Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 9th, 2003
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.
“Part of love is letting a person be who they want to be.”
Although this is a very short novel—not even two-hundred-pages long—it explores different themes worth contemplating, with a huge emphasis on romantic and friendly-inclined relationships.
Paul’s high school is like no other. Every student feels free to be who they are or want to be—gay, lesbian, drag queen, transgender—without fear of being targeted by other classmates.
Though, to make things clear, this is no utopian novel. Paul’s high school is indeed magnificent—his whole town is amazing!—but not absolutely everyone is open-minded. His best friend Tony’s parents, for instance, are uber-religious and forbid him from going near other gay boys.
This is a love story, a coming-of-age story, a slice-of-life revealing how things could be if LGBTQ+ people were better treated and more respected and a collection of truthful moments in the life of a teenage gay boy who may have found the love of his life and lost him forever.
David Levithan writes like he can feel every single emotion his characters are feeling. I’m sure he is the type of author to cry along with the people he’s writing about when their hearts are breaking.
If this book had been about a boy meeting a girl, I would have found it clichéd. The diversity makes is quite interesting. The high school is original and the set of characters heart-warming. Some secondary characters weren’t fleshed-out enough to make them memorable—I’m looking at you Joni!—but they all had a part to play in this story.
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