Bubblegum Flavored Gender, Sex, and Romance

Absolutely, Positively Not by Larochelle
A perky book about coming out. Seriously. Steven's best friend Rachel already knew, and his parents just tell him not to tell the other parent. But basically it all works out okay, and he even finds a support group. It's nice to see some bubblegum fiction for gay teens.

The Breakup Bible by Kantor
Why was I drawn to this book about what it feels like to be broken up with cold, left hanging with no explanation, and then find that one's boyfriend has taken up with someone else on the staff of the school paper? I don't know, but it worked for me. The cover is pink, and this is book 2 of the bubblegum reviews in this post, though the protagonist Jen does come to terms well with her new assessment of her ex-boyfriend. He is, in fact, a jerk. Convenient that he is... the real heartbreaks are over people who *are* worth it. Anyhow, this is another 1-hour teen fic romp if you're in the mood for hetero romance.

Parrotfish by Wittlinger

Or maybe you're looking for something a little more transsexual... Though the tone is heavier as Angela changes her name to Grady and his gender to Male, the basic bubblegum principles of this post continue to operate. Parents are upset, but Dad comes around quickly, and Mom starts calling him Grady within a few short weeks or less. Geeky Sebastien asks Angela out to the dance, but is cool when Grady replies that he doesn't date girls. My personal favorite portion of this was the clueless father who forces the entire family to enact 19th century Christmas traditions for the entire neighborhood to see each year, entirely missing the irony of the power plant worth of Christmas lights and lawn ornamentation that stands between then 19th century scene inside and the neighborhood onlookers. Ever wondered how hard it would be to be transsexual? Ever wondered how hard it would be to be the neighborhood freak whose father thinks he's Santa Claus? Now you can experience two for one!

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