02 August 2013
Boyfriends with Girlfriends
Sanchez, Alex. Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2011.
Lance is gay. Sergio is bisexual. Allie's had a boyfriend for years, but their relationship isn't going anywhere. Kimiko is a lesbian. Add to this that Kimiko's and Sergio's families don't support them in their orientations, Lance doesn't believe in bisexuality, and Allie is a manga-holic who loves everything Japanese (including Kimiko). The four protagonists try to navigate through high school while defining themselves and what they believe about sexuality.
I read this book because it is one of the few YA books available that actually contains bisexual characters. The characters in this book are really stereotypical, which I found irritating. Also, the book kind of reads like an after school special on bisexuality. It would be wonderful to find a book where one or more characters was bisexual and it wasn't a big deal. We've gotten there with gay and lesbian characters, but I'm still waiting for a book with a bisexual character where the book isn't trying to teach everyone about bisexuality. Also, it bothered me that Allie and Lance, the two white kids, were best friends, while Sergio and Kimiko, the two minorities, were best friends. Overall, the story is pretty typical Sanchez, with lots of teen drama and a Disney-esque ending. Not a bad beach read.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: lots of sex and mentions of sex, even though it isn't graphic
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars