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Rainbow Trilogy #3

Rainbow Road

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Jason Carrillo came out to his basketball team senior year and lost his university scholarship. Now, with graduation behind him and summer ending, he's asked to speak at the opening of a gay and lesbian high school across the country. But after spending years in the closet and losing his scholarship dream, what message can he offer?

Kyle Meeks is getting ready to go to Princeton in the fall and trying to see as much as possible of his boyfriend Jason before they have to separate. When Jason tells him about his speaking invitation, Kyle jumps at the chance to drive across country with him. Yet he can't help worrying: Will their romance survive two weeks crammed together in a car?

Nelson Glassman is happy his best friend Kyle has found love with Jason. Now he's looking for his own true love -- and hopes he might find his soul mate during the road trip. But will being the "third wheel" in a trio ruin his friendships with Kyle and Jason?

During an eye-opening postgraduation summer road trip, each of the three very different boys also embarks on a personal journey across a landscape of love, sexuality, homophobia, and above all, friendship.

243 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2005

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About the author

Alex Sanchez

14 books831 followers
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 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 newest book is a graphic novel from DC Comics, You Brought Me the Ocean. Find out more about Alex at www.AlexSanchez.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 208 reviews
Profile Image for karlé.
167 reviews28 followers
July 25, 2013
Opposites do attract. But similars stay together.

Idk why I stopped reading this trilogy in Summer but I'm really happy and proud that I stuck with it right through the very end.

Well first of all this is one of the best books from the trilogy!! I love how so many things had happened and not just one or two and it did just focus on Jason this time, thank God.


* this is a fast read just like the other books in the trilogy so why not give it a shot?

* i definitely fell in love with everything Nelson-related in this book


* i definitely cried on the

* next is the ending! at this book you forget the cheesiness (somehow) because the ending is very much realistic and so positive that you just can't stop grinning moments after you read the last pages

* i totally knew Nelson would

So why are you still reading this when you can have one of the most enjoyable 3 books of your life.
Profile Image for Steven.
50 reviews8 followers
January 9, 2011
This was a disappointment on several levels. I didn't feel it worked well as a road trip tale because the actual traveling parts of the story are thrown away - so much of it just becomes "they get up, they drive, they stop somewhere for the night". Very occasionally the locale that the boys are driving to has some bearing on the story, but most of the time the travelling just becomes something that has to be inserted on the way to the next plot point. It's also not great as the concluding part of the Rainbow trilogy - removing the characters from the school, their parents and their classmates removes a lot of what made the first two books interesting, and while exploring how they'd fare living out of each other's pockets was an interesting idea, it doesn't quite have the same impact. What doesn't help is that the same plot point gets recycled two or three times - someone loses/damages an object, everyone freaks out, lather, rinse, repeat.

There are some nice ideas in here - Kyle and Jason having to face the reality of their relationship, and the fact that neither one is quite the ideal that the other had perceived them to be, but it's not done with much subtlety, and the narrative descends into bickering too often. It recovers a little bit when they reach LA and it's released from the need to pay lip service to geography, but then tramples all over this recovery by trying to write a last-minute happy ending in for Nelson, which is sloppy, implausible and irresponsible.

The first two books may not have been perfect, but they were at least warm and readable. I suspect the story reached more of a natural conclusion at the end of book two, and perhaps it should've just stopped there.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for kornel Sanchez.
2 reviews2 followers
April 3, 2010
I've learned a lot from this book. Mainly that There musn't exist hatred toward GLBT people.They surely have feelings that Must be respected.They go through an eternal Hell to be more unsulted. we are not sick, that's just how we are born. I'm Bisexual. And so I do know the pain of such circumstances, the bullying, the names.(in my scenario hadn't been in those stages) But i've heard others talk about "US" with such disgust, and hate, with humiliation. And just like Jason, most of the time i said nothing. I kept myself quiet!!
now i know how truly coward i was. But now, after reading this book and others related about us, our lives, our love. I've gained courage to help those with trouble. I won't get myself Shut off, I'll rage into a Defender, to help "my Family" as Nelson call those of you like me and the rest. I characterize deeply with kyle, and Jason. Those two characters truly describe my personality, kyle the part of sweet, and smart, and Jason; being strong and courageous. Nelson's character is part of my family, our family and so i truly admire him, with respect. Those of you who have the guts to just show yourselves to the world with no remorse or fear, are all my heroes, You deserve all the due respect from a comrade like me. Go GLBT, Show your voice. Alex truly understand the "Family" in such amazing and pleasing way that just make me all happy to literally eat this and all his books. Thank You Alex Sanchez. *Hugs* & *Kisses* fellows
544 reviews6 followers
June 23, 2019
I’m exhausted

