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Boy Meets Boy Hardcover – September 9, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (September 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375824006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375824005
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,515,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this delightful young adult novel for readers 12 and up, high school sophomore Paul says, "There isn’t really a gay scene or a straight scene in our town. They got all mixed up a while back, which I think is for the best." And, as he observes at the end of the story, "It's a wonderful world." Paul has both gay and straight friends, and they all hang out together at terrific bookstores and concerts, and advise one another on the sometimes troubled progress of their various romances. Paul is smitten with Noah, and they are beginning a serious relationship when Kyle, Paul’s ex, complicates things by deciding that all is forgiven. Joni is going out with Chuck, who dominates her, much to her friends' disapproval. Tony’s conservative parents refuse to acknowledge that he is gay, so the others must bone up on Bible verses all week so they can pretend Saturday night is a study group. And then there's Infinite Darlene, football quarterback and Homecoming Queen, who deserves a whole romance novel of her own. Life in their town is gloriously accepting of differences and only occasionally verges on magic realism, in this first novel in which same sex preference is not the problem. --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Levithan's groundbreaking novel—set in an idealized high school where kids are free to express themselves without repercussions or embarrassment—whisks listeners into a unique teen scene via the work of this cast of young actors. Though Robideau sometimes sounds melodramatic, and the brief characterization of "young Paul" in flashback is grating, these performers eventually gel into an effortless give-and-take rhythm. As Paul explores his feelings for new crush Noah, listeners meet a crew of memorable characters both gay and straight, wild and wallflower that include the football team's drag queen quarterback (played to comic effect by Joey Panek). Suffused with humor and heart, this recording is bound to get listeners thinking about what it means to just be yourself and truly embrace tolerance. In a bonus track, three of the actors and artistic director Daniel Bostick compare their own high school experience to the one in the book. Ages 12-up. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I find it downright baffling to write about myself, which is why I'm considering it somewhat cruel and usual to have to write this brief bio and to update it now and then. The factual approach (born '72, Brown '94, first book '03) seems a bit dry, while the emotional landscape (happy childhood, happy adolescence - give or take a few poems - and happy adulthood so far) sounds horribly well-adjusted. The only addiction I've ever had was a brief spiral into the arms of diet Dr Pepper, unless you count My So-Called Life episodes as a drug. I am evangelical in my musical beliefs.

Luckily, I am much happier talking about my books than I am talking about myself. My first novel, Boy Meets Boy, started as a story I wrote for my friends for Valentine's Day (something I've done for the past twenty-two years and counting) and turned itself into a teen novel. When not writing during spare hours on weekends, I am editorial director at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature. (Check it out at www.thisispush.com.)

With Boy Meets Boy, I basically set out to write the book that I dreamed of getting as an editor - a book about gay teens that doesn't conform to the old norms about gay teens in literature (i.e. it has to be about a gay uncle, or a teen who gets beaten up for being gay, or about outcasts who come out and find they're still outcasts, albeit outcasts with their outcastedness in common.) I'm often asked if the book is a work of fantasy or a work of reality, and the answer is right down the middle - it's about where we're going, and where we should be. Of Boy Meets Boy, the reviewer at Booklist wrote: "In its blithe acceptance and celebration of human differences, this is arguably the most important gay novel since Annie on My Mind and seems to represent a revolution in the publishing of gay-themed books for adolescents" - which pretty much blew me away when I read it. Viva la revolution!

My second book, The Realm of Possibility, is about twenty teens who all go to the same high school, and how their lives interconnect. Each part is written in its own style, and I'm hoping they all add up to a novel that conveys all the randomness and intersection that goes on in our lives - two things I'm incredibly fascinated by. The book is written in both poetry and linebroken prose - something I never dreamed I would write. But I was inspired by writers such as Virginia Euwer Wolff, Billy Merrell, Eireann Corrigan, and Marie Howe to try it. It is often said that reading is the greatest inspiration to writing, and this is definitely the case for me.

My third novel, Are We There Yet?, is about two brothers who are tricked into taking a trip to Italy together. The natural questions to ask when faced with this summary are: (a) Do you have a brother? (Yes.); (b) Is he the brother in the book? (He's neither brother in the book.); (c) Have you been to Italy? (Yes.); (d) Which city was your favorite? (Venice.); (e) Is this based on your trip there? (The sights are, but the story isn't; the whole time I was there, I took notes in my notebook, not knowing exactly what they'd be for.)

Marly's Ghost, my fourth novel, is a Valentine's Day retelling of A Christmas Carol, illustrated by my friend Brian Selznick. To write it, I went through A Christmas Carol and remixed it - took phrases and themes and created a new version, centering around a boy named Ben whose girlfriend, Marly, has just died. When he looks like he's giving up on life, Marly reappears in ghost form - and sends some other ghosts to get him to embrace life again. It was a hard book to write - it's about both love and grief, two very difficult things to capture truthfully. But I genuinely don't see any reason to write a book if it doesn't feel like a challenge.

My next book came unexpectedly. My friend Rachel Cohn proposed that we write a back-and-forth novel, with her writing from a girl's perspective and me writing from a boy's. The result is Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a kick- butt love story that we wrote over a summer without really planning it out. It just happened, and it was one of the best writing experiences I ever had. It has even been bought for the movies - stay tuned on that front.

A different kind of collaboration is The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities, an anthology I co-edited with my best friend Billy Merrell. It contains true stories from LGBTQ writers under the age of 23, and the Lambda Award for Best LBGTQ Children's/Teen Book.

Other anthologies I've edited or co-edited include: 21 Proms, a collection of prom stories by YA authors, co-edited with Daniel Ehrenhaft; Friends, an anthology of middle-grade friendship stories, co-edited with Ann M. Martin; and three PUSH anthologies of the best young writers and artists in America: You Are Here, This Is Now (2002), Where We Are, What We See (2005), We Are Quiet, We Are Loud (2008). Another PUSH anthology is This is PUSH, featuring new work from all of the authors who've written for PUSH.

My sixth novel, Wide Awake, starts with the election of the first gay Jewish president, and is about two boyfriends who must go to Kansas when the election results are threatened. In many ways, it's a "sequel in spirit" to Boy Meets Boy, since it's about many of the same things - love, friendship tolerance, and taking a stand for what you believe in. It was written right after the 2004 election, and published right before the 2006 election, which made me hope that a gay Jewish president was a closer reality than I might have thought. (No, I have no intention to run. But if you read the book now, it's sometimes how eerie how it echoes the 2008 race.)

My second collaboration with Rachel Cohn, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, was inspired by a phrase my best friend Nick and I came up with after he moved to New York City. It's about a straight girl and a gay boy who've been best friends forever . . . but have to deal with a lot of things that have gone unsaid after the boy (Ely) kisses the girl's (Naomi's) boyfriend. This time, Rachel and I decided to rotate the point of view between a number of characters, not just the titular two. The result was harder to write, but just as fun to create.

How They Met, and Other Stories, was published in 2008, which happened to be the twentieth anniversary of my Valentine Story tradition. It contains a few stories I wrote in high school and college, and more that I wrote more recently, some for anthologies, and some just for myself and my friends.

The first series I ever worked on (as a writer) is Likely Story, which I wrote with two of my friends, Chris Van Etten and David Ozanich, under the pen name David Van Etten. Chris and David both have experience working on soap operas, and had the idea for a TV show about the daughter of a soap opera diva who ends up running a soap opera of her own. I know nothing about writing a TV show, so I said, "Hey, that would be fun to write as a series of books, too!" And, voila!, Likely Story was born. It was a blast to write, and the main character, Mallory, is one of my favorites yet.

In 2009, Knopf published Love is the Higher Law. It's the story of three teenagers in New York on 9/11, and how their lives intertwine in the days and weeks and months that follow. I know this sounds grim, but it's really the story of things coming together even as it feels like the world is falling apart -- because that's how it felt to be in New York at that time, both tragic because of the events that happened and magical in the way that everyone became their better selves in the face of it. It's a love story between friends, a love story for a city, and a love story for love itself, and the way it can get us through things, however daunting or shocking they may be. Or at least that's what I aimed for. I hope you'll read it and let me know if I got there.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson started, in many ways, back in college, when I kept being mistaken for another student named David Leventhal. He was a beautiful dancer; I was not. So people would continually come up to me and say things like, "I saw you on stage last night - who would have thought you could be so graceful?" And I'd have to say, "Um...that wasn't me." Our paths finally crossed at the end of school, and we became best friends when we both moved to New York City - him to dance, me to edit and write. Fast forward ten years or so - I had the idea to write a book about two boys with the same name, and called my friend John Green about it. He said yes on the spot, and it took us five years from first conversation to publication day. The result? A novel about identity, love, and what it's like to make a musical out of your own life. You know, the universal themes.

My third novel with Rachel Cohn, called Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, came out in October 2010. It's a romantic cat-and-mouse chase through New York, with a special shoutout to The Strand, a bookstore I am particularly fond of.

