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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  580 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan's piers, Chulito is a coming-out, coming-of-age love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop–loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters in his vibrant neighborhood. Chulito, which means "cutie," is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up—the owner of the ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Alyson Books
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Irregular, irrelevant, irrational. Ridiculous, tedious, pretentious... I can carry on like this but I won't.

There were several Spanish words. And I will tell you a secret: I wasn't thrilled about this.

Now let's come back to the crux of the matter: if I have to sum the story up in a few words I would say this is a nonsense. There were moments I was interested in the story and in Chulito. Those scenes usually were the life of Hispanic people in one of the troubled suburbs in New York. But that did
Larry Benjamin
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Chulito lingers in memory like a lover’s first kiss on the lips in the moonlight.

Reading Charles Rice-Gonzalez’s Chulito was a very personal experience for me. It’s set in the Bronx, where I also grew up: Hunts Point, Longwood Avenue, Parkchester—almost forgotten yet familiar. I could close my eyes and see the people and smell the odor peculiar to that part of the Bronx. Adlai Stevenson High School, was my high school and my eyes grew wide when he mentioned the University of Pennsylvania, which
Charles Rice-Gonzalez
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my book, so of course, I love it!
Well, I won't say I found this story beautiful, but I will definitely say there's beauty in it.

Sixteen-year-old Chulito, for starters. He's a cutie. On the first page of the book he's described as a Latino, hip hop version of Michelangelo's David.

Then the neighbourhood. Hunts Point, in the Bronx. The botegas. The Chinese/Korean restaurants. The auto glass guys. The corner where Chulito hangs out with the fellas. It was very well done and for me it was the best part in the story. I read in some
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This feels like a play, West Side Story, Hair, or Rent. The characters are iconic. When I first saw this book being read by a friend, I was wary of it. The setting and ethnicity of the story can easily be made into a farce by someone who hasn't experienced it. And that hurts, because I've been there and it's no joke. There's also the usual murder of our native language, Spanish, when words and phrases just yank me out of the story by how horribly mangled they are.

None of that happened here. Mr.
Val Kovalin
Feb 27, 2012 added it
Recommended to Val by: Edina Rose, Lauraadriana, Laddie
Some initial thoughts: Finished March 4.

(1) I'm really liking this kid Chulito. His name for his penis (Papito!), his epic sex dream -- it's all very funny, endearing, and realistic.

(2) I can see kind of a love triangle developing. I'm really curious about Kamikaze, if he's even aware of what he's doing. Not getting as much of sense of Carlos yet, but enough. He's still in the distance. I found Kaz very creepy because of his drug dealing and his refusal to provide for his infant son. Also, it s
Jeff Erno
This shit is dope.

Wow, what an amazing read. Chulito is a sweet-faced, thugged-out sixteen year old Latino, living in the Bronx. He's dropped out of school and works for his friend Kamikazee selling drugs. Chulito's best friend Carlos shocks the neighborhood when he comes out as gay, and Chulito is torn. He wants to be loyal to his friend, but he has to protect his reputation. To complicate matters, Chulito is struggling with his own sexual orientation, and though he tries to deny his attraction
Kaje Harper
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, ya
This is in many ways an amazing book, with characters who are not your typical M/M romance guys. I'm not qualified to judge their authenticity, but they and their setting rang completely true to me. The MC, Chulito, seems older than his supposed age, but as the song says, "you grow up quick when you grow up poor." He is a fascinating and conflicted guy, trying to reconcile the code of the streets on which he lives, and the anti-gay opinions of his group of friends, with his growing awareness tha ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
DNF at 70%. Sorry. Just couldn't get into it and I really tried considering that I was already bored out of my mind at like 10%. But some reviewers stated that this book just kept getting better and better...

Well, I certainly get where people are coming from when saying that this story felt real and managed to capture the Bronx and thug life quite well. While everything I know about ghetto, Bronx and gang life comes out of the Hollywood machinerie -and thus, I can't claim that the author actuall
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! This is the Bronx I grew up in. I know it may seem that in this hood... they were always at the brink of violence and maybe it seems like a tragic horrible place to grow up. It wasn't for me and I completely understand why Chulito and Carlos have this love-hate relationship with the neighborhood. It's home but you wanna get out, it's smells good and it stinks, your family and childhood friends are there but so are you enemies and the knuckleheads. I think setting this love story with ...more
What an incredible story! Everything felt so real. The locale, food, clothes, talk, people, music and the love story. This is really the kind of love story I want to read. I read so many MM books that are pretty much fairy tales in that the lives of the MC's are so easy and Chulito and Carlos have to live with the grit and grime of real life. This covered all of life, the pain, the joy, the mundane, the was a slice of real life. There were a few scenes that were kind of shocking to a C ...more
Trisha Harrington
I am not rating this book. I picked it up as YA. But putting it down, I don't know if it should be ya. Some of the scenes were not YA. Especially the first sex scene. To be honest I was not expecting that. I loved this book, but I hated it also. So leaving it unrated seems to be the only way I can accept the book.

(view spoiler)
Jan 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
DNF page 60

One star for mentioning my favorite foods....mofongo, pernil, arroz con gandules........the rest sucked.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Charles Rice-González took me into the world of the South Bronx, where 16 year old Chulito is living the rules of his neighborhood culture. Chulito is macho, in the drug game, and hangs with the fellas. He has also been harboring feelings for his long-time friend, Carlos, but being gay in his neighborhood means being an outcast and a target.