What a road trip. I could relate to Jason the most as he dealt with annoying Nelson. But by the end, like Jason, I’ll miss getting bothered by Nelson. Great characters and the writing kept me turning the pages to see how this disaster ends. 3.75 for WWJD
Profile Image for Josh.
330 reviews5 followers
May 18, 2010
What a wonderful way to end this trilogy! Alex Sanchez created three complex and interesting young gay men (Jason, Kyle, & Nelson) in his first novel "Rainbow Boys." Over the first two novels, the boys confronted serious issues about coming out in high school to parents, coaches, and teammates; creating a Gay-Straight Alliance; dealing with HIV; making a relationship work; and figuring out how to navigate the world as a gay teenager. All of these were issues not normally dealt with in young adult fiction which is what made these novels so remarkable and fantastic.

In this final book, Sanchez sends the boys on a road trip across the country, so Jason can give a speech at a brand new high school for gay and lesbian students. Like all great roadtrips, the boys interact with a broad spectrum of characters, the majority of them gay, lesbian, and bisexual. These encounters allow the characters to expand their horizons and grow comfortable with themselves as gay people and how diverse the gay community is. Over the two weeks on the road, the boys also learn about each other and each of their relationships are tested and strengthened. What's so great about all of this is the humor mixed with real emotional tension that's created by the different situations the boys find themselves in.

I love how Sanchez has allowed the reader to grow attached to these three young men over the three novels. We have shared in their experiences and growth as people. Alex Sanchez has given the gay community the novels we wished we had as we grew up in a world of Judy Blume and the many straight characters populating young adult novels. These novels allow young people to know they are not alone out there in the world and there are books that can speak to them on a deeper level. The author has sent his characters off into the sunset in a most wonderful way. I hope someday he revisits these characters because it would be great to catch up with them in their further adventures of their lives.
Profile Image for Menglong Youk.
401 reviews56 followers
June 22, 2015
I felt delighted and depressed at the same time after I finished the last book of the series. Feeling delighted because the series is very encouraging and gives me a lot of unexpected ideas to use whenever I have to support and defend my gay friends and my godbrother; feeling sad because in the last 5 days, this series has been my friend and kept me active. I feel like I were also in the book witnessing the whole story in order to tell the world that every human live is worth living and it should not be value by sexual orientation. Personality, passion and commitment are what should be taken into consideration instead. My favorite character is Kyle. Most of the time, he seems to be stable and situation-controller - sort of the leader of Jason and Nelson. This is my 6th all time favorite series and the first series of LGBT novel I've ever read.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
691 reviews86 followers
May 7, 2022
These boys are idiotic goons but they're my idiotic goons.

I loved getting to reread this trilogy so many years later. It gave me nostalgia for riffling through the shelves of libraries for books labeled 'older teens' and 'LGBT' (Anyone else remember LGBT before it had the 'Q?') and the kind librarians who shoved books into my hands.

It also reminded me of why I love YA so much. In so many ways, this book is way ahead of its time (early 2000s, the years of our lord and savior, David Levithan). Biracial afro-Latino MC, for example. Casual discussion of mental health and body image in queer youth. Queer Appalachia as a safe haven instead of a 'backwoods, backwards' cliche.

I'm so glad I took the time to reread this trilogy and cannot wait to make my way through the rest of Sanchez's novels this summer.

