that made me whole?

High school senior Paul has dated Angie since middle school, and they're good together. They have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir and being active in Bible club. But when Manuel transfers to their school, Paul has to rethink his l

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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
22nd out of 751 books — 1,903 voters
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LGBT for YA
21st out of 298 books — 500 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alex
I read this in one day and I didn't skip work!

I started this morning, where I read the note in the front: "To those who believe in a loving God and those who struggle to love themselves." That's all I got, but it had my attention.

The first line of the first chapter did that too: "Sex and religion don't mix," my grandma once told me.

Pablo (err..Paul), our narrator, has a great voice. Okay, he's struggling with something and it makes me want to smack him around sometimes, but he's REAL. He loves
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Deeze
A very thought provoking read. All schools should have a copy of this in their library.

ETA On a second reading I found this as emotional as the first.

I love how Manuel explains his thoughts against Pauls thoughts. Maybe because I have no deep religious beliefs this works so well for me.

I still think this kind of book should be part of schools standard reading.
Sophia Chilver
Wow.

This one was hard to read, because it hit so close to home for me. Actually, my Dad mailed it to me about four months after I'd moved in with my Grandparents - a full year after he'd come out to us. I was actually quite pissed that he'd sent me the book, because I wasn't mad at him for being gay. I was mad at him for pretending to be straight. I just didn't know how to tell him that. That was June of 2011.

So I picked up this book rather reluctantly after it had sat, not-quite-forgotten on m
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Ozimandias
This is a great book for a whole lot of reasons. First of all, the main characters are Mexican American, which adds a different perspective to the age old controversy over sexuality and religion. It allows the author to add in more general issues of identity. Straight Paul is a mask worn by Gay Pablo, and he realizes the importance of both by the end of the book. Secondly, it deals with religion in a very nuanced fashion. It of course confronts the religious homophobes for misusing the Bible to ...more
Edward
Mar 28, 2008 Edward rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gay Teens, Open Christians
I have enjoyed all of Alex Sanchez's (Rainbow Boys) books to date but this one somehow touched me more than all of the others. This book ranks right up with David Leviathan’s "Boy Meets Boy" in my opinion. Set in West Texas, the story is a familiar one; boy comes to new school and upsets the status quo. The twist is that the school is located in a conservative Christian community, and the new boy, Manuel is both gay and deeply religious. Most affected by Manuel's arrival is Paul, a popular boy w ...more
Katherine Marple
"The God Box" was about Paul (Pablo) and coming to terms with whether or not he's actually gay. The Christian belief (atleast in that small town) is that being gay is sinful, yet how can it be sinful if it's just a matter of falling in love?

"The God Box" is loaded with challenges- Can you test god? Can you test your faith? Can you test what's in your heart and learn to be honest with yourself- regardless of what others think?

Now, I titled this "coming from an outsider" because I'm just an avid
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Allison
This was more a tract than a story... it was a discussion of what is said about homosexuality in the Bible, and how people can form a belief system that both includes God and being gay. The characters and what plot existed (the only plot was basically the closeted & Christian main character coming to terms with who he is, and integrating being okay with being gay into his Christian belief system) were basically an excuse for the aforementioned examination of the intersection of homosexuality ...more
Alex
Mar 19, 2014 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: lgbt

I finished The God Box by Alex Sanchez last week.

This is not a book I would have ever selected for myself. While I read a lot of books with an LGBT element, I am not fond of books with a major religious theme. However, a friend of mine said this was one of his favorite books and since he has read some of my favorites and liked them a lot I decided to give it a shot.

I should be clear when describing my reactions that I am an atheist. I have no problem with religion itself as it applies to peopl

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William Miles
Wonderful book! I wish it had been around when I was a teenager. I even wrote a quick note to the author thanking him for it!
Brandy Shark
Feb 09, 2012 Brandy Shark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gay teenagers, gay christians, those who support gay rights
Shelves: ya, lgbtq
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Travis
Jan 06, 2011 Travis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Paul is a Christian teen who has been dating his best friend Angie since middle school, but while he loves her, he feels no attraction towards her. Every night he prays that God will make him attracted to girls and take away his feelings about guys. Then he meets Manuel, who is a Christian and gay and sees nothing contradictory about that. As Paul and Manuel become closer, he starts to question what he's been taught about the evils of homosexuality.[return][return]I won't lie. This book is as su ...more
Nicholas Armstrong
This doesn't ruin anything about the novel that isn't obvious within the first 5 minutes of reading this, but, being neither gay or religious, there wasn't a whole lot of appeal for me in this. I did like seeing how one might struggle with the conflict between religion and reality; that is, what a person is born as (sexual orientation), and what their decided religion tells them that should be. Too many of the arguments were too tired and cliche for me, though. The bible passages and 'debates' w ...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page

