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When Lance starts dating bisexual Sergio, he is not quite sure he believes someone can be "turned on by both guys and chicks" as Sergio claims to be. Meanwhile, Lance's best friend, Allie, starts to question her own sexuality when she is attracted to Sergio's lesbian best friend, Kimiko. Moving between the protagonists' alternating perspectives, Sanchez (Bait) carefully spells out the teens' struggles with different aspects of their sexual identities: Kimiko's mother wishes she would dress and act more feminine, Allie worries that kissing Kimiko would ruin their friendship, and Lance gets upset when Sergio refuses to commit to being a couple ("I guess I'd like to know who my competition is," he says, after watching Sergio dance with both a guy and a girl at the homecoming dance). Readers will appreciate a book that delves into the fraught topic of bisexuality, but they may tire of the characters' constant relationship and identity anxieties, which basically define them. The book's subject matter is more memorable than the stories it tells or the characters who tell them. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-Lance is gay but has never had a successful relationship. Sergio, a new guy Lance met online, is bisexual, but his only relationship was with a girl. When they set up a "f2f" at the mall, they decide to bring along their best friends, Allie and Kimiko, for support. At the meeting, not only do sparks fly for Lance and Sergio; Allie, who has been dating a guy for two years, and Kimiko, a closeted lesbian, also make an instant connection. The usual relationship issues follow: Lance fears Sergio's bisexuality and lack of commitment; Allie ponders her sexuality and breaks up with her all-too-understanding boyfriend; Kimiko can't comprehend why a "straight," popular girl is attracted to her but gets invested enough to come out to her strict Japanese parents; all works out in the end with no repercussions. Give Sanchez credit for tackling the bisexuality issue; there is a dearth of YA fiction on this topic. However, the plotline is too predictable, with most of the characters living in an all-too-perfect-world of acceptance.-Betty S. Evans, Missouri State University, Springfield (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* After meeting online, Sergio and Lance make a date to get together in person, bringing along their respective best friends, Kimiko and Allie. The first meeting is sweetly awkward, and while the boys hit it off all right, there's a problem. Sergio is bisexual, and Lance isn't sure he can handle that or whether he even believes it is possible to be attracted to both boys and girls. Actually, there are two problems. Kimiko is a lesbian and crushes on Allie who, though she has a devoted boyfriend, is questioning and finds herself increasingly attracted to her new friend. How will these four engaging kids resolve the mixed messages their hearts are sending to their brains? Leave it to Lambda Literary Award-winner Sanchez (for So Hard to Say, 2004) to sort it all out. In the process, he's written another innovative, important book that explores, with empathy and sympathy, largely ignored aspects of teen sexual identity. While lip service is routinely given to these aspects in the acronym GLBTQ, there have been only a handful of novels that so plausibly and dramatically bring the nature of bisexuality and sexual questioning to life. Sanchez does both, and in the process establishes welcome possibilities for other authors to explore.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist