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Rainbow Boys

(Rainbow Trilogy #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  12,785 ratings  ·  580 reviews
Jason Carrillo is a jock with a steady girlfriend, but he can't stop dreaming about sex...with other guys.

Kyle Meeks doesn't look gay, but he is. And he hopes he never has to tell anyone -- especially his parents.

Nelson Glassman is "out" to the entire world, but he can't tell the boy he loves that he wants to be more than just friends.

Three teenage boys, coming of ag

Paperback, 247 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2001)
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Sendusia Yes, that is Matt Bomer on the cover. The author confirms it here:…more
Yes, that is Matt Bomer on the cover. The author confirms it here:

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,785 ratings  ·  580 reviews

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Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, queer
The only reason I've read this book is that Matt Bomer's face is on the cover.
Lily King
Dec 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 11-07-11-08
This read like an exceedingly bland public service announcement. At some point in time Rainbow Boys would have been groundbreaking in its positive portrayal of gay teenagers, but by 2003 the characters and scenarios are -- at least within queer pop culture -- common at best. A progressive illustration doesn't quite cut it as an excuse for banality.
Lauren Stoolfire
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jason, Kyle, and Nelson are all coming into themselves and coming out of the closest. All three high school students are incredibly different from one another, but all three find themselves struggling with their own identities, relationships, love, and intolerance.

Honestly, I have no idea why I haven't read this already because it's an absolute must read. When this book came out I would have just been going into high school, and I think this novel would be brilliant and do the most good in the
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Thomas by: Sally Randazzo
Rainbow Boys, a story about three gay teens, was published in 2001. In 2001, not a single state legally recognized gay marriage, and Don't Ask Don't Tell was still accounted as perfectly acceptable. Queer as Folk, my favorite television series about a group of gay friends in Pittsburgh, was just in the middle of its first season.

Allow me to remind everyone that every opinion, review, or comment contains bias: whether that bias be influenced by personal experience, inherent beliefs, or time. If I
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Finished this book in a day! Yes, a day. It was an easy heart-warming read. Alex Sanchez really did an amazing job to entertain and to lecture at the same. This is one of my life changing books cause it really made me realize the facts I am facing today.

Well enough of my problems. Though there might me a lot of parts where it just kept changing from one scene to another it really is a must read for every one!

Mar 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is a great book, a wonderful resource for teens who are gay, questioning or are simply interested in the perspectives of gay teens and how they can be supportive of their gay peers.

I was recently warned that I may be in danger of hell-fire for promoting books such as these because students may "turn gay" after reading this material. This is ridiculous. A student does not "turn gay" simply by reading a book. There are many factors that contribute to an individual's sexual orientation. There
I loved being introduced to these 3 boys. So different yet they each have a connection. Watching their story unfold left me wanting more.


Second time reading and still as good as the first. I love how we get a look at all three boys and their differences, while seeing them all at the same time.

Its hard to pick a favorite as they all have good and bad points. But I think despite how whinny he can be, Nelson is the one I feel most attuned too. Not the flamboyant sassy Nelson, but the insecur
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I first heard about Rainbow Boys ages ago. Well now that I think about it—it was probably about 15 years ago. Eek! That’s why I don’t do math. :D So when I mentioned to a couple of friends of mine that I was finally reading this, I wasn’t too surprised to hear the same statement pop out of their mouths—“Oh, I love that book, but it is so dated”. But how can I explain that the dated-ness is one of the biggest reasons why I love this book?

Young adult fiction now contains piles and piles of LGBTQ f
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, glbtq
Fast easy book. Lots of issues for teens: coming out, homophobic bullying at school, alcoholic parent, first love, HIV, GSA Club. All of these were resolved almost too nicely. Good to have a positive story, though. Dated book (2001) with telephones, not everyone has a computer, magazine porn, excessive overt bullying at school (writing on lockers for months, fights at school) that would have zero tolerance (I hope/I think) today.

Kyle was my favorite character, as he finally came out during his
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I expected Rainbow Boys to be an authentic look at the lives of the three main characters who were all dealing with being gay in their own ways while trying to navigate the high school minefield.
The characters were likeable and individual, the narrative alternates perspectives between the three main characters: Jason the unsatisfied jock who has a girlfriend but lusts after men, Kyle the easygoing swim team star who is hopelessly in love with Jason & Nelson the out and proud opinionated bes
Can I just say that how awesome it is to have Matt Bomer on the cover before he was famous? It goes to show you how people are oblivious to the past because if I knew beforehand that he was on the cover of this book, I would have known and suspected that he is gay.


Many years ago when I was in middle school, I was beginning to discover who I am and who I liked. I fought a
Jamie Fessenden
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, drama, gay
Very entertaining and realistic account of what it's like to come out and experience your first romance. I have a minor complaint about the weird way in which the boys always omitted descriptions of sex. They would be talking naturally, and occasionally swearing, but whenever they tried to talk to each other about sexual experiences, they would say code words, such as "Well, we didn't S or F." or just say, "Did know?" That was very tiresome and clearly a cop out, though it's hard to sa ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have read an Alex Sanchez book before, and enjoyed his style with this piece as well.
Cute story of three senior year boys coming of age and coming to terms with being gay in a largely bigoted high school. Told in turn by the perspective of each boy (properly highlighted at the start of each chapter and throughout at the bottom of each page)... Nelson Glassman, out and proud at home and school; Kyle Meeks, closeted to family and school at first but active in a Rainbow Youth Group; and Jason Carri
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was such a lovely and fast read. Four stars. 7.5 or 8 out of 10.

