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BOYFRIENDS WITH GIRLFRIENDS by Alex Sanchez

BOYFRIENDS WITH GIRLFRIENDS

By Alex Sanchez

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 19th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4169-3773-9
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A breezy romantic comedy starring two pairs of LGBTQ teens stays pleasantly upbeat but hits a few false notes. Lance has a date to meet Sergio. Lance brings his friend Allie. Sergio brings his friend Kimiko, and two sets of crushes ignite. Lance is anxious about Sergio's being bi. Sergio worries that Lance is too clingy. Kimiko fears that Allie is out of her league. Allie has a boyfriend but wonders if she might be bi... and falling for Kimiko. The third-person narrator switches perspectives with a dizzying briskness, as the four teens flirt, gossip and brood in occasionally cringeworthy teenspeak ("putting the make," "You did a hella thing" and an enthusiastic, "Like, yeah!"). Amid the giddy energy a few serious issues arise. Lance comes to understand his own biphobia; two teens struggle with homophobic parents; the boys (but not the girls) work to decide and agree upon how fast to move sexually. The portrayal of Kimiko and her family is marred by the use of Asian stereotypes: She and Sergio call her rigid and intolerant mother a "Dragon Lady" and refer to her "Samurai face," and Allie's "Japan-geek" fascination with Kimiko's ethnicity is never problematized. Still, readers who can overlook the stereotypes and clunky slang will enthusiastically root for both couples. (Fiction. 12 & up)