Profile Image for Gustaf.
1,413 reviews126 followers
October 19, 2017
Okay so... I have cried reading the books in this triology. I have recognised myself and seen my own story in it and i have a huge crush on Kyle. I wish i have known about the books earlier.
Profile Image for Jamie Fessenden.
Author 41 books376 followers
February 17, 2012
An enjoyable conclusion to the Rainbow Trilogy, in which our three heroes go on a cross-country road trip to California, so that Jason can speak at a new high school for gay teens.

The book is fun and well-written and a bit more adult than the previous two (characters actually have sex), though of course it doesn't contain anything explicit. But I had some issues with it:

1. It continues the preachy "Good boys don't have sex" attitude from the first two novels, though now that the boys are out of high school, it's been expanded to, "Good boys don't have sex, unless its in a committed monogamous relationship." Don't get me wrong -- I'm definitely in favor of safe sex and people being careful about who they sleep with. But Kyle spends so much time preventing Nelson from hooking up, it comes across as very old-fashioned and preachy. Then at the end, when Nelson finds a high school student who shares his fashion sense, Kyle is all for it and encourages them to have sex. Why is this total stranger okay, but the young man at the Radical Faeries group not okay?

2. I am rather tired of transvestites, drag queens and flamboyantly gay men going on road trips through "redneck country." It's a pretty cliched plotline by now (though the book was published in 2005, so I'll cut it a little slack). And Sanchez handles it like a guided tour through Queer America. "Now, if everybody will please look to the left, you may get a glimpse of the rare Transvestite Americanus...." Every night has a different queer group on the itinerary: gay pagans, transvestites, bullied gay kids, gay teens. We even have the obligatory psychotic gay bashers thrown in.

3. There was an interesting subplot being developed in which Nelson and Jason were starting to find each other sexually attractive, while simultaneously being horrified at the possible repercussions if they ever gave in to these feelings. At the end, we're left with a sort of "thank God we dogdged that bullet" feeling, which was vaguely unsatisfying. Maybe it would have been interesting to see that test the boys' relationships, rather than rather contrived situations they found themselves in.

4. The relationship that Nelson found himself in at the end was bizarre. After Kyle successfully prevented him from having sex with everybody else who was interested along the way, he meets one guy who has pink hair and suddenly it's True Love! I could see it happening, and I could see Nelson believing that it was True Love, but what I couldn't see was Kyle and Jason going along with it without reservation. It was way too fast and too pat a wrap up to Nelson's story arc.

Overall, the book was a lot of fun. I recommend the entire series. And Sanchez does try to give gay teens an idea of the types of problems they might encounter out there, at the same time he presents a very positive view of life as a gay teenager. But I would have preferred a little less moralizing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Davian.
2 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2011
Sanchez ends the “Rainbow” –realistic fiction- trilogy with Rainbow Road. The story comes full circle. Jason Garrillo, Kyle Meeks and Nelson Glassman – the main characters- have graduated from high school entering a summer, in Virginia, full of tedious responsibilities until Jason is asked to speak at a non-traditional high school graduation ceremony in Los Angeles, California. Since Jason came out about his sexuality, his full scholarship to an Ivy League school had been taken away. Kyle, Jason’s boyfriend, will be going to Princeton in the fall and has been Jason’s number one supporter since. When he hears of the news he advises him to go to California, but is disappointed because by doing so, their camping trip would be cancelled. After hearing the news, Kyle tells his best friend Nelson. Nelson and Jason never got along with each other, but thinking of his best friend and of course his self, Nelson suggests that all three of them drive to Los Angeles in ‘his’ car. After Nelson convinces his mother to let all three of them take the car, she pays insurance on, across country the planning begins.On the road they cross paths with Radical Faeries, transgendered Britney Spears look-alikes and a homosexual long-term couple that indirectly offers Jason and Kyle some needed relationship advice. During this unforgettable road trip, tempers rage, relationships become at risk, attitudes begin to transition to that of understanding and a character longing for love finally finds it. The sex may offend some readers, but it’s an excellent feel-good book for teens who find interest within members of the gay community.
Profile Image for Ryan Loveless.
Author 22 books311 followers
May 29, 2013
Roadtrips, in reality, are good times, bad times, and a whole lotta dull times. There is no better birthplace for a private joke than a road trip, and no better place to start hating someone's guts.

