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Rainbow Trilogy #2

Rainbow High

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Jason Carrillo, the best-looking athlete in school, has had his eyes on the prize from day one: a scholarship for college.

But then his eyes turn to love -- and Kyle.

Kyle Meeks, swim team star and all-around good guy, is finally in the relationship he wanted. Being in love feels so good, in fact, that he can't imagine giving it up to go to Princeton.

Something he's worked for his entire life.

Nelson Glassman, outgoing and defiant, might be HIV positive. Jeremy, the boy he loves, is HIV positive. Although Nelson fears testing positive, if he is infected Jeremy might stop protecting him and pushing him away.

They can be together.

High shool's almost over. Graduation is ahead. Life's a bowl of cherries, right? Right...

247 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2003

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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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5 stars
2,227 (37%)
4 stars
1,826 (30%)
3 stars
1,423 (24%)
2 stars
336 (5%)
1 star
91 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 216 reviews
Profile Image for Maria Lago.
442 reviews94 followers
January 28, 2021
Pues nada, que sigo esperando que Bruce LaBruce la adapte al cine. No es tanto pedir.
Profile Image for karlé.
167 reviews28 followers
April 8, 2013
This is probably one of the hardest books in the trilogy as the 3 of the main characters here deal with hell a lot! At some moments things may seem a bit cheesy especially when it comes to the parents being so 'perfect' with all the supports and acceptance but what that cheesiness really brings is hope .

Hope for everyone hiding in the closet that it's okay to come out and be you. I really love Nelson and Kyle and Jason and this trilogy is one of the best summer reads out there I swear!

I'm just so happy.
Profile Image for Jamie Fessenden.
Author 41 books376 followers
May 24, 2011
Another excellent book by Alex Sanchez, continuing the story from Rainbow Boys. This one gets a bit darker, though not too much.

My biggest quibble with the book is its treatment of a secondary character, Jeremy, who is HIV positive. Nelson, one of the three main characters, dates this character and not a single character in the novel is supportive. Everybody keeps insisting that Nelson should remain friends with Jeremy, but not date him. So...does this mean that nobody should ever date or fall in love with someone who is HIV positive? Yes, I know it's risky, and maybe it is too much for a teenager to deal with, but I can't really get behind ostracizing people, simply because they were unlucky or made a bad decision during a sexual encounter. The book really seems to imply that HIV positive people should only date other HIV positive people, and everybody else should restrict their interractions with them to non-sexual friendship. Safe sex is considered not safe enough.

Otherwise, the book is great and I've fallen in love with the characters. A number of topics important to gay teens are touched upon -- this book in the series largely deals with the consequences of coming out to the community -- and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Steven.
50 reviews8 followers
November 27, 2010
This book had a lot of the same problems as the first one in the series - people giving speeches that sounded like they were lifted directly from public information films, the plots being an uneasy mixture of the soapy and the attempts at realism, the characters constantly falling out with each other every couple of pages. There were a few more problems in this one - while the lesbian characters in the first book were tertiary at best, their total exclusion in this one was noticed and felt rather to its detriment, and I felt the story lost credibility when the school's star athlete comes out of the closet and literally nobody has a problem with it. Admittedly it cost him his college scholarship, but the fact that the whole team comes around to his sexuality right away didn't ring true. That said, I read the whole thing very quickly and ordered the sequel from Amazon, so it must be doing something right.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
544 reviews6 followers
June 20, 2019
The story continues

Picking up where book one ended we follow Nelson, Kyle and Jason as they navigate their way through senior year of High School. Nelson really needs to give up the smokes. Sheesh. 3.75 for kickass dads.
Profile Image for Sarah.
697 reviews
May 25, 2020
I felt like this book tried to deal with too much in too short a space of time and it didn’t quite work and came across as quite simplistic when the issues really aren’t. I did enjoy it though, not quite as much as the first one but then I suppose I’m not the target audience.
Profile Image for Jay DeMoir.
Author 18 books53 followers
February 4, 2021
2.5 stars

The 2nd book of the series definitely suffered from the second book curse. It was slow but decent. However, the ending was bland.
Due to that, I won't be reading the last book. It's safe to jump off the train now
Profile Image for Brooke Banks.
920 reviews175 followers
June 23, 2018
I will be continuing the series. I like how it really shows how the adult's response to gay kids makes a huge difference. Kyle is still clueless with biphobia and Jason knows nothing to correct him yet. Jason skates through a lot of shit til the end. Nelson is a drama llama as always but does make progress.

