Adrian's Reviews > Rainbow High

Rainbow High by Alex   Sanchez
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's review
Feb 26, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: drama, gay, romance, young-adult

This will be the last book of the series that I read. On the one hand, Sanchez's writing continues to be rather exceptional given the genre and such. It can be hard to find LGBT YA books that aren't fantasy or sci fi based that are written with such command of language and craft. He's truly on just about equal footing with David Levithan in that regard. But this book is horribly dated and doesn't transcend it's time frame. Every time something happened in direct response to the HIV storyline or the homophobia of the school, I was painfully reminded about how long ago 2003 was and how far we've come since then.

But the worst thing here has to be the book's treatment of Jeremy and the HIV storyline. Every character in the book comes off as ignorant and bigoted when it comes to this issues and it all lends to a sense of othering that shouldn't be there. You'd think if any book could exercise a sense of acceptance and equality, a feeling that all people are equal and worthy of love, it would be this one. Instead, Jeremy is presented as nothing more than his disease and that's a serious problem. Sanchez could have gone a long way towards lessening that by just having one person other than Nelson be OK with Jeremy's status, and even having Nelson himself be more OK with it than he actually is, but he fails on that part and it was really problematic.

The Jason and Kyle story is the best thing in this book, and it's the only thing saving it from a one star rating from me. But even in that there are times when I want the story to recognize these characters pains and struggles as more valid than it does. Kyle's parents never once seem interested in understanding his position in not wanting to go to Princeton. To be fair, he doesn't really have a solid reason for wanting to pass up Princeton either, but still, just one instance of acknowledgment that this decision would be hard for him would have been nice. Instead, there's a constant feeling throughout the book that it's being written by an adult who sides a bit more with the adults than he does the teens, and that's a weird feeling to have in a YA novel.
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Reading Progress

February 26, 2010 – Shelved
Started Reading
December 2, 2015 – Shelved as: drama
December 2, 2015 – Shelved as: gay
December 2, 2015 – Shelved as: romance
December 2, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 2, 2015 – Finished Reading

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