Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Plural, 3rd Singular
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary Romance
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
*Review written some time ago but forgot to post!*
David Levithan has just become my new coup de cœur author. Every time I will find my heart aching for an LGBT book or a meaningful read, it’s in his works that I will look forward to plunge myself. And there are so many books of his that I have not had the occasion to devour yet. Yet.
It’s with a lingering sensation that I turned the last page. While this may be the kind of story that needs a certain conclusion to its plot (and you can feel it), I didn’t want to let go of the endearing, realistic and remarkably well-developed and original characters that became so dear to me with every new page read.
I always thought that you couldn’t love every character in a book at a same intensity level or some maybe not at all – and still think so – for they are all different and sharing various traits that may or may not appeal to you. It can also depend on the degree of connection and reliability you feel toward those characters in question. Nonetheless, it’s with joy that I can announce that every character in this book felt utterly unforgettable to me and I like to think that they will not be the cause of you not enjoying the novel after all – if such thing happens. Of course, there are some that are very flawed: there is no ‘perfect’ being in this and that only made Two Boys Kissing look even more authentic. I have no negative comment to make regarding those elements.
There is one ‘main’ story inside this and three less prominent but still important ones that are linked in a way to the principal one. You can also see it as four short stories being connected to one another due to something they all have in common and with characters that are beautifully crafted and looking for something of most importance: love & self-discovery and acceptance.
I have to admit that I had read the blurb a while ago before starting this novel, and so had no idea who actually narrated the story. Although, throughout my read, I had these hypotheses: could they be guardian angels? A metaphor for hope, love and courage brought to life somehow? Dead relatives? At some point, I ran out of ideas and believed what prettied the writing and tone for me most, which worked well in the end. It is after reading the actual summary that I realized how I searched too far and deep when the answer was right in front of me. Nonetheless, my reading experience wasn’t affected and I actually appreciated having the possibility to ‘choose’ my narrators. I felt the same while reading Falling into Place (a quite interesting book!)
This is not my first read by David Levithan, since I have devoured Will Grayson, Will Grayson sometime ago, but that is a book that he co-wrote with John Green and I was perhaps, somehow, too caught up in Green’s words – because of how excited I was to be reading an LGBT book by him – to be astonished as I am now by Levithan’s. Incidentally, regarding this novel, the author’s note was absolutely perfect and so wonderfully honest! I feel like I am going to be amazed by this writer some more, if I continue reading his works. Which I will. For sure.
This was the loveliest of surprises I had this month – hum, that doesn’t say much since I read it in December but I do mean it! – and would love for you to feel the same! If the story and plot don’t end up making you react in any positive way, there are still good chances the writing and characters will. It is not a book for everyone, I agree, but it contains such…such – I am lost for words – marvellous ingredients that I cannot help but excitingly recommend it to you!
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