FYI: One-Third Of Gay Men Haven’t Heard Of A Drug That Helps Prevent HIV

Notes While Listening:
>>>Senior Yr. Starts with Nelson writing paper about what happened in the first book.
>>>going back to the doc "soon"
>>>Out w/ Jeremy twice.
>>>Then Kyle's recap. Then Jason.
>>>"Queen it down" love it.
>>>Yep about healthcare...
>>>Hahah Jason + Melissa. Adorbs.
>>>Kyle is such a romantic homemaker type.
>>>oh jeez *jazz hands* good coach tho.
>>>WTF Mueller? Too attached by far.
>>>Nelson is totally the typical ignorant "no one dies from it", but everyone else is still on that panic shit.
>>>Want to make them watch "How to Survive a Plague"
>>>Stupid Kyle, it's not homophobic.
>>>Bi people are still bi when dating the same sex, Kyle!
>>>"objects to using the same shower as someone who 'proclaims' they're gay"??!
>>>Oh no.
>>>No no no no no no
>>>OH SHIT! The balls have dropped.
>>>Haha mom A+
>>>Between "the good and the extraordinary" No bias there...
>>>Because you MADE him!!
>>>I'm impressed, coach.
>>> D'awwwwwwwww
>>>"the pounding of balls" hehehehehehe
>>>"I'm your teammate and gay, proud to be both" *cheer*
>>>DAMN. Nicely done.
>>> -_- *panic*
>>>hahaha AWWWW! <3 <3
>>> lol cds
>>>He didn't say you could tell everyone....
>>>Oh god, girls wanting a gay best friend....
>>>"being a jock trumps being gay"
>>>Oh poor Kyle. Jason is such a golden boy. Gay, but holds up toxic masculinity publically.
>>>"Counting on you to make us look good" Fuck you.
>>>Ouch. He gets bullied and bashed, Jason gets congrats and support. Then denies him...Owie.
>>>That's fucked up.
>>>Hahaha Nelson. Love ya.
>>>Oooooohhhh nice insight Nelson.
>>>Nelson is SO insecure!!
>>>"don't look positive" WTF you ignorant slut?!!?
>>>So needy.
>>>Totally a "so if your friends would jump off a bridge...." message
>>>Damn, bus seating is painful.
>>>Nice Cindy
>>>Ugh homophobic jerks. Herd bullshit.
>>>Worthless coach.
>>>He's still a dude!
>>>*gasp* "brought this on yourself"?!?!? FUCK YOU
>>>Double Fuck you!
>>>"promise to behave" bitch you first.
>>>So desperate
>>>OMFG!!! <3
>>>Bout time.
>>>Aw Nelson.
>>> Yep the news hasn't changed.
>>>You are a flake.
>>>Oh god, he really just skates along. Lucky jerk.
>>>Homophobia is rooted in sexism.
>>>Ugh toxic masculinity alpha shit.
>>>D'awwwwwwwww da babies.
>>>Does the cat have a name even?
>>>I think I know what the meeting is about!!!
>>>Rex is the kitty's name.
>>>Mirror ball? Never heard it called that always a disco ball. Huh.
>>>Fucking footballers.
>>>Yay coach.
>>>Alrighty then
>>>Wait, NO MEETING?!? I want to know what happens!
Profile Image for Sarah Lu.
363 reviews8 followers
April 1, 2012
Initial Thoughts: Some of the language is a bit 80's or 90's-ish, which really takes you out of the book at times, especially when you realize it was published in 2003. Yes, some of the 90's might have still been around by then, but not this much.

Also, the first couple of chapters act more as a PSA than a storyline, which is a bit disappointing. Also, do high school jocks really act like that?

The idea of Jason being interviewed by the local news station because he came out. I understand that he is on the varsity basketball team, and it would have been a bit of a big deal around that time, but I don't quite see this as being all that realistic.

Okay, I have not finished this book, and I will not finish this book. It has finally taken a turn to the absolutely what the hell realm of thinking.

