Title: Rainbow Road
Author: Alex Sanchez
First published October 1, 2005
243 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9781416911913 (ISBN10: 141691191X)
Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez is a heartwarming story of three friends on a post-graduation summer road trip. Jason Carrillo, who lost his university scholarship after coming out to his basketball team, is now asked to speak at the opening of a gay and lesbian high school across the country.
Kyle Meeks, Jason’s boyfriend, joins him on this trip before they have to separate for college. Nelson Glassman, Kyle’s best friend, is happy for his friends but is also in search of his own true love.
As they embark on a journey of self-discovery, their friendship is tested as they encounter love, sexuality, and homophobia. Join these three boys on a life-changing adventure in Rainbow Road.
About the Author
Meet Alex Sanchez, the talented author of several teen and middle-grade novels, including the Rainbow Boys trilogy and The God Box. He is also the proud recipient of the Lambda Award for his novel So Hard to Say and the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for his YA fiction title, Bait.
Alex’s background in guidance and counseling, coupled with his passion for writing, has allowed him to connect with young people in a unique and meaningful way throughout his career. He has worked as a youth and family counselor for many years, providing support to those who need it most.
Now, Alex has added another exciting project to his list of accomplishments – a graphic novel from DC Comics called You Brought Me the Ocean. This new book promises to be a thrilling and engaging addition to his already impressive body of work.
If you want to learn more about Alex and his inspiring journey as a writer, be sure to check out his website.
Rainbow Road, a young adult novel by Alex Sanchez, is a heartwarming read that explores themes of identity, love, and acceptance. Sanchez, a gay author whose books often deal with LGBTQ+ themes, has crafted a nuanced and authentic story that is sure to resonate with readers of all identities.
Set in California, Rainbow Road follows the journey of three high school seniors – Jason, Kyle and Nelson – who are figuring out who they are and who they want to be. Jason, who is gay, has been kicked out of his home by his very religious parents.
Kyle, who is bisexual, is struggling with coming out to his girlfriend, while Nelson, who is straight, is dealing with the tragic loss of his sister. Together, the three embark on a road trip along Route 66, where they encounter a variety of characters and experiences that challenge their preconceptions and deepen their understanding of themselves and each other.
Sanchez’s writing style is clear and engaging, and he does an excellent job of capturing the different voices and perspectives of his characters. He also deftly weaves in historical and cultural references throughout the novel, such as the Chicano movement and the Stonewall riots, that add depth and context to the story.
One of the strengths of Rainbow Road is the way Sanchez handles the complex relationships between his characters. Jason, Kyle, and Nelson are all dealing with their own personal demons, but they also love and support each other in ways that are both heartening and realistic.
Their conversations about sex, gender, and identity are frank and honest, but never feel didactic or preachy. The pacing of Rainbow Road is excellent – the road trip framework keeps the story moving forward, and the frequent stops along the way provide opportunities for character development and plot twists.
The setting of the novel – the wide open spaces of Route 66 – is also well-drawn, and adds a sense of adventure and freedom to the story. However, there are some flaws to Rainbow Road.
Some of the secondary characters feel like caricatures, and their motivations and actions can feel contrived at times. Additionally, while Sanchez does a good job of exploring the internal struggles of his main characters, there are moments when the dialogue can feel stilted or overly expository.
Despite these flaws, Rainbow Road is a charming and compelling novel that will resonate with readers of all ages. It is a powerful reminder that love and acceptance are not always easy, but that the journey towards self-discovery and connection is always worth taking.
For young people who are struggling to find their place in the world, Rainbow Road is especially relevant. It provides a compassionate and empathetic portrayal of the challenges and triumphs of adolescence, and encourages readers to embrace their own unique qualities and identities.
Overall, Rainbow Road is a highly recommended read. Its mix of humor, heart, and social commentary make it a standout in the young adult genre, and its themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery will stay with readers long after they finish the last page.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars.