Two Boys Kissing
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. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Two Boys Kissing Details

TitleTwo Boys Kissing
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 27th, 2013
PublisherKnopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN0307931900
ISBN-139780307931900
Number of pages196 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Glbt, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Two Boys Kissing Review

  • Lola Reviewer
    December 2, 2014
    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 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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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    July 11, 2015
    This small little 196 page book packs more of a punch that some 800 page puppy squishers that I've read. Just beautiful.Freedom is also about what you will allow yourself to do.Craig and Henry: they are the two boys kissing. Going for the world's record longest kiss. Peter and Neil: already a coupleAvery and Ryan: new to a relationship and trying to make their wayAnd Cooper-who feels so lostTariq. My favorite character in the whole book. Just read this book. The first sentence of the truth is al This small little 196 page book packs more of a punch that some 800 page puppy squishers that I've read. Just beautiful.Freedom is also about what you will allow yourself to do.Craig and Henry: they are the two boys kissing. Going for the world's record longest kiss. Peter and Neil: already a coupleAvery and Ryan: new to a relationship and trying to make their wayAnd Cooper-who feels so lostTariq. My favorite character in the whole book. Just read this book. The first sentence of the truth is always the hardest. Each of us had a first sentence, and most of us found the strength to say it out loud to someone who deserved to hear it. The phrase rush to judgement is a silly one. When it comes to judgement, most of us don't rush. We don't even have to leave the couch. Our judgement is so easy to reach for.
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  • Blythe
    March 20, 2013
    Actual rating is 4.5 stars -- We gather the things we learned, and they don't nearly add up to fill the space of a life. You will miss the taste of Froot Loops. You will miss the sound of traffic. You will miss your back against his. You will miss him stealing the sheets. Do not ignore these things.** This review is not really a review concerning the book's merits so much as me rambling about how important I feel this book is for gay teens. My apologies.Two Boys Kissing has officially cemented m Actual rating is 4.5 stars -- We gather the things we learned, and they don't nearly add up to fill the space of a life. You will miss the taste of Froot Loops. You will miss the sound of traffic. You will miss your back against his. You will miss him stealing the sheets. Do not ignore these things.** This review is not really a review concerning the book's merits so much as me rambling about how important I feel this book is for gay teens. My apologies.Two Boys Kissing has officially cemented my love, appreciation, and respect for David Levithan. It has cemented my love, appreciation, and respect for him both as a person, from the standpoint of someone who is and always will be an active supporter of gay rights, and it has also cemented my love, appreciation, and respect for him as a writer, from the standpoint of a reader who is in a state of endless wonder and awe every time she picks up a novel of Levithan's.However, as much as I found myself loving Levithan's previous novel, Every Day, I have to say that Two Boys Kissing is my absolute favorite work by him. Two Boys Kissing is important. Two Boys Kissing is gorgeous--stunning. Two Boys Kissing is poignant, and it's touching, and it's an utter charm. And it needs to be read. The beginning may be rough for some readers--it was for me, however slightly. I initially found the narrative of gay men having lost their lives to AIDs at first odd, and to be honest, rather disconcerting. I found their use of "we" to note something, as well as their looking upon their lives and their deaths, irrevocably creepy at times. But as the novel progressed I grew to appreciate the originality of the narrative, and can say with absolute certainty that Two Boys Kissing would in no way bear the same amount of poignancy had it not been narrated by, as the synopsis put it, a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDs. Levithan tackles multiple perspectives throughout the course of Two Boys Kissing--some more interesting than others, some more emotional, but all utterly captivating and spellbinding. Each perspective follows a gay teenager and their daily plights being just that--a gay teen, in a world where such a thing is so deeply frowned upon by far too many. This is a problem so many gay teens face today: their struggle, seeing such contempt towards homosexuals as a whole almost every time they turn on the television, turn on the radio, go on the internet. Their hesitation to be who they are and embrace it, in fear of disappointing or even shaming their own parents, who are supposed to love them regardless. Their fear of being