I understand that this book takes place in the early 2000's, so there were still a lot of small-minded people around, and that there weren't as many ways to keep gay teens from getting picked on (heck, we still can't keep anyone from not getting picked on) but the way that this book portrays it...

At first, I could have believed it. But then, by the point that we get to Kyle's swim meet and the bull that Charlie puts Kyle through, and the fact that that sorry excuse of a Coach doesn't do anything except for blame everything on Kyle. I mean... What on earth? Everyone is 100% Jason for coming out. Why not Kyle? Why can't the Coach say, "Hey, look Charlie, you are all chummy chummy with Jason, why aren't you with Kyle? What makes them so different?" But does she do that? No. She goes and tells Kyle that all of the teasing and everything is all his fault and that he is the one being disrespectful because he isn't just sitting there and taking it and he has the gall to stand up for his basic human rights! As I said, I understand that this was written in 2003, but holy crap, Batman! This is just stupid! Having two radically different reactions, in the same book, in the same high school, for two sports team members is just insane.

Also, the whole Jason getting seen as a great Role Model and there being media coverage over it and everything? Who cares if a high school varsity sports star is gay? I don't see why that would be making the local news.

This book blows everything out of proportion. Including the stuff with Nelson and Jeremy's relationship. Jeremy's character gets super paranoid, when all he has to say to Nelson is "Look, I don't like you joking about those sort of things, this is a serious issue." He doesn't need to go screaming at Nelson about stuff. Nelson is a little annoying, but bearably so.

I just... by the time I got to page 180, I just could not take it anymore. It might pick up after this, I don't know. But honestly, I don't really care anymore.

The first book was good. Good characters, believable situations.

This second one? The characters have been thrown into insane situations that make no freaking sense if both situations are in the same universe.

Why is Charlie all right with Jason being gay and not Kyle?! Is it really just for image?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
July 14, 2009
From the first page you can envision the plight of the homosexual teenager. This novel followed four boys/men through their high school struggle. The way Alex Sanchez set up the novel with simplistic visual rhetoric was very easy to follow and intriguing. At the top of each chapter all of the main character's names were shown, but the one that was being highlighted in this section was in bold print. This reduced any confusion and showed how their lives were intertwined. Rainbow High was my first read in this genre.

I learned that coming out as a gay teenager is a private decision. And, there can be repercussions for the person coming out. For instance, in the novel, Jason decided to tell his coach about his decision and ended up losing his scholarship. Jason was portrayed as the all-american high school jock. Jason had a girl friend for two years before admitting he was gay. What I found the most intriguing was the treatment of Jason after coming out. He was not treated as badly as the other boys becuase of his sports background. On page 145 of the text it states "being a jock trumps being gay." However, when his father found out about his lifestyle he bolted.

On the other hand, Kyle was a competitive swimmer for his school. When his teammates found out he was gay, they did not want him to share the lockerroom showers with him. He felt the isolation and taunting. But, his parents were comfortable with his decision. His main issue was the tug of war between his relationship and college. He was accepted to his dad's alma mater, Princeton. Kyle and Jason were together as a couple.

Nelson was the most outward in his behaviors and attitude. Nelson was hooked up with Jeremy, who was HIV+. His main struggle was the safe sex issue. His mother adored Jeremy until she sound out about his diagnosis. She felt her son was being foolish. In the end, they end up as friends.

This book woke me up to the fact that this is some people's reality. I have gay relatives, friends, and acquaintances, but I have never known the darker side of this struggle. Discrimination does exist. All of the boys had to experience their own struggle but they found comfort and solice in a school club, Rainbow Club. All people deserve a safe place to talk and listen.

I still have not wrapped my head around how this could be used in the classroom, but the fact that I read it was a start.

July 12, 2014
I started Rainbow High yesterday and like its predecessor Rainbow Boys I couldn’t stop. I was up till after 2 a.m. reading last night, another excellent read from Alex Sanchez.

The three boys, Nelson Glassman, Kyle Meeks, and Jason Carrillo are completing their senior year of high school and continue to deal with homophobia coming out and the threat of HIV.

Nelson is anxious to have a relationship, a little too anxious, and puts himself at risk at the end of Rainbow Boys. Now he must deal with the consequences of his rush and all the worry and anxiety that is HIV. Add to this is his new boyfriend is HIV+ and his mother is less than pleased that he could be putting his life at risk after the scare of his first time. Kyle has his own issues as he helps Nelson it raises his fear that Jason could have been infected in his last relationship.