The Lover's Dictionary, my first novel about post-teenagers, was published by FSG at the start of 2011. It's the story of a relationship told entirely in dictionary form. Once again, this started out as a Valentine's Day story, and grew from there. I'd often been asked if it would be different to write about adults than it is to write about teens, and I learned that, no, there isn't any difference. A story is a story. And when I write, I'm not thinking of audience -- just of being true to the story. My hope is Lover's Dictionary is as honest as I can be,

Upcoming? A different kind of YA collaboration for me -- a novel I wrote based on photographs my friend Jonathan Farmer gave me. I never knew which photo would come next, and he never knew what I was writing. The result is a very strange, somewhat dark, portrait of a boy on the verge of a complete breakdown. It's called Every You, Every Me, and it will be published in fall 2011.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#79 in Books > Teens
#79 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Fun cover, fun story, fun read.
"rob37901"
He makes some incredibly mature decisions throughout the book and really was an absolutely wonderfully wise and supportive character throughout the story.
K. Eckert
I like the part when Paul showed his love, and it made me feel like wanting to do something like it someday if I meet the right person for it.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pure and simple this book is a fantasy book. It is a book that takes every gay or lesbian "what-if-my-school-was-like" and rolls it all up into one very engaging and humourus story.

In the center of everything there is 15-year-old Paul. Has has known that he was gay every since kindergarden when his teacher told him so. But where Paul lives it is not only acceptable to be gay, but most of the town is. As we follow Paul throughout the turbulent month of November, he takes as on an incredible journey of friendship, self-discovery, and acceptance.

This book reads like Gilmore Girls on Steroids... At one moment, you can't help but to drop the book because you are laughing so hard, the next moment your face turns all red and your excited, and the next page your starting to tear up. The characters are real, yet they may feel like cartoons at times: Infinite Darlene ('nuf said if you read the book).

This is a wonderful book, and a great read for anybody. But I do have to tell that it is a fantasy... it is what people would hope the world will be like, but to contrast this "whimsical" place (as the author discribes it), there is a neighboring town, and is not very libral, and is where much of the acceptance plays a part.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By R. M Simms on May 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying that I am not a big fan of most gay fiction. Personally, I'm tired of stories which insist on revolving around either coming out or AIDS, the two topics every author in the field seems determined to address if only to exorcise their own personal demons. Well, David Levithan either dealt with those issues long ago or has, like me, had quite enough of the pontification and opted to take a different route by actually creating a novel that is entertaining! There's no denying that to enter Livithan's world, one must be prepared to suspend your disbelief for a while. It can, at first, be jarring to discover that these high schoolers live in a world where being gay is not only normal and accepted but, for the most part, not even something worth giving much thought to. But oh, what rich and wonderful characters populate the halls of Levithan's high school. Would that the world could actually be filled with the charming, witty, soulful creatures the author has created. If we lived in so perfect a world, Levithan's work would be required reading in every classroom, perhaps allowing everyone to see that love is love, no matter with whom it is shared. Want a read that will leave you charmed and - dare I say it? - swooning? Pick this up immediately. Better yet, pick up two copies, because this is the kind of book you'll want to share with friends, although you won't even consider letting your copy stray far from home which is, after all, where the heart lives.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
i originally picked up this book in the shop just because i liked the cover, but i ended up staying up late to finish it. i was hooked from the second page and since then i've read it countless times!

the town Paul - the main character - lives in is something of a fairytale place, the kind of place most people -me included - would like to live in, or even just like to exist. It's a place where tolerance is everything, in and out of high school, where the schools star quarterback is also the homecoming queen and the Gay-Straight Alliance attracts more members the the hockey team.

so, it edges on the unrealistic, who cares? it's a feelgood book, that will have you smiling to yourself all day when you have finsihed it. not to say it's all smiles, i nearly cried at one point, but the resolution is great and - without giving anything away, the ending rocked. a lot.

Levithan's rich and colourful storytelling made me feel like i knew all the characters well, even if he only mentions a little about them. This book should be standard year 8/9 classroom reading material, and i would reccommend it to anyone - young or old, straight or gay - who wants an uplifting and insightful love story.

go on, read it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By rion x. on September 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was the first gay novel that I ever read--I mush tell you that it was right around the same time I came out and was looking for something to relate to. Well, one morning me and two of my friends wore in the library at my high school ( I was a freshman) and I was scanning the shelf's when I came about this. After my friends finally persuaded me to check it out, I did. Im so glad that they did, becouse i didn't have the balls to. I even had a load of interests about it. So that morning I began to read it and 'bout two weeks later I finished it. WOW. I loved it so much. Since then I've read lots of other gay teen novels but haven't quite been able to find a book to stand up to its wit and humor, it love, and its originality. The only book that can acculy stand next to it is Brent Hartinger's two out of four gay high school book series: Geography Club and The Order Of Poison oak. But there still a long way from this novel. It has a reality of its own.
NOTE:who ever is looking for novel to relate too like struggles, homophobia and other, this is not it. Sadly its pure fantasy.

Mr. Levithan is an editor at knopf who was looking for the "Dream Novel" to publish. Well after a long time of waiting he decided to write his own DREAM NOVEL. This is it.

Hopefully one day it won't be jest fantasy, it'll be a realty for all who will grow up with this novel. I hope one day it will be like this in all high schools.

[...]
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