Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQ, Contemporary
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: August 21st, 2013
Source: Provided by Publisher

18214003Goodreads SummarySeventeen-year-olds Craig and Harry are trying to set a new Guinness World Record for kissing.

Around them, Ryan and Avery are falling in love, Neil and Peter are falling out of love, and Cooper might be somewhere, but he is also, dangerously, nowhere.

Narrated, Greek-chorus style, by the generation of gay men lost to AIDS, this novel is a thematic companion to David Levithan’s groundbreakingBoy Meets Boy, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013.

Two Boys Kissing is trademark Levithan: warm, sharp and real. It is also something new and completely extraordinary.

2011-textpublishing

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Marianne

We are so privileged nowadays. We can speak as boldly as we want, and say its “free speech”, we can wear whatever we want, we can hear any kind of music, practice any religion (or not), we can even choose whom to love without repercussions. I had taken this all for granted until I read Two Boys Kissing.

Two Boys Kissing is narrated Greek chorus style by the generation of Gay men who have died of AIDS.

You can’t know what it is like for us now-you will always be one step behind.
Be thankful for that.
You can’t know what it was like for us then-you will always be one step ahead.
Be thankful for that, too.

I really enjoyed the Greek Chorus style narration! At first it was a bit confusing to get into, but it was really nice. It was sort of omnipresent. This narration gave everything a much more “emotional” emphasis to everything. I enjoyed it very much.

I’m so surprised by the way that David Levithan wrote this book. He didn’t write a book just for the sake of writing about gay relationships. He wrote a book for the sake of human relationships. He made a point to show that gay isn’t different from the rest of the world. He also delved deep into the nature of human relationships, and not only the gay relationships. I loved meeting each and every one of the characters presented. They were all so natural to love and to comprehend.

Craig and Harry are the protagonists here. They’re planning to set the world record for longest kiss. They’re not dating, but they used to be a couple. Imagine having to kiss your ex for 32 hours straight! I can’t, and I’m pretty sure not many people can. Yet, David showed us what this kiss meant: this kiss isn’t lustful or passionate, it’s a kiss meant to show something bigger.

Craig and Harry’s big kiss sets the stage for other characters. Peter & Neil are another part of the story. They’ve been a couple for a long time, so their dynamic is different. There’s also Ryan & Avery who’ve just met. And then there’s Cooper, who’s alone, who doesn’t really feel anything.

All of these characters really resonated with me. They all represented different relationships & hardships that we have all gone through. Cooper especially broke my heart because he goes through an especially difficult issue, and I just wanted to hug him throughout the whole book.

This book doesn’t only speak to the gay community. It speaks to all of us who feel different, who want to be different. That boy who wants to be an artist amongst his family of lawyers can understand Neil’s fear of his parents not loving him. That girl who’s in love with her best friend can understand Craig’s feelings for Harry. That person who can’t seem to connect with anyone can resonate with Cooper’s emptiness. These stories are so monumental. They’re meant not only for us, but also for those who surpass us.

I hope to read more of David Levithan, and very soon.

Rating: 5 stars.

it was amazing

**A review copy of this title was provided by the Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review. To purchase this book, you can visit their website,here.

17 thoughts on “Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

  1. Rebecca @ The Library Canary says:

    I’ve been nervous to pick this up because of the Greek Chorus style narrative. I’m not sure if I would be able to get into a book narrated like that. But I’ve also heard amazing things so I feel like I should give it a try. I love your review. So insightful. It definitely makes me want to read this one.

    Like

    • Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms says:

      Try reading an excerpt or something. I really liked it, but I understand that it’s not for everyone. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Like

  2. Faye M. says:

    We definitely need more books like this, books about gay relationships that not only highlight them just for the heck of it and that it’s unique, but for the reason to spread awareness. That gays are people, too. That gays have struggles too — struggles that are familiar to each and every one of us. That before their sexual preferences, they are humans like you, me, and everyone else. I bet some people in our society are so clouded with their own judgement and preconceived notions that they forget what it means to be understanding and compassionate. I’m glad there are books like this that remind us of what needs to be remembered.

    Great review!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    Like

  3. LilysBookBlog says:

    I love David’s books and for whatever reason i just havent picked this one up (well i know the reason, MY TBR PILE IS CRAZY LONG) but i really need to read this one soon because you have such amazing things to say about this book in your review and i just WANT it! haha!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    Like

    • Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms says:

      I know the feeling of a never ending TBR pile. I forced myself to create a space for it because it sounded so cool! haha. Yes yes. Read it and then tell me what you think! 🙂

      Like

  4. Alise (Readers in Wonderland) says:

    I think it’s great that this one seems like it focuses on relationships in general instead of writing it just for it to be LGBTQ, like you mentioned (with better wording I just had haha) I’ve been interested in this one but now I’ll for sure be on the lookout for it if I see it at the store or library. The characters sound really diverse, and I’ve always wanted to read something by the author.

    Like

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