Then there are fictional roadtrips, such as this one, which takes every roadtrip story ever heard and makes it happen to these three boys. Lost wallet? Cell phone quits working? Homophobic-fueled road rage? Car trouble in the middle of nowhere? Quadruple check, and more! It's tempting to make a road trip bingo card and play while reading.

Was this a satisfactory way to say goodbye to these characters? Not for me. With the rest of the series mostly avoiding heaping cliche upon cliche, Rainbow Road was hard a sell for me to pair it with Rainbow Boys and Rainbow High.

However, amidst this, there were opportunities for the characters to continue to grow, getting closer to the adults they (legally) are, and to that end, there are rewarding moments that offer a glimpse of what they will be like "down the road."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bill.
408 reviews96 followers
December 19, 2010
The Rainbow Trilogy is simply an accurate account of being a Gay teen in the Noughties. Three young, Gay males deal with the common issues of coming out and surviving: Nelson, flamboyant and out since grade school; Kyle his best friend, shy, smart and out only to Nelson as the series begins; and Jason a closeted, hot jock whose forced to become a "role model" as he becomes Kyle's boyfriend. The three friends are real, flawed and help each other deal with their particular issues.

Reading these as a senior reminds me of my youth and how different things could have been, if only. But, it also makes clear that many of the issues are simply those all humans face growing up: does he really love me, my nose is too big, why don't my parents understand me... They also make clear the added burdens being different from the norm add to a teen's life and to that of many adults.

Why is being different so scary to the 'normals'?
Profile Image for Annie.
38 reviews
September 4, 2009
This is a story about 3 homosexual friends who have just graduated college. This story is told in 3 perspectives, kyle, nelson, and jason. Jason and kyle are boyfriends but Jason lost his basketball scholarship and has been invite to speak at a gay and lesbien high school that has just opened. He tells kyle about it and kyle is very happy to join his boyfriend, inviting nelson along who ahs not found his love yet and worries about being the third wheel.

