Queer Love in the Bronx: Chulito by Charles González-Rice

I always love Molly’s reviews, I can read them have a pretty good sense about whether a book is right for me or not. She recently reviewed the book “Chulito,” a title I’d never heard of before. I thought some of our Vamos a Leer readers may be interested in it. It looks like an interesting read: “Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan’s piers, Chulito is a coming-out, coming-of-age love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop–loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters in his vibrant neighborhood.” I hope you’ll check out her review!

wrapped up in books

Chulito by Charles González-Rice chulito

Published: May 1st 2010 by Alyson Books

Source: local library

Synopsis: Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan’s piers, Chulito is a coming-out, coming-of-age love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop–loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters in his vibrant neighborhood. Chulito, which means “cutie,” is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up—the owner of the local bodega, the Lees from the Chinese restaurant, his buddies from the corner, and all of his neighbors and friends, including Carlos, who was Chulito’s best friend until they hit puberty and people started calling Carlos a pato . . . a faggot.

Chulito rejects Carlos, buries his feelings for him, and becomes best friends with Kamikaze, a local drug dealer. When Carlos comes home from his first year away at college and…

View original post 757 more words

6 thoughts on “Queer Love in the Bronx: Chulito by Charles González-Rice

    • Hi Mia,
      Haven’t read the book myself, I can only go by what others say. It is ‘labeled’ as young adult, but Molly wrote that she’d be hesitant to give it to anyone but the most mature teenager. While the characters are young adults, it seems like the themes and some of the content are more what you would find in the “New Adult” genre. I think it would be difficult, if not impossible, to use in a high school classroom as a whole class reading because of some of the content. But, for the right student, it could be quite a powerful individual reading.

      • Thanks so much for the clarification Molly. I’d hate for a student to get a book that’s content and themes really weren’t appropriate for them. Your review came up in our book group meeting this past week We were discussing how “Chulito” might compare to “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe”. We’re reading that one for February. I’m hoping to get a chance to read “Chulito” by then too. It seems like there might be overlapping themes, although from your review perhaps they’re explored quite differently.

      • Ah, I want to be in this book group! I love Vamos a Leer because it blends everything I loved about my experiences in LAAS as a grad student and my work in libraries.

        A comparison of Chulito vs. Aristotle and Dante would be so interesting, because they do have such similar themes, but they are conveyed in such different ways. I absolutely adored Aristotle and Dante. It’s an amazing coming out and coming of age story, just like Chulito. But Aristotle and Dante is all literature and letters and stargazing and kisses, and Chulito is the hood and running drugs and losing your virginity in a threesome with a prostitute. Two ends of the spectrum. And looking at them side by side definitely solidifies as Aristotle and Dante as YA and Chulito as adult m-m romance. And there is such a range to the teenage experience and such differences in maturity levels. Some would connect with one over the other. But Aristotle and Dante is on my teen book club list for next year, and Chulito never would be. I’d be comfortable advocating for Aristotle and Dante on a required reading list. Hell, it’s got three awards medals slapped on the cover. But if a parent went to a news outlet with quotes from Chulito while protesting it as suggested reading, they’d actually have a point.

      • Too bad you’re not closer! We’d so love to have you be part of our group. I can’t wait to get to read these two books now and compare them. Sounds like they are on very different ends of the spectrum. I do hope though that with all the awards Aristotle and Dante finds its way into more classrooms and school libraries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s