Jason is dealing with coming out to his parents, his friends, his ex, his team, and eventually the school. Will he find the support he needs, will Kyle as he deals with some of the same issues with his team. Coaches, parents, and friends have some very different and typical reactions to these events. The boys also have to deal with selecting their future career path through college and university. What will happen to their budding relationships if they are not able to attend educational institutions together. Again I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Profile Image for laaaaames.
524 reviews97 followers
May 26, 2009
More of the same, which is good, because I totally got attached to Kyle, Jason, and Nelson. I didn't find it QUITE as compelling as the first, though I thought the Jeremy plotline was handled nicely, and the college stuff was good. I mean, I am an aged woman now, but back in the day it totally made sense to alter college plans for the people in your life, and it was nice seeing this angle.

I liked everything with Jason's coming out at school, but not entirely sure I bought the coach being as cool as he was. That said, who am I to pish posh unlikely allies? Today my state's courts upheld a terrible ruling, and I'll take slightly wish-fulfillment-y over hate any day.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tanairis.
36 reviews
February 7, 2011
This book is about Jason,Kyle,and Nelson. They are three boys who are gay and Jason and Kyle love each other but sometimes its ruff for them when it comes to thier family's.
Profile Image for Safrena.
87 reviews8 followers
September 7, 2017
It's an obvious 5 stars book for me!

I discovered this book a few months ago while I was reading a lot of LGBTQ stuff. This book was published in 2005 so I figured the gay community wasn't that hyped like it is now. I love the story of these boys - Jason, Kyle and Nelson and also the secondary character Jeremy who's an HIV positive.

I have to say that Kyle's parents were the coolest. They were trying to understand Kyle for being a gay son and the way they spoke to him and giving good advice and all were just so good. Nelson's mom -Felicity who liked Jeremy but after she knew about him she accepted them to only be friends not romantically involved. I felt bad because loving someone you couldn't have or even jeopardising your life with someone with a serious illness. Jason has finally come out and instantly became a role model despite his good looks ;)

I can't wait to read book #3 to know about their college life.

2Q2BSTR8 - I love this button :)

"I don't care if you're gay, or blue, or what you are, you're a team. I expect you to act like one. Any difference between you, put them aside"

"I'm not only your teammate. I'm also gay. And... I'm proud to be both."

"Some of you may be worried about me coming on to you. If you are, well don't flatter yourselves, because I'm not interested"
Profile Image for Steve.
260 reviews
September 25, 2021
I appreciated and respected Alex Sanchez's "Rainbow Boys" for its accurate portrayal of gay youth in the first part of the twenty-first century. The second book in the trilogy, "Rainbow High," continues the story of Jason, Kyle, and Nelson. Being the second book, it isn't as innovative. Sanchez creates an interesting narrative in taking us through the end of their high school experience. A major focus is on Jason choosing to come out at school, something that is never easy and was particularly fraught twenty years ago. Of course, Nelson was the first to come out and suffer the most bullying and abuse. Kyle has his own challenges, particularly with the coach of the swim team and some teammates. As the school's star basketball player, Jason's coming out is more unexpected and becomes newsworthy. Sanchez understands and communicates the fear and anxiety around these experiences capably and accurately. A fine continuation of the story.
April 1, 2023
Rainbow high was an interesting second addition to Alex Sanchez Series. Though I haven't read any other volume still proved to be a worth while read but of course had its own flaws. With many differencing plot points and different character challenges being presented in such a short compact story, many weren't able to marinade correctly. From Nelsons battle with being HIV-Negative or Jason's troubles with coming out of the closet. I feel as if with more time / book space these topics would have been better explained and explored. This caused me to dislike the book slowly. As well as the fact I would cringe and the sudden sexual activity going on in the book including the specifics. Anyways I would recommend this book to my friend similarity named Adrian because he seems like the kind of man to see the true worth of such writing and be able to get some of the maximum enjoyment from it.
Profile Image for Lore.
713 reviews
July 2, 2018
Still pretty sweet, although it is definitely Incredibly dated. Like, it's not an awful book, but I wasn't so happy with how they dealt with Jeremy and his HIV status overall - they were shitty attitudes from most people.
It was uncomfortable, but I guess that was a different culture, but still not Great, y'know.
idk, it's complicated because I get that was the prevailing attitude + certainly medication and such was different.
But I guess it can't be perfect.

I did massively appreciate Jason's whole journey in this story - him embracing his role model status was really lovely to see. That kid deserves a lot.

Kyle I also liked seeing him mature a bit + not get so starry-eyed over Jason.
6 reviews
March 1, 2023
Continuing the Rainbow Boys, all the questions are answered from the first book, and even more, questions are posed, as I near the trilogy's final book, Rainbow Road. This book was great In Rainbow High, Nelson tries to deal with a relationship with a boy who’s HIV-positive when he may or may not be; Kyle tries to figure out if he wants to go to Princeton, without Jason, or Tech, with Jason; and Jason, the jock on the basketball team, has to decide whether to come out of the closet or stay inside. The novel ends at the prom, where secrets are revealed, and the impossible suddenly becomes possible. This was a great read and I love this book. It's a definitional 10/10. I would recommend this book to someone who just wants a nice read or just wants to relax something interesting to read.
Profile Image for Chad.
115 reviews3 followers
October 18, 2021
The YA nature of this series really came out in this book. There is definitely great value to have this book available for teens who are coming to understand their sexuality. I did find the hyper focus on HIV a little off putting because I was thinking the book was published more recently and the content didn’t quite match the times, but I have done a little checking and it fits. Just like the first book, Rainbow High continues to highlight what it is like to navigate being gay, especially after coming out, and the continual process of coming out. Many relevant issues are examined, which I appreciated.
Profile Image for Josefine.
41 reviews
December 30, 2021
LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! Read well into the night, couldn't put it away! :D The writing is amazing! So authentic and heart warming and brings up real issues 17 Year olds face in terms of relationships, college applications and parents, and gossip and hiding around, the HIV topic and scholarships and LIKE I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH!! There's not one boring page. The pov shift always makes things exciting, and it changes seamlessly between the characters! I love how they always call each other and ask to come over, I LOVE THE EARLY 2000s! :D
Profile Image for William Warf.
10 reviews
July 24, 2022
Decided to revisit this book. I first read it in high school when I was devouring books on homosexuality, trying to learn more about who I was and reconciling sexuality with religion.

I feel the same about this book as I did 15 years ago. It’s a great read and keeps you coming back for more. I won’t leave any spoilers here, but if you are a young adult reader looking for LGBT fiction, I highly recommend the Rainbow Boys trilogy (Rainbow Boys, Rainbow High, and Rainbow Road). Alex Sanchez is a fantastic YA author!
Profile Image for Jenny.
226 reviews
February 3, 2020
Jup, liked the second book as well. I really like the realism of this series (at least it feels realistic, maybe it totally isn't, who knows).
I got through it very quickly, since it really is easy to read. Still like the characters and how they make stupid decisions sometimes. I also liked how different the adults in this book dealt with the situations, and also how some of them slowly changed. (Plus, a quick shoutout to Jason's coach!)
Now all that's left is the third book.
Profile Image for Joseph Crupper.
184 reviews2 followers
April 21, 2021
I wish that the inevitable end of a serodiscordant relationship wasn’t a breakup in this book’s eyes. I know that medicine was different during this book’s publication date, and it never actually says this, but that’s what I’m sure many kids walked away with feeling.

I do love the angsty gay relationship drama this book has to offer. It needs be remarked, though, that undetectable=untransmissable, kids. And that is good. Things are getting better.
Profile Image for bjneary.
2,377 reviews80 followers
March 2, 2022
Awesomely narrated by: Alston Brown, I love the continued coming out and friendship and romance Kyle, Jason and Nelson navigate their senior year. The interplay of family, school, and coach dynamics really paints a varied but realistic picture of queer teen boys at home and in school (with a new GSA club) and in relationships (both the pain and wonder). I can't wait for the 3rd audiobook, but I will be sorry to leave these boys ---they have made an impact on me and I will miss them!
Profile Image for Khepre.
219 reviews
June 25, 2018
The second book of the series is definitely suffering from second book curse. The book carried problems that were in book one to book two. The ending was meh. However, the characters showed growth as the story proggresed on. The new issue that arrised for the characters were solved which makes me excited for the final book.
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