Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQ, Contemporary
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: August 21st, 2013
Source: Provided by Publisher
Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-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.
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.