Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing
By: David Levithan
Pub. Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Knoph Books for Young Readers
Pages: 208
Source: TLA 2013

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

This follow-up to the bestselling Every Day showcases David's trademark sharp-witted, warm-hearted tales of teenage love, and serves as a perfect thematic bookend to David's YA debut and breakthrough, Boy Meets Boy, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2013.
After reading last years, Every Day, I became a huge fan of David Levithan and I couldn't wait to read Two Boys Kissing. It was my number one coveted ARC that I was hoping to get at TLA. Not only did I snag a copy, I also got to meet Levithan and he was just as wonderful as I thought he would be!

Two Boys Kissing is essentially about two boys kissing. They want to break the world record for kissing, and so for the next 32 hours, Craig and Harry are going to do just that.  While this is going on there are other stories playing out. There is Neil and Peter, who have been going out for a while and feel very comfortable with each other, Ryan and Avery who just met the night before at a gay prom, and Cooper, who feels utterly alone. All of these stories are being told through the perspectives of a generation of gay man who died from AIDS related complications.

I felt a connection to every single character, which you would think might be hard to do since I don't have anything in common with these teens. I cared deeply for them and I wanted them to be able to get through everything they were dealing with. My favorite couple was Craig and Harry. They broke up a while ago, but have remained friends. They decided to go on this journey together and I was rooting for them to accomplish their goals. I loved how through kissing they were able to become one with each other. They knew what the other needed just through their body language. 

I was a little disappointed at the end. I was hoping for more of a concrete ending, instead of one that was open ended. Other than that I really enjoyed Two Boys Kissing. I think it is an important book for everyone to read because it has a universal message. It doesn't matter if you are gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual or anything else, we all just want the same things-to feel connected to other human beings.

The point of view was what definitely got me. These men suffered and ultimately died because of AIDS and hearing their point of views was beautiful and touching. Reading about their hopes and dreams, their accomplishments and failures, and all the things they never got to do, or will never be able to do again was definitely tear worthy. Some of the things that were said stayed with me long after I turned the page.

The story was so beautifully written and by the fourth page, I was in tears. Levithan has this way of writing that can just touch your soul and break your heart. He truly is a fantastic writer and from here on out, I will read anything that this man writes.

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