The God Box

Title: The God Box
Author: Alex Sanchez
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York
Year: 2007
Available: Amazon.Com and Amazon.Ca

Alex Sanchez has a master's degree in guidance and counselling from Old Dominion University. A Lambda Literary Award winning author, Sanchez authored Rainbow Boys, Rainbow High, Rainbow Road, So Hard to Say, and Getting It.

Academic periodicals and books, and religious books, not novels, are routinely read and reviewed. The God Box came highly recommended by a friend. Not being a novel enthusiast makes it difficult to determine if others will enjoy this book.

The God Box combines elements of romance, and drama. More than being a romantic story, or a drama, this book is a story of a spiritual journey, and a story of people facing their inner fears and demons. Those demons include homophobia, fear, anger, death, forgiveness, and unhealthy religious beliefs. Some characters in the story successfully overcome their inner demons and become much better people, while other characters are overcome by their inner demons.

The novel focuses on the lives of several high school students in a conservative west Texas town. The book has a love story, that has the potential to be one of two forbidden love stories. One of the love stories is “forbidden” by sexual orientation, while the other is forbidden by religious beliefs.

Paul loves Angie. He’s been her boyfriend for years. What stands in the way of a romance between Paul and Angie is not a family feud, socio-economic background, race, or religion. Paul's sexuality make it impossible for him to feel physical desire for Angie.

A conservative Christian, Paul is very uncomfortable when an openly gay Christian, Manuel, starts attending his high school. Manuel shatters Paul's concept of gay people, because Manuel knows the Bible very well, and is a Christian. This is difficult for Paul to accept, because he's been lead to believe gay people cannot be Christians. Paul finds himself avoiding Manuel, while feeling drawn to Manuel. Though the book Paul struggles with his sexuality, wanting to be able to be the boyfriend Angie really deserves, and not wanting to fall in love with Manuel. Paul is not the only person challenged by Manuel’s presence. Manuel challenges his school - both students and teachers, the town, and Christian churches.

The God Box is a light, enjoyable read. Alex Sanchez's novel The God Box could be a good gift for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who are struggling to reconcile faith and spirituality, because through the eyes of the characters the Biblical texts relating to same-gender sexual relationships are examined.