shunned and ignored eternally by their friends, with whom yesterday they were friendlier than ever, all for being who they are.This is what David Levithan depicts with Two Boys Kissing, sometimes subtly, sometimes not. With one perspective, the fear of opening yourself up the others and welcoming yourself to love, in the fear that your partner may not accept you for who you are fully. Another perspective, depicting the fear of opening yourself up to your parents, and the everlasting fear of how they may react. And another, portraying the situation every gay teen dreads most: your parents don't accept you for who you are. While one was lacking the depth that I feel could have made it have more of an impact, each of these perspectives is met with such beauty and emotion seeping through the pages that you can't help but feel that each of these teenagers--Harry, Craig, Cooper, Avery, Ryan, Neil, and Peter, are real people. And the fact of the matter is, they are. The real-life parallels of these characters may not go by the names of the characters in the novel, but the undeniable fact is that people like the aforementioned characters do exist in real life, and their problems exist within each of those people, as well. Each of the problems the characters face in this novel are ones real teens, and even adults, face daily. But the thing is, they end up getting through it all, with support from friends. Support from family. Support from strangers. There will always be the haters. There will be the people who oppose what you stand for and make it a point to let you know. But then again, isn't there always? Among all of the valuable things to be understood while reading Two Boys Kissing, this much is true, and I feel is crucial for any gay teenagers living in the constant fear of disproval, dereliction, or anything else: for every person to go out of their way to strike down everything you are, and everything you stand for, there will be ten people waiting there for you to help you restore the damage and build you up again. And that, in essence, is Two Boys Kissing.To quote the Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDs that narrates this beautiful novel, please know that the above is true. Please, always keep these things in mind. Do not ignore these things.
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  • Emily May
    November 14, 2013
    We think of the boys we kissed, the boys we screwed, the boys we loved, the boys who didn’t love us back, the boys who were with us at the end, the boys who were with us beyond the end. Love is so painful, how could you ever wish it on anybody? And love is so essential, how could you ever stand in its way? The Good This kind of book is still very much needed. What the blurb doesn't tell you is that this feels like several short stories woven into one, all of them surrounding the theme of gay t We think of the boys we kissed, the boys we screwed, the boys we loved, the boys who didn’t love us back, the boys who were with us at the end, the boys who were with us beyond the end. Love is so painful, how could you ever wish it on anybody? And love is so essential, how could you ever stand in its way? The Good This kind of book is still very much needed. What the blurb doesn't tell you is that this feels like several short stories woven into one, all of them surrounding the theme of gay teenage boys coming out, having relationships with other boys, and coming to terms with who they are. The central plot of the two boys participating in a kissathon is really only one small part of this book, the rest is built around it. There are some beautifully written passages that are brimming with genuine emotion. It was a quick read and I breezed through the individual stories of young men dealing with families who wouldn't accept them, online hookup sites, and first love. What I like most about David Levithan and what makes me want to check out his books every time - even when some didn't work for me in the past - is his experimental style. He never writes the same style of book. He never attempts to fit in with trends that are taking over the market. He hits you with something unique and surprising, if often depressing, every single time. And once again he has delivered something strange and completely different - a chorus of narrators who are the generation of gay men that have died from AIDs. The Bad Sadly, this is one of those cases where the style of narration just didn't work for me. The "voice" of the AIDs victims was exhausting and sometimes stopped me from fully engaging with the individual stories, especially when the novelty factor ran out. Sometimes experimental styles get it just right - as I believe Levithan did with The Lover's Dictionary - but this one wasn't doing it for me. I also found some of the victims' monologue to be repetitive. The Ugly My face during some of the more emotional parts of this book.Whatever I may say about it, this book is very relevant and some of the stories are incredibly sad and/or moving. I recommend Two Boys Kissing but with some hesitation. How much do you enjoy experimental writing styles that offer something completely different and totally weird? If your answer is "a lot", then this could be your next favourite book.
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  • Ari
    April 3, 2013
    THE COVER![image error]CAN.NOT.WAIT!!!EDIT AFTER READ
  • Nancy
    February 16, 2014
    Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews Don’t let the provocative cover stop you from picking up this book. It is about two boys, Craig and Harry, who are still good friends, but no longer together, locking lips to break the world’s record for the longest kiss. Enough time had gone by that when they started kissing again, the electricity was gone, replaced by something closer to architecture. They were kissing with a purpose, but the purpose wasn’t them; it was the kiss itself. Th Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews Don’t let the provocative cover stop you from picking up this book. It is about two boys, Craig and Harry, who are still good friends, but no longer together, locking lips to break the world’s record for the longest kiss. Enough time had gone by that when they started kissing again, the electricity was gone, replaced by something closer to architecture. They were kissing with a purpose, but the purpose wasn’t them; it was the kiss itself. They weren’t using the kiss to keep their love alive, but were using their friendship to keep the kiss alive. First for minutes. Then for hours. Peter and Neil are an established couple whose kisses may not be nearly as intense, but are no less meaningful. Nobody is watching as Peter and Neil kiss. It is just a quick kiss as they leave the IHOP, before they head home. It is a syrupy kiss, a buttery kiss. It is a kiss with nothing to prove. They don’t worry about who might see, who might pass by. They’re not thinking about anyone but themselves, and even that feels like an afterthought. It is just a part of who they are together, something that they do. Avery, the boy with pink hair who the world thinks is a girl, and Ryan, are dealing with the anxiety that is common in all new relationships. It is not as simple as Ryan looking at Avery and feeling they’ve known each other forever. In fact, it doesn’t feel like that at all. Ryan feels like he is just getting to know Avery, and that getting to know Avery isn’t going to be like getting to know anyone else he’s ever gotten to know. Cooper is not in a relationship at all. He struggles with his loneliness, spending time on his computer texting strangers and having difficulty with parents who cannot accept him as he is. His mind is on fire now, and it will be hours until it cools itself back into the right temperature for sleep. He is angry at his father, angry at his mother, but mostly he’s come to feel that all this was inevitable, that he was born to be a boy who must sleep in his car, that there was no way he was going to make it through high school without being caught. He feels he’s been soured by his own desires, squandered by his own impulses. He despises himself, and that is the flame that sets his mind on fire. Even though this was a fast and easy read, this is a powerful, moving, beautiful story that should be read by everyone. It deals with the past and present. It explores the lives, loves and struggles of a group of teenagers. It shows that as cruel and mean-spirited as people can be, they can also be kind, supportive and generous. I’ll admit I was reluctant to read this book because of the unusual narration. Told by the voices of men who lost their lives to AIDS, I saw my friend Mark’s ghost among them, observing the lives of boys who share some similarities but in many ways are living a very different kind of life than he was. We did not have the Internet, but we had a network. We did not have websites, but we had sites where we wove our web. You could see it most in the cities. Even someone as young as Cooper, as young as Tariq, could find it. Piers and coffee shops. Sports in the park, and bookstores where Wilde, Whitman, and Baldwin reigned as bastard kings. These were the safe harbors, even when we feared that being too open meant we were opening ourselves to attack. Our happiness had defiance, and our happiness had fear. Sometimes there was anonymity, and sometimes you were surrounded by friends and friends of friends. Either way, you were connected. By your desires. By your defiance. By the simple, complicated fact of who you were. Mark would have been ecstatic that gays now have the right to marry in the US, but he would have lamented the loss of all the clubs and bookstores that closed once Internet changed the world. He worked in the computer industry and would have adapted, though. He would have embraced the chat sites and discovered that his social life would be as active as it was when he was frequenting the clubs. The easy access to all kinds of books, more than the stores ever stocked, would have made him happy too. He probably would have even stopped subscribing to those porny magazines I had to pick up from all over the apartment just before my mom dropped by. Minor complaints aside, I am sad that Mark died so young and missed so much. He was always out and proud, but even he would have appreciated how far we’ve come in spite of all the problems that still exist.He would have loved this book. Even though it made me cry, it touched me deeply. It is full of love, hope and wisdom. As soon as I return the book to the library, I’m going to buy copies to push on other people. Very highly recommended.
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  • Melanie
    August 15, 2013
    See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads Thank you Text Publishing Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review. We were once like you, only our world wasn't like yours. You have no idea how close to death you came. A generation or two earlier, you might be here with us.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. See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads Thank you Text Publishing Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review. We were once like you, only our world wasn't like yours. You have no idea how close to death you came. A generation or two earlier, you might be here with us.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.
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  • juan carlos
    May 15, 2016
    SOY GAY Y SOY FELIZ SIÉNDOLO :)TARDE 2 SEMANAS EN LEER ESTE LIBRO, POR QUE NO ESTABA BIEN EMOCIONALMENTE, PERO AHORA QUE LO HE ACABADO, SE QUE ERA EL LIBRO INDICADO PARA SALIR ADELANTE. Este libro es un muegano de voces y emociones. Un compendio de alegrías, desesperaciones y tristezas. Dos chicos besándose es una monografía y descripción perfecta de la belleza de la diversidad, la naturalidad y el amor. DAVID LEVITHAN ES UN GENIO Y GRAN ESCRITOR. ¿PARA QUÉ LEER DOS CHICOS BESANDOSE?1. El tema d SOY GAY Y SOY FELIZ SIÉNDOLO :)TARDE 2 SEMANAS EN LEER ESTE LIBRO, POR QUE NO ESTABA BIEN EMOCIONALMENTE, PERO AHORA QUE LO HE ACABADO, SE QUE ERA EL LIBRO INDICADO PARA SALIR ADELANTE. Este libro es un muegano de voces y emociones. Un compendio de alegrías, desesperaciones y tristezas. Dos chicos besándose es una monografía y descripción perfecta de la belleza de la diversidad, la naturalidad y el amor. DAVID LEVITHAN ES UN GENIO Y GRAN ESCRITOR. ¿PARA QUÉ LEER DOS CHICOS BESANDOSE?1. El tema de la literatura juvenil, esta muy bien tratado por el escritor, usa frases coloquiales y matices reales de la vida de cualquier chico homosexual.2. La manera en que plasma el tema de la homofobia y la critica es creíble y muy bien sustentada. 3. la narrativa es original, ya que es la primera novela que se narra a través de varias voces. 4. El tema del rechazo, la aceptación de padres, es creíble y te identificas.5. Las frases de gritar y decir SOY GAY, en este libro te marcan profundamente. 6. El final es esperanzador y lleno de realidad. BUSCA SIEMPRE VIVIR PARA CONOCER TU SER DEL FUTURO, gracias David Levithan, era la frase que necesitaba escuchar en este momento de mi vida. 7. El tema del significado del amor, la confianza y el beso, es tratado por el autor de una manera gigantezcamente creativa y llena de frases llegadoras. 8. La muerte en este libro, es una idea muy bien planteada y sensibiliza al lector.
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  • Kai
    April 2, 2015
    “Things are not magical because they've been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them.”At first I struggled to get into this and I put it down twice before it kept me reading. The most irritating thing about it, and the only thing that bothered me, was the first-person-plural narrative. It somehow made everything nostalgic and sentimental, which pulled me down at first. Another thing I struggled with were the many main characters!I think the thing I liked th “Things are not magical because they've been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them.”At first I struggled to get into this and I put it down twice before it kept me reading. The most irritating thing about it, and the only thing that bothered me, was the first-person-plural narrative. It somehow made everything nostalgic and sentimental, which pulled me down at first. Another thing I struggled with were the many main characters!I think the thing I liked the most about Two Boys Kissing is the way it ends. You do not really know what is going to happen next, but you do know that everyone of these characters carries on living their life. There are so many open questions but I think this is the first time that I don't need them to be answered.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Jeremy West
    March 23, 2013
    I just want to say that Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan was possibly the most beautiful book I've ever read. I can't describe to you the feelings it gives but I can tell you that it will open your eyes dramatically. This book will change you for the better after reading it. Causing you to be aware, cautious, caring, and loving to everyone around you. I seriously cannot wait to share this book with others.
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  • Louisa
    March 23, 2013
    I'd give this book a standing ovation if I could. Absolutely beautiful, life-affirming, and a story so needed amidst today's changing viewpoints on LGBT rights.The cover and the title pretty much say it all. Two Boys Kissing runs the gamut of eight "main" characters - ex-boyfriends Craig and Harry aiming to break the Guinness World Record for longest kiss; Tariq, quasi-inspiration of the big kiss after getting beaten up by haters and staunch supporter of their challenge; steady couple Neil and P I'd give this book a standing ovation if I could. Absolutely beautiful, life-affirming, and a story so needed amidst today's changing viewpoints on LGBT rights.The cover and the title pretty much say it all. Two Boys Kissing runs the gamut of eight "main" characters - ex-boyfriends Craig and Harry aiming to break the Guinness World Record for longest kiss; Tariq, quasi-inspiration of the big kiss after getting beaten up by haters and staunch supporter of their challenge; steady couple Neil and Peter; pink-haired Avery born in a girl's body; blue-haired Ryan, the new boy Avery meets and boyfriend in the making; and Cooper, depressed by his identity and unable to live under the eventual weight of his family's disapproval. The reader experiences what it's like to be gay in America from several angles. It's both extremely hopeful and sad.The writing is also as gorgeous and raw as ever, peppered with quotes like these: We gather the things we learned, and they don't nearly add up to fill the space of a life. You will miss the taste of Froot Loops. You will miss the sound of traffic. You will miss your back against his. You will miss him stealing the sheets. Do not ignore these things. People could not be reading this at a better time. Who can forget the Supreme Court's DOMA decision earlier in the year? I had the privilege of watching the D.C. Gay Pride Parade this June, and was totally overwhelmed in a fantastic way. Witnessing men openly celebrate their love for other men, women for women, etc. without fear of being lynched was truly lovely. But even as we celebrate a new age of same-sex rights, it's still worth knowing how "taboo" it is to certain people or cultures - Russia, for example, or even my own country, where almost no recognition is given to same-sex couples, and the conservative Asian mindset prevails.David Levithan has long been one of my favourite YA authors, even when I know, subconsciously, that he writes somewhat pretentiously. Two Boys Kissing feels a little preachy at times, too. And it's narrated by a Greek chorus of gay men who succumbed to AIDS many years ago. I can see readers being potentially put off by these factors. Personally, I don't see how they should dissuade one from reading what will probably become a defining novel in LGBT and YA literature. D Lev. himself is a gay man who wrote Boy Meets Boy just ten years ago, but realising how far LGBT rights have progressed since then is a revelation unto itself.There is always hope for a world in which one of my close friends can be open about his sexual identity without facing recrimination from his friends or family. I choose to believe it'll happen someday. If books like Levithan's could change the world, what a time to be alive.P.S. Check out Will Grayson, Will Grayson and The Realm of Possibility if you haven't either! Goddamn it, D Lev, you're good.
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  • Kat (Lost in Neverland)
    March 15, 2013
    When The Doctor asks, you don't refuse. After Finishing3.5 StarsTwo Boys Kissing is not only a book about two boys. It follows the life of a long-time couple, a broken up couple, a new couple, and a boy searching to be part of a couple. Watching over these boys are the lost ones. The people we have lost from disease and suicide, the ones who look at these boys with both worry and envy, the ones of a lost generation of gay teenagers not unlike the ones we're reading about now. I was looking forwa When The Doctor asks, you don't refuse. After Finishing3.5 StarsTwo Boys Kissing is not only a book about two boys. It follows the life of a long-time couple, a broken up couple, a new couple, and a boy searching to be part of a couple. Watching over these boys are the lost ones. The people we have lost from disease and suicide, the ones who look at these boys with both worry and envy, the ones of a lost generation of gay teenagers not unlike the ones we're reading about now. I was looking forward to this book a great deal. Kissing boys? A book with kissing boys on the cover? A book by David Levithan? Oh yes, yes, yes. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype it is currently getting and it certainly didn't live up to his last book, Every Day. The first 70 pages were boring, erratically confusing, and trying far too hard to be profound and dramatic. After that, it did get interesting but I never really got into the story.The lack of chapters and the constant storyline switches were seriously irritating. I wish Levithan had left it to three perspectives instead of five, six, or seven. Because there were so many characters, I couldn't connect with any of them. Right when I was starting to get into one boy's story, it switched to another one. Yes, the ending was very good and meaningful and more books should be made with gay characters as the main characters (instead of these half-assed 'random gay side characters' a lot of YA books feature nowadays).But this book completely fails in the storytelling aspect, and that ultimately ruined it for me.