Found in the LGBTQ section of Foyles at a good price and I new I'd liked it. Three gay character all dealing differently with their coming out. It was interesting and felt very real. Maybe a bit old fashioned but still very good.
Gary Jones
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
fantastic read I felt I knew the boys by the end so om going to read ok 2 now
Marythios (AkaSusanne )
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story is told through three boys eyes with alternating chapters of each of their perspectives. Kyle, a nice boy, whose a swimmer. He hangs out with Nelson a gay boy who's obviously gay. Also, Kyle is in love with Jason, a basketball player. Through the course of the book Kyle comes out to his parents. So does Jason and him become boyfriends? There relationship is kind of not official at the end of the book. They definitely like each other though. Kyle and Nelson have to deal with violence fr ...more
Matthew Stefan
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Other books take note... this is how you develop character growth. I gotta say I hated Jason at the beginning... his internalized homophobia and outright denial of what he was dealing with and his cruel attitude towards other gay characters got old really fast... but upon finishing this book, he is now my favorite character of the three. He grows so much throughout this short novel. I can't wait to continue this trilogy!
- ̗̀  jess  ̖́-
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This was one of those books that was on my to-read list years and years ago when I first discovered YA queer lit, but I never actually read it until I had to take a class on it. Go figure.

That being said, I think I would have liked this a lot more when I was younger. 2011-2012 was when the narrative of "miserable queer teenagers" was ending and being replaced by stories where queer teens just happened to be queer, and in the past couple years I've grown to like the latter narrative more. But I
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this novel. I was pleasantly surprised.

The copy looks like something from the 1980s, and I'm not sure why. No one is wearing anything dated and the copyright date is 2001. I think it just reminds me of some of the girly books I saw that were from the '80s. Or maybe it's the front right guy's hair. Anyways, the cover in combination with the descrip made me think it was going to be cliche.

I picked it up anyway, because it was one of the few queer lit books at my local l
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
-This is a book I have wanted to read for a LONG time. It was always the only gay book at my local bookstore and my parents wouldn't let me buy it. So FINALLY reading this was really exciting.
-I know this book is dated but it doesn't even take place THAT long ago. The reality of high school being like this isn't that far back and I think it's really important we don't take for granted how good life now can be sometimes. We can't just write off anything that is dated because it doesn't reflect ho
Ralitsa  Koleva
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: qaf
To be honest I paid attention to this book, only because one of my favorite actors was on the cover. Than I got curious seeing a reviews in the web from so many and different people. For book worm like me, all this positive words and reviews made me to want read this one. And I don't feel sorry.

I don't know what's going on in the gay world... But that book made me feel like those people which have to fight so many hard moments in their days with other people which just can't accept them. I'm not
Oct 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is gay or questioning, especially guys
The book is told through 3 boys eyes with alternating chapters of each of their perspectives. Kyle, a nice boy, whose a swimmer. He hangs out with Nelson a gay boy who's obviously gay. Also, Kyle is in love with Jason, a basketball player. Through the course of the book Kyle comes out to his parents. So does Jason and they become boyfriends? There relationship is kind of not official at the end of the book. They definitely like each other though. Kyle and Nelson have to deal with violence from a ...more
Suraya (thesuraya)
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
cute but some annoying characters and mundane plot and writing style
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes homosexuality, inspiration, and Alex Sanchez.
Recommended to Kristina by: One of my friends.
This book was really good, I couldn't put it down for one minute! It was inspirational, and it really made me realize how being yourself is the important thing and not trying to be someone else.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rpabookclub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica {Litnoob}
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I think I missed the optimal age to appreciate this book fully which is sad. It wasn’t a bad story and many parts really tug at the heart strings. But being 30 and not 15 a lot of the altercations took such an extreme turn so quickly that without the benefit of raging hormones I couldn’t relate in the slightest. Again unfortunate because the subject matter itself I can relate to entirely. If you are at that age, going through high school this book 500% was written for you and I highly recommend ...more
Menglong Youk
This is the first LGBT book I've ever read and the trilogy becomes my 6th favorite of all time. After finishing reading, I'm not hesitate to give it five stars because the book is undeniably encouraging, touching, heart-warming and inspiring. This trilogy will be listed in my reread list. Alex Sanchez did an absolutely great job on this novel and he automatically becomes one of my favorite authors of all time. This book is highly recommended to whomever want to be encouraged and stay strong agai ...more
Nikki Boisture
May 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This book was kind of...meh. It's about gay kids in high school, and the book kind of reads like a public service announcement. Hey Kids...get your parents involved in PFLAG! Hey Kids....don't be a homophobe! Hey kids....the GSA (gay straight alliance) has a right to meet thanks to the Federal Equal Access Act! Don't get me wrong, those are all important messages, but the book is none too subtle about getting that message across. (It even ends with several pages of information all types of gay r ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Rainbow Boys follows the lives of three gay (read as two gay and one sorely confused about his sexual identity) boys on their journey through their Junior year of High School. There’s love (some returned, some unrequited), sex and bashings abound.

Most reviews want to know “What have you learned while reading this book?” Well, nothing, really. It just showed the facts more clearly - a lot of people dislike the homosexual community and, because of this, go out of their way to make them uncomforta
I'm kind of divided about this book. It's about these three gay boys in high school -- one is out and proud, one is gay but not out, and one is just beginning to explore his sexuality, concluding that he's at least bisexual, if not gay.

The book sends great messages about the importance of safe sex regardless of your sexual orientation, relationships without sex and sex without a relationship, HIV and AIDS, and the prejudice and abuse many young gay men experience from their peers and their comm
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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

Other books in the series

Rainbow Trilogy (3 books)
  • Rainbow High (Rainbow Trilogy, #2)
  • Rainbow Road (Rainbow Trilogy, #3)

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