High school senior Paul has dated Angie since middle school, and they're good together. They have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir and being active in Bible club. But when Manuel transfers to their school, Paul has to rethink his life. Manuel is the first openly gay teen anyone in their small town has ever met, and yet he says he's also a committed Christian. Talking to Manuel makes Paul reconsider thoughts he has kept hidden, and list
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Jeff Erno
Paul is a high school senior in a small Texas town, and he is devoutly religious. Everything in his life is right on track. He’s an outstanding student, he’s sustained a longstanding relationship with his girlfriend Angie, and he is very active in his high school and church. Both Paul and Angie are committed Christians, and they love their church, their school, and their country.

When a transfer student named Manuel arrives at their high school, he threatens to completely derail Paul’s “on-track
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Sarah
I'm not Christian, so maybe this book didn't really resound with me because my eyes kept glossing over at all the bibley parts and I struggled to stay focused. However there were a lot of really great things in this book. I loved the stronger focus on Mexican culture and identity that Sanchez brought and I loved that he had an "ex-gay" character. I liked that the main character was too scared to start a GSA and that he had no gay role models, which made his fear and nervousness more believable. ...more
Maicie
I almost put this book down. I thought I had accidently grabbed some Christian literature…which I seldom read. Too preachy and I don’t need my shortcomings pointed out in a book, thank you very much. That’s why I have a mother.

There is more scripture quoted in this book than a church pamphlet on Sunday morning. Manual is a newcomer to an ultra-conservative school and openly admits he is gay. The majority of his classmates, as well as many teachers, are just as openly anti-gay. Both sides are usi
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Alexandra Middleton
I'm not sure if I'll ever finish this book. I've read about three or four chapters, and I'm ready to hurl it at the wall, despite the fact that I'm reading it on my BlackBerry PlayBook and doing so would result in a loss of £120. From reading the summary and seeing the cover/title, I knew it was about homosexuality and religion. The premise sounded quite interesting. But the crappy grammar combined with the Bible quotes and a group of teenagers readily throwing scripture at their friends just go ...more
Phil Ansell
Fantastic!! Alex Sanchez tells a touching story of Paul, a Christian teenager who is really struggling with his confusing and developing homosexual feelings. His world is opened and challenged when he meets out and proud teenager Manuel.

The story is brilliant and wonderfully written but what I absolutely loved was how Alex Sanchez addressed and challenged pretty much every Bible passage that appears to condemn homosexuality, and especially those that the Church and certain Christian groups use a
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Elisa Rolle
Homosexuality and christianity are two concepts that is no easy to put in the same sentence without them being at the opposite.

Paul is the perfect teenager: a beloved son, an attentive boyfriend, a good friend, he is perfect in anything he wants to achieve. But I felt something uneasy in Paul, a drive to be accepted that is almost unhealthy: Paul is a latino american, but when he moved to Texas with his parents, he was the odd kid out and the only to accept him was Angie, a kid his same age who
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K
Aug 22, 2008 K rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K by: Robb
Shelves: teens
Hispanic Jesus lover Paul had always prayed that God would take his gay feelings away so he could love his girlfriend Angie like a "normal" red-blooded Texas high school student. This all starts to change with the arrival of Manuel, a cute and openly gay boy from Dallas who also happens to be Christian and extremely good at explaining how the scripture's condemnations of homosexuality are not actually legitimate reasons for people to hate gay people. Manuel's winning personality and powers of pe ...more
George
I was initially afraid that these characters would sound the same as the ones in the Rainbow Boys series, but luckily I was wrong. The story still had a unique voice, despite covering familiar ground: coming out, high school, and family issues. The major issue that this book tackles in a pretty great way is homosexuality and the bible. Tough topic, right? I know!
I wish I was much more familiar with the bible so I could form my own opinions on what the big book has to say on the issues the char
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Brian
Another good read from Alex Sanchez.

This is a heart tugging story of the struggle one young man suffers as his religion runs counter to his being.

There is so much to love about this book. The story is well thought out, the main characters are captivating. The only complaint, and perhaps its because I'm a bit too jaded, is that the big plot twist seemed more expected and not surprising.

I love that these characters aren't the typical, white teen boys who seem to populate so much YA gay fiction. Th
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Holyfool


if you are of age of 12 and very very into religious this book is for you, otherwise
this book is as painful to read as getting a freaking cavity in your wisdom tooth.
the terms of endearment through the book are more painful than drilling out that cavity without novacaine.
mr. sanchez drags and drags the same religious subject and well know theme over and over again like
an insane merry go around ride sans an operator that is willing to stop this sick and redundanted ride.
this book was classifie
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Dorothy
I planned on reading 20 or 30 pages of this before I went to bed last night (at 1am). I've read most of Sanchez's other books and found this in the library today and picked it up. I absolutely couldn't put it down once I started. I don't know what it was that kept me turning the pages. It's not like it's suspenseful, but I was so... drawn?... to Paul and Manuel and I just wanted to KNOW what happened. Every other page, I kept saying "I'll go to bed at the end of this chapter" but I never did. I ...more
Hannah Stein
The God Box by Alex Sanchez truly challenges a reader to look at LGBT rights from a different perspective. A high school boy has dated his girlfriend for a while, yet has always known that he has an attraction to men. That being said, Paul hides his feelings because of his strong religious convictions. But when Manuel, an openly gay student, comes to Paul's school he is challenged and begins to question his beliefs. Through discussion and debate, Paul begins to see that God's love for him still ...more
Suzanne
A.) This book is about a boy, Paul, a very religious person. He is dating a long time with Angie. On a day there is a new boy in school, named Manual. Manual comes in contact with Paul and his friends. Manual tells openly that he is gay and Paul. Paul doesn't want any contact with Manual first but after a long time start to hang out at each others house. Paul is starting to have feelings for Manual ( at the same time he is struggeling with this because of hs religion. On a day they go to the cin ...more
David Jones
This book was quite interesting because, as a Christian, it provided plenty of scripture that would guide Paul, the protagonist, through his world where homosexuality is not accepted while, at the same time, learning to love through the new kid at school, a gay teen named Manuel. Since it was Paul's senior year of high school, he was determined to make the best of it with his friends Angie, Dakota, and many others as a part of a Bible Study group and singer in a choir. However, with Manuel being ...more
Sofia
I love Alex Sanchez's books. Don't ask me for a favourite, because I don't have one, but this one and "So Hard to Say" are high on the list. The last time I read this book was around two years ago, maybe more.

When I started reading this book again (a few hours ago) I couldn't quite see why I had loved it so much. I still liked it, but I wasn't planning on giving it 5 stars.

And then I kept reading. And reading, and finally I just thought, "oh, that's why".

This is a beautiful book and it doesn't m
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Marsha
“Sex and religion don’t mix. The church should stay out of people’s pants.” With these opening words, the agenda and topic of this novel are presented right up front. You can’t say you don’t know what you’re getting into here.

This is an anguished and moving account of a modern problem that is of acute interest to today’s youth. It deals with the topics of religion, sexuality and bullying with sensitivity and truly accurate characterization. The reader is plunged headlong into the life of one con
...more
Jordan Traylor
Paul, is a high school senior and has dated Angie since middle school. Paul and Angie have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir, and being active in Bible club. But then Manuel, transfers to their school and Paul has to rethink his life. Manuel is the first openly gay teen at their school and yet he claims he's also a committed Christian. The closer Paul and Manual become the more Paul reconsiders the thoughts he has kept hidden. Also, Manuel's interpretation of Biblic ...more
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Alex Sanchez is the author of the Rainbow Boys trilogy of teen novels, along with The God Box, Getting It, and the Lambda Award-winning middle-grade novel So Hard to Say. His novel, Bait, won the 2009 Florida Book Award Gold Medal for YA fiction. Alex received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and for many years worked as a youth and family counselor. His ...more
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Rainbow Boys (Rainbow Trilogy, #1) Rainbow High (Rainbow Trilogy, #2) Rainbow Road (Rainbow Trilogy, #3) So Hard to Say Boyfriends with Girlfriends

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“What's unnatural is homophobia. Homo sapiens is the only species in all of nature that responds with hate to homosexuality.” 143 likes
“the church should just stay out of people's pants.” 73 likes
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