Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez.
This is about two groups of best friends. Lance and Allie, Sergio and Kimiko. Lance and Sergio have been chatting on the phone and online. When the story begins the two are meeting for the first time at a mall. Allie and Kimiko go to keep it a stress free first get together.
Lance and Sergio get along very well. Though Lance who is gay doesn't like that Sergio considers himself a bisexual. Lance believe someone is either gay or straight. Eventually, this is worked out. Sanchez does a great job of allowing the characters to explain this point of view. I think the author took a lot of care with Sergio's voice.
Allie has a boyfriend but after spending time with Kimiko she begins to question her sexual preference. Kimiko is a lesbian, she's never had a girlfriend and is attracted to Allie. As with the boys storyline, the girls could be relationship is handled very well. In the beginning I was worried Allie liked Kimiko simply because she was Japanese. Though Allie and Kimiko do get to know each other, so I was okay* with Allie's being into all things Japanese.
It was nice being able to see the characters interact with their families, it helped round them out. There was a lot diagoloue and self reflection both of which fit easily into the story. Sanchez is skilled at creating likable characters.
Boyfriends with Girlfriends is a great story about sexual identity. There aren't many bi YA characters, Sanchez handles Sergio's voice with a lot of care. Same goes for Allie, who is still trying to figure out what label fits her. I do wish that Sergio and Allie got a chance to interact alone and the same goes for Lance and Kimiko.
If someone told me that a GLBT YA novel was coming out with a diverse cast and one of the characters is butch and another is bi. I would've laughed in their face. But Sanchez made it happen.
There were a few things I questioned, like Allie going bra shopping with Kimiko, while still trying to understand her feelings for Kimiko. Overall Sanchez did a very good job was Boyfriends and Girlfriends.
Read the first chapter