Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
Allie has been dating Chip for two years, but lately it feels like their relationship isn't going anywhere. Does Chip love her more than she loves him? Is Allie settling for Chip? Is there something more somewhere else? Her best friend, Lance, takes her along as backup when meeting a boy, Sergio, he likes. Turns out Sergio has also brought along backup in the form of his best friend, Kimiko. Lance and Sergio hit it off. Allie and Kimiko hit it off, too. Kimiko crushes on Allie, but thinks she's out of her league. Allie feels all aflutter around Kimiko, but she has a boyfriend ... doesn't she? What about Chip? Sergio likes Lance, but doesn't want to get his heart broken again. And Lance is a virgin! Dude! Lance certainly likes Sergio, but Sergio is bi ... no-one is really bi. FML, Lance! Can Lance get over himself?
Ah, Lance. I spent so much time wanting to shake him and tell him to stop trying to screw up a good thing by fixating on ridiculous labels. He wants Sergio to be Gay. He wants Sergio to be his Committed Boyfriend. Calm down, Lance, and enjoy the flippin' moment. (Which is exactly what Allie tells him and yay for that).
Really, I loved Boyfriends With Girlfriends. It's sweet, fun romp full of teachable moments that manage not to feel hackneyed or trite even though they feel excruciatingly Real World. It probably helps that all the principal characters (yes, even Lance) are sweetly charming. It's impossible not to want them all to be happy in love, friendship, and family.
The only thing I wish the novel had done better was to have given me a little more of Chip's story. It was hard to empathize with Allie over her difficulty breaking up with Chip, because he seemed pretty much like a nonentity. On the other hand, there are already a million novels out there told from the straight male POV, so I can see why Sanchez might give Chip short shrift. (Also, I might have had a hard time caring about Chip, because I was all ♪ Allie and Kimiko sitting in a tree, K-I-SS-ING ♪)
Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster, 2011)