This was a more intresting story about the life of 3 homosexuals trying to cope through life. the plot was very nicely put out.
Profile Image for Rachel Aranda.
878 reviews2,260 followers
April 8, 2016
This was a very satisfying ending to the Rainbow Boys trilogy. This was definitely the most adult themed book of the three, but that is to be expected with the characters as high school graduates. I thought the whole Nelson story lines were the most crazy for me. I do not know why but I was fine with these story lines until the ending. Nelson makes brash decisions usually but staying behind for a stranger seems a bit too out there for him even for love. Overall it's a great series that I l highly recommend
Profile Image for Dusty Roether.
29 reviews16 followers
December 12, 2018
This was a cute book and a cute series, though the series is certainly a product of its time. The books in this trilogy were published in 2001, 2003, and 2005. I read the first book in this series when I came out ten years ago, and I had a sudden urge to come back to the series and read all three books in audio. I really enjoyed them, especially this final book for its exploration of themes outside the realm of homonormativity and traditional gender expectations.
Profile Image for Lilly.
777 reviews107 followers
September 21, 2022
This was the book that brought me into the world of gay themed novels! I don't know why I picked it up the first time but I'm glad I did, I enjoyed this series to the fullest and Alex Sanchez is a wonderful writer!
Profile Image for Julie.
189 reviews35 followers
September 5, 2015
I really enjoyed this last book in the series. These books are wonderful coming-of-age novels for all teenagers. A must read, up front, and honest trio of books for any teenager who is curious or questioning their sexuality.
Profile Image for Zac Chavez-Kelleher.
113 reviews4 followers
December 4, 2021
When I read this series back in 2009/10ish, I think it was a summary of a lot of hope and encouragement I needed back then, but both The world, and myself have come a long way since then. I found myself not liking the characters like I remember them, and this last book especially rubbed me the wrong way. See earlier this year, 2021, I purchased Sanchez’s new middle reader book called “The Greatest Superstar,” and because I had such fond memories of reading the God Box and Rainbow boys years ago, I let myself be too lenient with the way Sanchez represents the Trans community, but after re-reading this, I have to say I wish he would stop, because he does not do a good job. I found the entire section involving Trans girl “B.J.” ****Needs a name change. This just seems inappropriate and insensitive as a name for a trans character, even if I kinda like the Britney Jean reference. BJ has too many sexual connotations, and just insensitively brought to mind the idea of sex, and sex work, which while it has ties to the community, it’d be nice to not have such a reference even possibly go there, when with a simple name change it could be avoided**** to be entirely unsettling, and the poor depiction of Trans acceptance was almost exactly the same as Sanchez’s model with the Trans-Father character in TGS… it’s like Sanchez wants to write in a Trans-positive light, but tackles it from the inner thoughts of characters who have no exposure or experience with the Trans community, and unfortunately their inner dialogue is not ok. It was like all 3 boys here were nice to the girl’s face, but even Nelson, who seemed to be on the surface 100% accepting of her, he would refer to her as a “tranny” in his head voice. Jason’s perspective was filled with noticing her Adam’s apple, and then becoming visibly uncomfortable, repeatedly thinking of her as a “she-him,” like it was disturbing him, in a grossed out way, which had to be noticeable to BJ, but it was never dealt with. After taking this look-back, revisiting the Rainbow Bous series, it made me upset with myself for defending Sanchez for trying to tackle Trans representation from a reconstructive approach, dismantling the initially negative reactions of a person meeting a trans person for the first time when I reviewed The Greatest Superpower. While I believe that to be a worthwhile approach, it misses the mark both here, and in Sanchez’s new book. I expect better. It’s not enough to leave a final thought (as summed up in Jason’s speech-reference to the trans girl who just wants to be happy as herself and deserves it) that we should accept Trans people, as well as all other diverse people for who they are for the things that cannot be changed, but never actually have a scene where it is firmly pointed out that having those negative initial thoughts, and referring to a trans girl as a tranny, repeatedly, is not ok at all. This would have ended better for me had Jason actually slipped up and said that out loud, perhaps while BJ was getting herself and Nelson ready for the Britney Competition. She needed that moment of strength, to stand up for herself, and put Jason in his place. The way of thinking of her as a weird in-between that all of the boys seemed to do was extremely off-putting, and such a scene to set them to rights would have also made it more believable when Jason refers back to it at the end, to reflect the growth his speech sums up. In the actual book, we get the growth summed up without a reference point to believe it.

This was only one point, but a major one. Other complaints specific to this 3rd book are that most of the character driven plot points throughout the journey did not match the character of each boy from the first 2 books. It was like all their insecurities were dialed up to 11 so that they could fall apart and kinda patch back up for a third book, but it made me dislike all of the boys in the end. I agree with some other reviews that maybe this should have been better left as a duology.
Profile Image for Ryan.
462 reviews
June 14, 2022
Rainbow Road is the final book in the Rainbow trilogy by Alex Sanchez. This series received fame in the 2000s for being one of the first YA novels to show the struggles of gay teenagers and its positive portrayal of LGBTQ individuals during a time when homosexuality was still shunned in the public, yet were receiving some notoriety at the same time. Rainbow Road continues the coming of age adventures for the three protagonists: Jason, Kyle & Nelson, all three having graduated their senior year and enjoying their last summer together, but the issues from the previous book still lingers in their minds. Since Jason, the all-star jock, came out, he received widespread attention & fame from his peers despite losing the scholarship to his dream college. Now he wonders what his future will be since sports was always his thing, but also about his relationship with Kyle. Kyle is set for Princeton, but he is worried about how a long-distance relationship would work with Jason, since he's staying at a community college. And Nelson, the free-spirited out boy, questions what he would do without his bestie Kyle, but also feels left out of love from seeing Jason's and Kyle's relationship blossom.

