RAINBOW PARTY by Paul Ruditis


Age Range: 14 & up
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Flimsy characterization weakens this pulp about a teen sex party but doesn’t neutralize the disquieting issues confronted. Gin invites a select group of sophomores to her house for a Rainbow Party, in which each girl will put on a different color lipstick and perform oral sex on every boy there. Projected result: At the end, each boy’s penis will be covered with a rainbow of lipstick colors. The narrative begins two hours before the 3 p.m. (post-school) start time and alternates points of view between the invitees as the clock ticks down. A grim, glum feeling runs throughout as various characters exhibit selfishness, crassness and lack of self-confidence. Even the solidly bonded couple fails to communicate until near the end. Obstacles prevent the party from occurring, but themes explored along the way include sexually transmitted disease, virginity, peer pressure, ambivalence about sex, the non-mutuality of the planned sex and plain old horniness. Thin characterization, but frank and unique. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-4169-0235-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2005