- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 27, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307931900
- ISBN-13: 978-0307931900
- Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Two Boys Kissing 1st Edition
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–Narrated by an often heavy-handed Greek chorus of men who died of AIDS, this novel features the stories of one transgender and several gay teens. It focuses on Harry and Craig, friends and ex-boyfriends who have set out to beat the Guinness World Record for kissing. Harry's parents accept that he is gay and are there as witnesses, while Craig's parents find out that he's gay after his mother is told about their record-breaking attempt. Other characters include Tariq, the victim of a hate crime; boyfriends Neil and Peter; and female-to-male (FTM) transgender teen Avery and his love interest, Ryan. Finally, there is isolated, angry, and disaffected Cooper. He spends his nights trolling sex sites online and runs away from home when confronted by his furious parents. Although Levithan has a tendency toward didacticism, his characters are likable, with some more developed than others. The story will engage readers, both female and male. The author's note discusses the true events that inspired this story. Despite its flaws, this title is recommended based on subject need.–Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It’s impossible to ignore the context of Levithan’s latest novel. The timing is perfect—in the age of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better (2011) and recent Supreme Court rulings on marraige equality, a book meant for young adults features a real-life gay teen couple kissing on the cover, standing in for the book’s two fictional boys, ex-boyfriends hoping to share the world’s longest kiss. The story is narrated from the beyond by the “shadow uncles”—gay men of the AIDS generation—who tell millennial gay boys, “We don’t want our legacy to be gravitas.” These narrators marvel and remark upon Harry and Craig’s kiss (a protest of hate crimes committed against a friend), the impact on two other couples at different stages of their relationships, and a hopeless loner in clear emotional danger. Levithan leans intensely into this work, which occasionally reveals the gears grinding the piece into shape, thereby dissipating some of the magic. Still, there’s little doubt that this title, with its weight, significance, and literary quality, will find its way into LGBTQ and wider canons. Stock up. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones
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Top Customer Reviews
We resent you. You astonish us."
I have never read a GLBT book in my life. I have never had an opinion on gay people. I have never needed to. I have never really thought about gay people. I have never. So I thought it was time to read a GLBT book. I decided to see what my opinion on gay people would be. I thought what it would be like to have an opinion. I have read Two Boys Kissing and I fell in love with it. It's unconditionally relevant and wistful. Hopeful and full of meaning. This is my first David Levithan book. This is my fist GLBT novel. And this will not be my last.
The narrative view-point of Two Boys Kissing is not something that I have come across before. It's the voice of hundreds of dead gay teens, who died out from AIDs. Unlike other readers who took some time to grow to love this narration, I connected with it instantly. The included quote at the top is an example of what I mean. The inclusive pronoun, `we', made this book even more heartbreakingly beautiful than ever. There are scenes of urgency, rage and pure joy, and I could feel these emotions so vividly thanks to the narration which clearly took a large advantage. Trust me people, they don't sound like a mob of zombies.
What makes Two Boys Kissing such an imperative read for basically everyone, is that it follows the stories of different gay teens in different relationship statuses. Craig and Harry don't care what other people think, they may not necessarily be a couple anymore but they are planning to set a new record for the longest kiss. In front of their school. Peter and Neil have been a couple for a while now, but there are terms to be met and hidden facts to be faced. There's Avery and Ryan who have only just met, and don't know what to do next. But then there's Cooper. Alone. Confused. Falling from reality. Not caring anymore. All these boys have a story worth sharing, all share their situations. All share how their friends and families deal with the new facts that; Craig, Harry, Avery, Ryan, Cooper, Neil and Peter are gay. I surprised myself, by loving every single character David Levithan placed forward, each and every single one of them felt genuine. I could feel their pain, anger, hope and love. Two Boys Kissing ached with its rawness.
There are messages here to realise. David Levithan did not write this novel for the sake of just writing it. He wrote it to the world. He wrote it to gay males, more importantly. Two Boys Kissing is about falling in and out of love. Embracing and hiding from the truth. Fighting and cowering from families and friends. Two Boys Kissing may just be following a few days of a few people's lives, but the way it's addressed and presented is so ground shaking.
All in all, Two Boys Kissing is phenomenal. Beautiful. And I highly recommend it. Everything about this novel was authentic and moving.
"Time can be buoyed by wordlessness, but it needs to be anchored in words."
"If you let the world in, you open yourself up to the world. Even if the world doesn't know that you're there."
This book made me feel all the feels. I read it in almost one sitting in less than 24 hours. I could not put it down. David Levithan's writing is so beautiful, true, and relatable.
The story is told from the perspective of all those that died at the peak of the AIDS epidemic. Their omniscient presence gives the story such an interesting feel. There is knowledge and experience behind their words, the understanding of a generation past. The fourth wall isn't there and it feels like the book is talking directly to me.
David Levithan always does an excellent job of making characters that feel so real and so relatable. The boys' stories in this book are all different, but rooted in the same world. Levithan shows different reactions to similar situations through different characters.
At the center of the book is two boys kissing. Two teenagers attempt to break the world record in front of their high school. They must stand with their lips touching for over a day without sleeping or even sitting. Their story gets global attention and we see it through the other characters' eyes as well.
I think all gay boys and men should read this. It explains so many things so well whether you are 60 years old or 14. This book shows the now and the future and how the past can not be forgotten.
Actually, just everyone should read this book. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know. I give it a well deserved 5/5!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I listened to the audiobook, which is read by the author, and I don't think I really loved him as a narrator.Read more
I find it infuriating that books that have nothing but love to tell are...Read more