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  • ♔ Jaela ♊ Killer ⚔ QUEEN
    August 27, 2016
    I have no words! This was absolutely amazing! I started it just a couple of hours ago and I couldn't put it down. So mesmerising!I don't want to spoil the story, it's astonishing and I loved every single character, not only the "2 boys kissing", but also Avery and Ryan, Neil and Peter, even Cooper. They all broke my heart. I want to hug them all and keep them safe from any harm. Such wonderful souls! This is a book about dreams, aspirations, feelings, heart-breaking, hurting, hope, dead hope, br I have no words! This was absolutely amazing! I started it just a couple of hours ago and I couldn't put it down. So mesmerising!I don't want to spoil the story, it's astonishing and I loved every single character, not only the "2 boys kissing", but also Avery and Ryan, Neil and Peter, even Cooper. They all broke my heart. I want to hug them all and keep them safe from any harm. Such wonderful souls! This is a book about dreams, aspirations, feelings, heart-breaking, hurting, hope, dead hope, broken dreams and everything in between and beyond!I've never loved a writing style more than I loved this author's. This was my first book by him, but it won't be the last. The writing is so flawless, so captivating. Why am I reading this book just now?! Everything written was so powerful! It makes you want to scream and yell and shake things! It also makes you want to change something in the world and be a better and more accepting person.I recommend this book to all my GR friends. It's one of those extraordinary books that you'll remember for a long time.On the final note, the author explains that he was inspired by the longest kiss between Matty and Bobby in 2010. I just saw it on YouTube and it is truly inspiring. I'm so glad there are people like them out there, brave and stoic. There is still hope!
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  • Rohisa
    June 11, 2016
    I have been reading for a while now on the AIDS epidemic.. the tragedy, travesty and devastation. I have been reading for while on same sex relationships.. the beauty, the courage, the ignorance, pain and anguish. David Levithan brings all these themes together wonderfully in "Two boys kissing" through the lens of a simple kiss. Of course, it is more complex than that. As I was reading the novel, l felt as if l was being swept through the ether, swooping in to view a scene in a life. Sometimes l I have been reading for a while now on the AIDS epidemic.. the tragedy, travesty and devastation. I have been reading for while on same sex relationships.. the beauty, the courage, the ignorance, pain and anguish. David Levithan brings all these themes together wonderfully in "Two boys kissing" through the lens of a simple kiss. Of course, it is more complex than that. As I was reading the novel, l felt as if l was being swept through the ether, swooping in to view a scene in a life. Sometimes landing, sometimes hovering, sometimes taking a broader view. It was a privilege to witness the private and special moments of people within their relationships. This all juxtaposed against the public kiss. I read it slowly because the words were wonderful, albeit painful at times. I read it quickly because l wanted to find out what happened.This book is about more than two boys. It’s about *eight* boys, all of them gay, and all of them at different stages of life and love. The title boys are kissing in an attempt to break the record for the world’s longest kiss. The others are figuring out things like bullies, new relationships, gender, community, identity, and acceptance.As a straight female, I have not personally experienced anyone throwing rocks at me and calling me a "faggot." I've never experienced my parents choosing not to support me because of my sexuality. I've never experienced most of the struggles that the characters in this book live with every day, especially the transgender boy. It doesn't matter what color I wear or which bathroom I'm "supposed" to use. I don't have to think about those things because I've never been put in a position where I feel like I'm doing it "wrong."For those reasons, I think this is a VERY important book to read for people who consider themselves advocates or allies of the LGBT community. Those of us who are straight will never fully understand their daily struggles, but at least we can have some insight.Additionally, I don't think you have to be gay to be able to relate to this book. Not in the slightest.. Haven’t we all struggled in the early days of a relationship, wondering how much of our true selves to reveal and when? Haven’t we all been the victims of snap judgments, bullies, or family members who look at us like we have two heads because they don’t understand where we’re coming from? Is it the same as being gay? No. But I could relate to the boy trying to convince his parents that his feelings were real. I could relate to the boy that wanted to end his life. I could relate to the loneliness and self-loathing. Demographically, I have nothing in common with the boys in this story, age, gender, sexual orientation, but in the deeper, more human ways, we are a lot alike.And yet there are people around us who have to struggle with things that I will never have to struggle with. Yes, the world has come a long way, but there’s still so much hate for people who love differently than the majority does. I’m so surprised by the way that David Levithan wrote this book. He didn’t write a book just for the sake of writing about gay relationships. He wrote a book for the sake of human relationships. Levithan succeeded in doing something many LGBT books fail to do, he humanised homosexual relationships. He made a point to show that homosexuals arent different from the rest of the world. If for nothing else, read it for the love of language and writing because, Man! Can david Levithan write. Just look at these literary gems: "We remember what it was like to meet someone new. We remember what it was like to grant someone possibility. You look out from your own world and then you step into his, not really knowing what you’ll find there, but hoping it will be something good. You step into his world and you don’t even realize your loneliness is missing. You’ve left it behind, and you don’t notice because you have no desire to turn back.""It is hard to stop seeing your son as a son and to start seeing him as a human being. It is hard to stop seeing your parents as parents and to start seeing them as human beings. It’s a two-sided transition, and very few people manage it gracefully. ""What strange creatures we are, to find silence peaceful, when permanent silence is the thing we most dread."
