Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

When it comes to experimenting with form, I think David Levithan is one of the most creative authors.  Many of his books have an unexpected twist to them, such as being written in the form of a dictionary, or in response to photographs, or with a narrator who gets reincarnated each day. In Two Boys Kissing the book is narrated by a chorus of men who died from AIDS. This unusual perspective of "we" which doesn't include any of the characters from the novel itself, makes its scope both huge and slightly impersonal and while at moments I did appreciate it, and other times it felt like it lead to the story dragging along.

There are several storylines in Two Boys Kissing, centering around two boys, a broken up couple, who are now kissing and attempting to break the world record for longest kiss. Meanwhile, another couple meets for the first time and connects at prom, and two boys come out to their parents in very different ways. These are just a few of the many stories of gay youth and while Levithan draws on some common elements, Two Boys Kissing ultimate emphasize how different the stories can be.

I really liked the storyline between Avery and Ryan, as I really wanted things to work out for them, the boy with pink hair and the boy with blue hair. Connor's story was heartbreaking, the kind where you want to reach across the pages and tell him that things will get better. There's not a ton of plot to the novel, it's more about the journeys the characters take, and although I didn't know a huge amount about each of the characters and wish there was more complexity and depth to them, I was definitely rooting for things to work out. However, I still felt that distance, most likely because of the form of narration.

Ultimately, while I wanted to get a little closer to the characters in Two Boys Kissing, I couldn't help feeling what an important book this is. I am so glad books like this exist, to remind teens they aren't alone, no matter how much it feels like it.

Release Date: August 27th 2013 Pages: 208  Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher  Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers  Buy It: Book Depository

1 comment:

  1. I agree about not really feeling a connection with the characters; however, I really enjoyed how it was written for some reason. It seemed so much real to have these "real" people tell their stories. This book made me smile and cry in a span of only 196 pages (my copy is 196 pages anyways). Glad to see you mostly enjoyed it! (: It is definitely on my favorites list.

    Amber @ bookish wonders


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