Sunday, May 1, 2011

Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez

Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
Publication: April 19, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
(224 pages, hardcover)
Summary: Lance has always known he was gay, but he's never had a real boyfriend. Sergio is bisexual, but his only real relationship was with a girl. When the two of them meet, they have an instant connection--but will it be enough to overcome their differences?
Allie's been in a relationship with a guy for the last two years--but when she meets Kimiko, she can't get her out of her mind. Does this mean she's gay? Does it mean she's bi? Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out.
Boyfriends with Girlfriends is Alex Sanchez at his best, writing with a sensitive hand to portray four very real teens striving to find their places in the world--and with each other.
My thoughts: Boyfriends with Girlfriends was cute, light, and a little predictable. My thoughts are kind of scattered on this one, since there was a lot I liked, but a few things I didn't like too. I'm not crazy about books with multiple main characters (meaning more than two) to begin with, and I couldn't help but feel that sometimes Boyfriends with Girlfriends had problems balancing the characters. However, I liked all of the characters, and the realistic spin on this complicated subject matter made me enjoy the book more than I would have otherwise. It was satisfying novel, overall, and I'd recommend it to LGBT fans or just fans of contemporary teen romance.
The book starts with a Lance and Sergio's first date which includes Allie and Kimiko, since the boys want to keep it light. Allie, who has always figured herself to be straight, quickly becomes attracted to Kimiko, who also likes Allie. Sergio, who says he's bisexual, right away likes Lance, and Lance likes him back, but for the fact that Sergio claims to be bisexual. The story lines get a bit blurred with the whole switching of main characters and one of the things I wishes had been different was how the characters' feelings were kind of pushed into the background because of everything else that was happening.
My favorite character, and in turn, favorite story line, was Allie's. She was a weak character to begin with (as in, she wasn't strong, not as in poorly-written), and I loved her transformation. Sanchez does a great job of showing how one person (for Allie, Kimiko) can come along and change everything, even things you didn't know you wanted changed. Allie slowly becomes a confident person, and even through the tough decisions, she becomes who she wants to be. I also liked Kimiko's character; her struggle to come out to her oblivious mother was honest, realistic, and provided some serious conflict to shadow the lighter problems most of the characters have.
As for the guys, I liked Lance, but sometimes I was a little mad at him. In a stop-being-so-freaking-hypocrtic way. He was a  great character, to be honest, since he had feelings that go against the cliche gay character feelings, and because he grew a lot. But honesty, his close-mindedness got to me a bit too much. Sergio was a nice character, but I felt like he missed a bit of depth. A lot happens to his character, but he always seemed kind of disconnected. I couldn't help but feel like the girls' characters got a lot more personality than the guys, which was a blessing and a curse in itself.
Te story was cute and fun, which was the best part, for me at least. I liked how frustratingly real their strained conversations were, and the palpable tension between the characters. It made it feel realistic and raw, without being too heavy or tedious. I especially liked Sergio and Lance's dates; they were torn between romantic, forced, and awkward, which was completely honest. The writing wasn't fantastic either; I felt it was kind of flat and unfeeling, but it is difficult to sound personal and emotional with four characters switching back and fourth, and writing as third-person omniscient. In the end, I liked Boyfriends with Girlfriends a lot as a light LGBT novel, and pretty well as a novel in general.
Covering the Cover: I really like this cover; it's cute-looking and creative.
Characters: 3.5/5
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.33 stars


Sarah Lydia said...

Great review! It does get kind of confusing when there are several main characters in a book :/

Still, I can't wait to get my hands on my own copy of Boyfriends with Girlfriends.

Kat said...

I also thought this was one was fun and light-hearted, and yeah, the girls' storyline was better than the guys'. Kimiko was definitely my favorite character! Anyway, awesome review. :)

Anti-Drug Reads said...

This actually looks really intense! I might pick this up, but great review. Very honest :) Don't be a stranger, stop by my blog sometime and say hi!

Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads

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