All this changes when Jason gets an invite from a LGBT high school in Los Angeles for a speech, where they get the idea that since everyone will be splitting up by the end of the season, why not make it into a road trip? Set out onto the road, crossing the States, the trio bites more than they can chew with many mishaps occurring along the way. Car delays, gas outage and making time is only part of their concerns. Jason & Kyle were hoping for a romantic outing, maybe even some alone time together, but issues in their relationships start to arise. Jason is questioning if he's truly gay while he is still getting boners from girls they meet along the way and Kyle is realizing he may be blinded by love, as he notices some flaws in Jason he never seen before. While the pair are dealing with their issues, Nelson's impulsiveness also gets them into trouble a couple of times with prejudiced individuals. Regardless, he flirts and attempts to get a hook onto any hot guy he can find in each town they stayed, despite Kyle's reminder of safe sex practices. Along the way, they meet multiple LGBTQ individuals who show them all that life in worth living when you accept yourself for who you are and being honest.

Regarding spoilers, the ending is definitely a happy one for the trio. Realizing they have been through much on a two-week trip, sharing both their high and low moments together. And knowing their friendship is stronger than ever, they are ready to take on the future together, no matter the great physical distance each will have that separates them. The reason I wrote so much here was just how good the storytelling Alex Sanchez wrote in developing the ideas and characters. The trio are both very likeable and very relatable in their problems, even if you're straight, to the point where they feel like real people. I had read the first book back in high school, and recently a few years ago, reread it and found the sequel in the process. So finishing this third one made me feel like I've grown with them in their journey of self-identity. The Rainbow Boys trilogy had a major impact for many teens back in its time, and it is eye-opening to see how LGBTQ people are seen back then, compared to now where while there are still prejudice, society has become much more accepting of sexuality and gender roles. While the series may have ended, the books will always have a special place in my heart for what the message they represent for people of different identity.
Profile Image for Olivia Presley.
30 reviews
April 27, 2023
Rainbow Road follows Jason, Kyle, and Nelson on a road trip across the country. Jason was suppose to speak at a new LGQBT+ school opening up who loved his coming out story. The school wanted to fly Jason out to them until Nelson came up with the idea that Jason could get a check mailed to him instead of the flight and they could all go. Jason and Kyle agreed because they wanted to spend more time together as a couple. The boys planned what places they wanted to visit landmark wise well before they departed. The boys first stop was a park which they found the tent was very small and Jason had a bad snoring problem. That morning they set out to their next top and Nelson realized he left his phone so they had to go back aftet driving 2+ hours. While driving they ran out of gas, a horned man and a bug helped them out. They called themselves "Fairies", the boys camped out at their place for the night. Nelson loved it their because everyone was free like he was. The next morning they set off and stopped to get gas and met a a Britney Spears look alike but found out later she was Trans. She dressed Nelson up like a girl and they both entered the Britney look alike contest. Jason later discovered that he left the tent polls at the "Fairies" camp so they had to buy a new smaller tent. While traveling they stopped at a museum where Kyle noticed he lost his wallet, that wallet had half of Jason's money in it as well as Kyles ID so he couldn't drive anymore. They also stopped at a Buffet that Nelson ate fish at, then ended up getting Food Poisoning. At some point the boys went to a club for the LQBTQ+ and Jason ended up kissing a girl and Kyle saw him do it. This really hurt Kyle's feelings.
They meet a child at the next camp site who acted gay- which Nelson and Jason both got into an argument with the child's dad. The argument scared Kyle to see Jason act like that, so Kyle slept into the car that night.
Finally the boys got to the city where the school was located. Nelson meet a guy named Manny who had pink hair just like him. Manny worked for the school and he was actually the one who wanted Jason to speak, Nelson and Manny hit it off pretty fast. The day of the speech Jason had nothing even though Kyle tried to help him the night before. Jason spoke from the heart- the crowed loved him. The day they was suppose to leave Manny asked Nelson to stay with him. Nelson called his mom and told her the idea and she refused. It wasn't until Kyle talked her into letting him stay because Manny was a good influence on Nelson. Nelsons mom then agreed to letting him stay.
When it was tine for Kyle and Jason to go back they stopped at the dunes that Nelson ran butt naked on and did the exact same thing. Kyle and Jason became a closer in there relationship and even Jason and Nelson became friends.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Hillary.
384 reviews19 followers
December 16, 2017
Kyle, his bisexual basketball player boyfriend Jason and his outrageous best friend Nelson embark on a road trip from suburban Washington D.C. to Los Angeles the summer after high school graduation when Jason is invited to give a speech at a private school following his own coming out. Over the course of their trip they’ll lose phones and money, get in many a squabble, have fun and unexpected adventures and be introduced to new people, straight, gay, lesbian and transgender, who come to expand their firsthand knowledge of what it means to be gay beyond the confined scope of high school they’ve known.

The writing was at times facile, two dimensional, a feeling of lessons learned and certain stereotypes of gay young adults presented (the bisexual jock with a limited idea of gay masculinity and unawareness of transgender people, the flamboyant, over-the-top best friend, the regular guy, smart kid main character). At the same time it was a useful exploration (particularly if I was a gay teen) when it comes to a story about learning about other kinds of lgbtq people outside your own limited high school bubble. And the characters are eventually endearing. Had a cringe moment when the word "tranny" was used, even if it was by a gay character, but that didn't diminish the overall read.

Works fine as a stand alone title, having not read/listened to the first two novels in the series.
6 reviews
March 31, 2023
With the 3rd book in the series, Jason and Kyle continue to get closer, causing Nelson, who has also fallen for Kyle, to fall into despair. After arguing with Kyle, he reacts impulsively, deciding to lose his virginity to Brick, an adult whom he meets on the Internet. Initially, he is merely disappointed with how little it fulfills him, but he soon panics upon realizing that he chose not to use protection. The public rhetoric around HIV frames it as a dangerous disease and a symptom of moral illness. Nelson leans on Kyle and Jason for support as he gets tested. The three boys confide in each other with their private thoughts about being gay, leading to catharsis; Kyle ends up talking to Nelson about his difficulties being in a relationship with Jason, who is too hesitant about coming out. Eventually, with the support of Nelson and Kyle, Jason comes out to his friends and family. Concluding the series. This book to me was around a 9/10 it's good don't get me wrong but there were some flaws minor more netpicking than anything. I would recommend this book to people who want a solid read and just read something from the narrator's POV. Also, some who is gay and are having trouble coming out.
Profile Image for Mark.
489 reviews6 followers
June 8, 2018
In the final book of the trilogy Rainbow Road is an ending tale of Nelson, Kyle, and Jason. This book focused more than just on Jason's adventures. While it is the main figure of seeing Jason getting to the LGBT high school in order to give a speech for the school, we see more of Nelson's quest to find love like seen with Kyle and Jason. We see the strain and love of friendship and love when it comes to living close and continuous space with one another.

I thought it was an interesting tale. Felt like it could have continued. I haven't read travel stories very often so I was unsure if I would like this and while some parts I felt were a continuous drive, stop, sleep, repeat. But I must say I never read a travel book featuring gays so that was a plus in this book. Coming across gays on the road, and some homophobia along the way, that end up being even more out there than Nelson or others that fit along the LGBT spectrum was just great. I enjoyed those bits of interactions.

What I didn't particularly care for was the ending. It felt like just a drop-off. Like it could have been continued.
Profile Image for William Freeman.
484 reviews4 followers
July 20, 2021
About halfway through the book I was enjoying the read but in the back of my mind I was thinking not as good as the other two but theending especially Jasons speech bought tears to my eyes and made me think how much thigs have changed and yet on the other hand how little things have changed. Anyone daring to be different especially during adolescene late teens early 20's are still often called names and put down. I share with Nelson the selecting for teams it was an extremely hurtful process to be left as one the last or nearly last name called. Games like Tennis and Squash were much better though surprisingly I wasn't too bad at volleyball so I'd be in the first 3-6 picks for that. That's enough sharing I can see how much this has bought out fway back in another time. Last thought this was published around 2007 I'd love to know what happened to the guys as they matured into adulthood. Perhaps an Armisread Maupin catch up please Alex
Profile Image for Jeremy.
355 reviews8 followers
July 5, 2021
Throughout this entire trilogy I've been banging my head against the wall in frustration at the fact that these three idiots are utterly incapable of being together with each other at the same time, and that came to a head in this book when they weren't able to get away from each other.

I'm not gonna lie, I was terrifyingly close to the end of this book and still thinking that all three of them were gonna go their separate ways and never see each other again.

But…it all worked out. I don't know how, but it did, and I'm so ridiculously happy for them.

One serious note: this book is a little dated in its terminology. There are some moments that made me uncomfortable despite the fact that it was a very realistic glimpse into the minds of kids that don't know any better, and it could affect some readers poorly.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Steve.
260 reviews
September 25, 2021
Having read the first two volumes, I wanted to finish the "Rainbow High" trilogy. "Rainbow Road" is full of predictable tropes. Kyle, Nelson, and Jason, the three protagonists, go on a cross-country road trip. Over the course of the trip many predictable events occur: tension and arguments between each member of the trio, foolish mistakes by all three, straining credulity plot points such as their stay at a hippie-type compound and an encounter with an older gay couple. That said, by this time the reader has some investment in these characters so I could tolerate the predictability and inevitable lessons learned by the three young men. By the end, everything is tied up with a neat bow, perhaps too neatly, but satisfyingly for most readers. While predictable, the book was generally entertaining.
Profile Image for shivani n.
245 reviews2 followers
March 28, 2022
i really like the rainbow boys trilogy, but this one was my least favourite out of the 3. one thing i noticed which really bothered me was that not once throughout the entire series did jason say "i love you" to kyle first. he said it back to kyle when kyle said it to him, but he was never the one to say it first. it may seem like a small detail but i thought it would have been a really good sign of character development for him to say it first, in contrast to how scared avoiding of his sexuality and his love for kyle in the first book. also i didn't like his behaviour when that leah girl kissed him. it was weird and i felt bad for kyle in that moment. he still did have good character development though. falling in love with kyle, coming out to the world, and doing that speech at that highs school? i liked it a lot.
59 reviews2 followers
January 4, 2019
I always like reading novels that revolve around LGBTQIA+ characters and I especially love when they are treated fairly and represented well. This story is not an extraordinary one but the characters are very memorable. The 3 young gay men are on a road trip that helps them come to terms with their own identity. It also teaches them how to navigate close personal relationships while preparing for a lifetime of change and uncertainty. At the beginning of the novel you'll have a favourite but by the end you'll come to love each of them. It's a really easy and light read. A great one to start 2019 with.

P.S. Nelson's still my favourite
Profile Image for Migs Fiel.
233 reviews
September 21, 2019
First, can I just say that the boys on the cover do not reflect the characters' physical attributes?

Anyway this was one of the books I would only read on my phone when I was just waiting around, so I did not finish this fast, but I enjoyed it a lot! There were times I got irritated at the characters as they were very stereotypical, but how they acted during the whole road trip made sense. My favorite among the three is Nelson and I like how the story ended for him, but I think there could have been more drama for Kyle and Jason.

I wish to read more series like this. It got me hooked.
Profile Image for Joseph Crupper.
184 reviews2 followers
September 6, 2021
This is the least well written one in the series. It felt like the last episode of Queer as Folk; I could tell the author was feeing pressure to talk about transgender and Black issues, and it all just came off very unresearched and clunky. I’d have been much happier if he stuck to what he knew, which was young gay teen drama, which is the stuff that works here.
Otherwise, viewing the world through the uncritical eye of these protagonists gives queer kids a poor way of speak about trans issues and Black history. It normalizes the ignorance.
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