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09 August 2005 @ 11:04 am
Will there be many books like this one?  
Because of all the furor over the book, I read RAINBOW PARTY. Okay, so sexual content is present and it is unnerving for this grandmother of three teen girls to even think for a moment that parties such as the one planned in the book are common occurrences. However, I have never been one to stick my head in the sand, so I read the entire book. I have a few questions: why did the bookstore chains refuse to carry this book? are rainbow parties common?

I do understand the pressure from censors, but the major book stores do carry loads of books with more sexualized content than this. There are other YA novels that have sexual content as well. I just think this is a tempest in a teapot, but I do hope this is not indicative of the future when chains will decide what to carry based on some set of standards that are not made public. Hmm.....

I still think Tanya Lee Stone's SOMETIMES A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL is a better novel for covering much of this territory.

I am reading PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld and will write more about that later. Nice piece of sci-fi. I loved THE MIDNIGHTERS already and this one is intriguing from the outset.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
RebelLibrarian: Bad Lettersrebellibrarian on August 9th, 2005 09:35 am (UTC)
I think rainbow parties are as common as every generation's focus for the source of the demise of morality in youth... rock music, gangs, hippies, punk music & heavy metal, androgyny... now the concern is the overt sexualization of youth.

I'm sure it happens - but most likely the worst of the stories are with the college-age or 20-something crowd that create the trend that teens attempt to emulate. My guess is that this book is pretty accurate... STDs are booming in the under 18-age group but my guess is that the majority would be comfortable crafting their image & talking about doing it, sure... but not many that would actually do it.
kelcrockerkelcrocker on August 9th, 2005 10:12 am (UTC)
I definitely think that oral sex is more common now than in my generation (graduated from high school in the 80s). Think back to a certain president in the '90s who acted as if he thought oral sex wasn't "sex." But I also have read several thorough news reports that say that this idea of "rainbow party" is highly exaggerated. The New York Times and some other newspapers couldn't find a teen who said they'd ever heard of such a thing actually happening. They may be happening, but I don't think it's rampant. I like our comparison, Rebel, to gangs, punk, etc.

I can't figure out why the bookstores wouldn't carry this book when lots of other YA books contain sex (as they should, I believe). Is this because the topic is overtly sexual? (Is it a 'one-note' book, so to speak?) I think that's scary that, perhaps fearing controversy, they just sidestepped the whole thing. I haven't read the book, and am curious, but am so busy with other reading, haven't had a chance to. I have heard that it's poorly written, and I'm always suspect in a situation when the editor says, "Hey...write a book about this [hot topic at the moment.]"

I'm glad you liked Tanya's book. I'm eager to read it.
Trouble: exeneliteraticat on August 9th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
I carry it. I have never sold one, but it is on the shelf.

I've said it before: The most scandalous thing about the book is how totally lame it is. I mean, a book about oral sex parties should not read puritanical.
professornanaprofessornana on August 9th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
The book certainly does create discussion
I am not sure how I feel about the book. I do not think it has literary merit but that has little to do with the content. I think the characters are not as fully fleshed out as could be (pun intended) and come close to being too easily stereotyped. The ending is anti-climatic and I think cop out. Then a one page piece about HIV/AIDS seems out of place, too. I have not gotten any kid feedback yet, so I will withhold judgment. I still think there are better books out there and plenty of other books whose content could be as controversial but have not set off the fireworks this one has. I have read the online discussion about Ann Brashares' column in the NYT and seen some call for rating books. SHUDDER!
thunderchikin on August 11th, 2005 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: The book certainly does create discussion
A Big NO to book ratings. Instead, we should rate newspaper columns.

I agree that Rainbow doesn't have much to it except a provocative subject. I didn't find Bad Boys, Good Girls to be a strong replacement for it, either.