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The Mariposa Club

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  32 reviews
As they embark on their final year of high school, the Fierce Foursome—Maui, Trini, Isaac, and Liberace—decide to do something big, something that will memorialize their friendships for when they all go their separate ways and begin their new “adult” lives.

Already accustomed to the hardships that come with being openly gay in high school (not to mention in their homes), th
Paperback, 246 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Alyson Books
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Average rating 3.46  · 
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Jeff Erno
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Mauricio Gutierrez is a seventeen-year-old, openly-gay student at Caliente High School in southern California. He and his three best friends Isaac, Trini, and Liberace make up what they affectionately refer to as the "Fierce Foursome". They set out to bring change to their small-town, largely-Hispanic high school by starting a gay/straight alliance group. They dub it the "Mariposa Club".

The story is told by the voice of Maui, and he clearly is the most sensitive of the four. He lives with his P
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a super quick, easy read. It wasn't as dark as I thought it would be from the synopsis - which isn't a bad thing. (Although reading the synopsis back, it's literally not true. It says stuff happens that doesn't, so I'm not sure about that...)
It was refreshing that things didn't have to go waaaaaay bad for the characters, just your usual high school things.

I did find pretty much every character unlikable though. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for unlikable characters that have depth or a l
lola Franco
Aug 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-class
i wanted to like this book much more. but really i had some major problems with it. one, the cover. they are the fierce foursome, and yet there are only 3 boys on the cover. all very light. which is fine, except gonzalez says two are dark skinned, and one is heavy. two, the use of the pronoun she, in referring to the four boys. not one of was transgendered, and it wasn't always consistent. i found it confusing. third, the cover says that something will happen that will bring the community togeth ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer
3.5? I was excited about this because it was giving me early 2000's vibes and it's an overall important book. It was an earlier queer YA novel with gay Mexican Americans. It was funny and cute, and I found many parts relatable. It was dramatic at times, many of those justified, and then ridiculous other times but that was okay. It wasn't the best thing written, not even that close, but I appreciate it so much. ...more
Ashley Owens
Dec 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: queer, latinx
This just wasn't that well done in my opinion? All of the "that's 'so-and-so' behind his back" lines repeated over and over again, and the way the narrator would sometimes slip into speaking directly to the reader, and the exaggerated dialogue... it needed some fine tuning. I really wanted to love the story and characters, but couldn't get past the writing to feel for anyone. ...more
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Mariposa Club is a decent coming of age story that has engaging characters and a youthful appeal. The situations and especially the cast are all exaggerations. They’re extreme depictions of tropes and themes surrounding gay teens. There is the flaming overweight queen, the fierce cross dresser, token white boy with a big dick, and the very sensitive, thoughtful Mexican narrator. None of the characters particularly grow or mature over the course of the story even though the plot is heav
Elisa Rolle
I’m always a little worried when I read a Young Adult / Coming of Age novel, since I really care for these young men and I don’t want anything bad to happen to them. That is maybe the reason why, most time than not, I check the last pages to be sure the above young men are all fine at the end of the novel. In The Mariposa Club it’s even more a chance since there are four of them: Lib, Trini, Isaac and Maui, the narrative voice. They are all 17 years old at their last year in high school and surp ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
The diversity of books directed at gay and lesbian teens is rapidly expanding, and it is a great leap forward that this young adult novel focuses almost entirely on Mexican-American teenagers. Almost all movies, television shows, and novels are populated by Caucasian characters, completely ignoring the wide diversity that exists out there in the world. Because of this, many people feel ignored and underrepresented in the world. To actually have a book that could speak to a minority group, that a ...more
Jose Moran
Mariposa Club is about a group of high school boys, who through being bullied based on their homosexuality, have forged a strong friendship. As their senior year begins, they want to leave a lasting impression at their high school, and most importantly, their senior yearbooks. The book follows the first semester of their senior year, as they try and get together a social club at the school. There are three seniors, one of which crossdresses and a junior who is destined to be valedictorian for hi ...more
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Published in 2009, it’s a book that depicts queer Latinx teens from a small Southern California town. Gonzalez includes several storylines effortlessly but the book suffers from major YA tropes. The internalized homophobia that Maui experiences resonated with me. The depiction of several father-son relationships allowed for a varied representation and a hopeful one that is needed in the Latinx community. Maui as a protagonist is an interesting choice since he is the most shy and subtle of the Fe ...more
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, glbt
I can’t decide if this book accurately reflects gay adolescents in 2009, when it was published, or not. The flamboyance the four young protagonists display seems unrealistic to me. Nevertheless, it does a good job of highlighting the prejudice and other difficulties young gay men have to face, and it does so with fascinating characters and a plot-line that focuses on the ya-relevant themes of friendship and loyalty, family and independence.

I do think the dust-jacket blurb actually misrepresents
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it
A bit more haunting than I expected.
Beagle Lover (Avid Reader)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Herrera
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Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, glbtq, 2010
Maybe my expectations were a little too high?

The book was good, but it could have been so much better. Halfway through, I started not caring for the main character. His childish outbursts were so sudden and surprising. This is written in first person, I felt none of what he felt and no reasoning from him that would let me be on his side.

And the book is called the Mariposa Club, a very clever name. But the club never happened...that I could tell. They got the go-ahead to have it, Lib made tons of
Sep 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-read, ya-lgbt
The "Fierce Foursome" are the gay boys at Caliente High in California. The four find safety in numbers, enduring the hardships of being in high school. Maui suggests starting a GLBT club, since they are senior and want to see their picture in the yearbook -- proof that they were there; proof that they existed. They want to call it "The Mariposa Club" -- the Spanish for butterfly. But the events of their last year in high school is full of events that change their thoughts, ideas, and plans for t ...more
Sep 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt-literature
This book was ok.

i had a few problems that were mentioned in other reviews
The use the pronoun she when Mauricio was talking about his male friend was confusing, especially since he was the most conventional “jeans and t-shirt” kind of teen
the picture on the cover shows only three guys, but the story is about four high school seniors.
the blurb on the back cover was an inaccurate description of the story
the last two issues are sometimes out of the control of the author.
The mariposa club never got
May 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I have to admit, I am just a tad bit disappointed with this book. I don't know why. Maybe because none of the guys really represent me as a gay man. There was just something about it that didn't make me go wow! Maybe it's because I had high expectations for some reason. Maybe because the 2 guys I wanted to be together didn't end up together. Not sure.

Overall good, but not wow!
Marjorie Elwood
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbt
Four gay friends, as they go about their final year of high school. The emotions rang true, although the ending was a little quick. The protagonist was by turns self-indulgent, insecure, and a caring, deep thinker: in sum, much like many teens. That most of the main characters were Latino added another welcome layer.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt-fiction
Very good book. It had a very surprise ending that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a little difficult for me to establish the characters because they each had nicknames too. It was worth the effort to determine who was who and finish the book.
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: year-2012
This was an okay book. I've read better but I've also read worse. The Mariposa Club reminded me of Rainbow High and Geography Club. The book is bittersweet but real when it addresses young teens that are forced to leave their homes and find ways to survive the street. ...more
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I expected more, tbh. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and, for the first time in my YA reading, the characters really felt very young (and not in a good way). I ended up skimming most of it. ...more
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-ya
I had to mark this "read" without finishing it. It's great to see teenlit about GLBT Latino kids, but the writing is poor and the overwrought plot fails to engage. ...more
Lots to admire here, but I feel the story needs to be tighter. Would benefit from another round or two of editing.
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Considering the inexcusable dearth/whitewashing of GLBTQ kids of color in fiction (as well as in real life), I'm giving this book an automatic five stars--sight unseen. ...more
Katharine Holden
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Unrealistic dialogue, rather silly plot twists, and characters who don't seem real. Also, back cover copy obviously written to make uninteresting book sound more exciting. ...more
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