The story focuses upon Maui's struggle to cope with being gay in a small town as well as his angst about earning his father's approval. Of the three other group members, Maui is closest to Isaac, and the two love one another like brothers. Trini, the most effeminate of the group, is more like a sister to Maui. I highly recommend this book for adults and teenagers. In spite of my reservations, I feel the book is outstanding, and I will not hesitate to recommend it highly as both a beautiful coming-of-age story as well as a gay-themed young adult novel.
The diversity of books directed at gay and lesbian teens is rapidly expanding, and it is a great leap forward that this young adult novel focuses almost entirely on Mexican-American teenagers. To actually have a book that could speak to a minority group, that allows young gay and lesbian Latinas and Latinos to see themselves in the pages of a book and that reflects their lives is fantastic. The reader actually feels like they are in the minds of 17 and 18 year old gay youths.
they are the fierce foursome, and yet there are only 3 boys on the cover. third, the cover says that something will happen that will bring the community together...not exactly, in the 2nd to last chapter something happens, and ostensibly, it will bring the community together, but it doesn't.
It wasn't as dark as I thought it would be from the synopsis - which isn't a bad thing. (Although reading the synopsis back, it's literally not true.
3.5 stars Mariposa Club is a decent coming of age story that has engaging characters and a youthful appeal. Instead the story is more an anthem for young gay teens of any type, involving characters and situations that they can emphasize and sympathize with. The narration revolves around four young men in their senior year of high school. The story is heavily character dependant as the first person narrator, Maui, describes his friends and the events that happen around them. Instead this is more about the self awareness and acceptance issues young gay teenagers experience. Although each of the young men from the club which never gets started ironically does change by the end of the novel, these changes range from geographical to cosmetic but not necessarily emotional or maturity. The fierce foursome has more growing up to do but this is the kind of story that would appeal to teens looking for characters they can empathize and sympathize with.
Lib apparently has no trouble at all, he has a loving family, good grades at school and probably a brilliant future in politics; Trini, more transgender than gay actually, is the one with the worst family background, basically his parents kicked him out and he is living with an old aunt; Isaac comes from a middle class family, his father has not really accepted him being gay, but he is coping, more or less; and finally Mauricio Maui, without mother but with, probably, the best of all above parent, a father that, even if he doesnt understand his son, is always ready to support him, despite all. Sure these foursome has not it easy at school, but all in all their story is the story of ordinary teenagers, with family trouble, school trouble, boyfriends trouble their biggest problem is to find a way to be remember in the school yearbook and so they decide to establish the first LGBT club in their high school, The Mariposa Club.
That said, I appreciated the inclusion of the vato cholo gang kid who might or might not have actually been gay within the narrative landscape. I liked this landscape, and these characters, but the narrative resolution felt a bit deux ex machina to me.
The book follows the first semester of their senior year, as they try and get together a social club at the school. Their sexuality seemed to be the only thing that they cared about, when in reality, these characters, especially as seniors, probably had more to deal with instead of being sassy or wanting to turn 18 to be a crossdressing hairdresser.