The setting is richly vivid and the characters complex and authentic. Chulito in some ways acts beyond his age because of his circumstances, but in others h
I was able to finish reading one book while surrounded by stressful family situations, mainly because that book just wouldn't let me go even through all my worries and stress. That says something about a book, yes? Of course, this is by no means a perfect book, plot-wise there are a couple of questions that are not answered by the end, but this is a minimal complaint from me compared to what it offered.

That book is Chulito by Charles Rice-González. This author co-edited and included a story in t
Maggie Simms

I really enjoyed this book. Both Chulito and Carlos (and also their surrounding cast) were compelling characters.

The author's cultural and local references felt very authentic. It made me feel like I was a fly on the wall visiting with Boricua friends in the Bronx while all this was going on.

Throughout the book Chulito struggles with his feelings towards Carlos as he wants to maintain his macho persona and his status/rank with the other machos in the 'hood. The pose are guys that do nothing but
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pride Month Rec #19: Chulito [the best M/M book I've ever read. Yeah.]


Not sure if I can pen a review that'll do it justice.

The best book I've read this year.

Also, this book should be subtitled FUCK THE QUEER TRAGEDY. Chulito makes a mockery of this trope, while staying true to life.

~*happy dances bc my pride month reading list is off to a great start*~
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: maleonmale
I had high hopes! Love the gangsta slang, loved the fact that I knew every hip hop artist referred in this book, loved that I knew what labels he was wearing....


The last half of the book didn't do it for me

MsMiz (Tina)
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-mobi, glbt-all
Not sure why it took me so long to finish this, but it was really very very good.
Taylor Donovan
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Loved Carlos and Chulito. I definitely liked Kamikaze. Read most of the story with a huge smile on my face. I'm Puertorican. What can I say? *g* ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-lgbtq-read
YA isn’t my favorite, but even though I am from rural WV and I couldn’t really relate to the many issues Chulito is having to deal with within the “hood,” I can certainly understand that making life-changing decisions at 16 or 17 years old is never an easy thing! Fear of the unknown or change, in general, is also never easy… but somehow we make those choices and decisions and move on. This was a very touching story of a young man coming to see his true self and learning what is right for him and ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The neighborhood and the characters within it are engaging and feel real. The author has a strength in writing his settings, but unfortunately it all outshined the main character and his plot
Christian Romero
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WOW. I love this book so much. It is absolutely a queer classic. Not only did I learn to love and accept myself more fully through reading the story of Chulito and Carlos, but I learned about the wonderfully rich Nuyorican culture of the Bronx. I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much I have. It was not a hyped title, and I found it by digging extensively through LGBTQIA literature recommendations on Google. The cover suggested to me a slight coming-of-age tale, but the prose and the laugh ...more
Stanley Clay
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing

As well demonstrated in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, there is nothing so exhilarating and tragic as young love struggling to blossom under the suffocating cloud of bacchanalian bigotry masquerading as stringent tradition. In homage to The Bard, first time novelist Charles Rice-Gonzalez has come up with a heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant coming-out and coming-of-age story of one such love.

Chulito is a beautiful and well-liked fifteen-year-old Puerto Rican high school dropout living in
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a lot of ways, Chulito is like a lot of urban 15 year olds. He shares an apartment with his single mother, he sells drugs and he’s a high school dropout. But, Chulito has a secret…he’s gay.

Oshun be praised!!! I loved this book!!! Okay, had to get that out of my system. Now, let me tell you about my Reviewers’ Find of the Week. According to his website, Charles Rice-González has a bunch of fancy degrees and is a very busy guy. He is the director of BAAD, The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Chulito is a sixteen-year-old Puerto Rican guy in a Bronx “hood”. He’s gangsta and is working as Kamikazee’s assistant, a position highly valued by the others. He spends most of his time chillin’ with the guys on the corner by the auto glass shop and turns his back on his childhood friend, Carlos, when the others are around. Carlos is a year older, but very smart and due to being advanced in school, he’s already completed one year of college.

He wasn’t going to come home at all this summer, but
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Startlingly Fine Debut Novel

Charles Rice-González has established himself as a communicator in journalism, as playwright, an expert in Latino culture in film, poetry, and theater and as an activist for LGBT rights. His background is both Puerto Rican and the Bronx and all of this background comes pouring through this excellent novel CHULITO.

Rice-González writes with a thorough comprehension of the lingo and the mannerisms of the characters that populate this book - a factor that not only adds
J.v. Petretta
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Charles Rice-Gonzalez brought to life a world I am totally unfamiliar with in his novel “Chulito”. I’m not referring to gay life, but that of the inner-city culture-specific neighborhoods. Written in everyday English, but blended with Spanish phrases, slang of the hip-hop generation, drug culture and "macho" hierarchy, I was invited into the hood! We get glimpses of it from TV shows, like "Law & Order SVU", but we get to feel it in "Chulito".

It’s tough enough to be an ethnic minority, but mix i
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a cute coming of age novel about a boy coming to terms with his sexuality and SPOILER: love for his best friend (and crush on his boss / closest friend). I loved the character development where Chulito didn't think he was gay in the beginning even though he had crushes on guys to him standing up to his life long homophobic friends for himself and Carlos' love.

I loved them sharing each other's worlds with each other, I loved how the Bronx was like an additional character, I loved th
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