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  • Mayra Sigwalt
    August 23, 2015
    Eu posso dizer com certeza que chorei do inicio ao fim desse livro. Ainda bem q não é um livro grande, senão ia ficar desidratada. E não é porque acontecem coisas tristes e tragédias, é porque ele toca em assuntos do fundo da alma. A escrita do Levithan é tão poética e ao mesmo tempo simples, direta. Ele conversa com vc e toca onde quer tocar. Talvez por não ser um rapaz gay eu tinha tudo pra não me identificar com esse livro, mas eu não deixei um minuto de pensar em todos os amigos gays que cer Eu posso dizer com certeza que chorei do inicio ao fim desse livro. Ainda bem q não é um livro grande, senão ia ficar desidratada. E não é porque acontecem coisas tristes e tragédias, é porque ele toca em assuntos do fundo da alma. A escrita do Levithan é tão poética e ao mesmo tempo simples, direta. Ele conversa com vc e toca onde quer tocar. Talvez por não ser um rapaz gay eu tinha tudo pra não me identificar com esse livro, mas eu não deixei um minuto de pensar em todos os amigos gays que cercam a minha vida. De como eles são incríveis e como eles enriquecem o meu dia a dia. E conhecendo as suas histórias eu vi cada um deles aqui, suas alegrias e seus sofrimentos. Como não se relacionar com isso? Como não se frustrar com um mundo em que a gente tem q brigar pra ser visto como pessoa? Como não se entristecer que muitas vezes essas estrelas são apagadas? Esse livro fala sobre tudo isso. De como para cada geração as coisas se tornam aos poucos melhores. Sobre o que foi e sobre o que um dia a gente espera que seja. Da minha parte, não vejo a hora desse dia chegar!
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  • Vilda
    November 6, 2013
    Review to come! I need a moment. "We have stepped away, but not entirely away. They know this. They sense it. We are no longer here, but we are not yet gone. And we will be like that for the rest of their lives. We watch, and they surprise us. We watch, and they surpass us." Two Boys Kissing wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still ended up loving it. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I think that it wasn't something quite as... sad, as this ended up being. It wasn't a sup Review to come! I need a moment. "We have stepped away, but not entirely away. They know this. They sense it. We are no longer here, but we are not yet gone. And we will be like that for the rest of their lives. We watch, and they surprise us. We watch, and they surpass us." Two Boys Kissing wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still ended up loving it. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I think that it wasn't something quite as... sad, as this ended up being. It wasn't a super heavy read, but it wasn't light either. It's a read full of meaning and that makes you think. "Every time two boys kiss, it opens up the world a little bit more. Your world. The world we left. The world we left you.This is the power of a kiss: It does not have the power to kill you. But it has the power to bring you to life." We get to follow some gay teenage boys and a time in their lives around the time of the Kiss. The Kiss that two of the boys are doing, for over 32 hours, in order to set the world record. And it all started when one of the young boys in their town was assaulted one night for being gay. Some of these boys have it easier than others. We meet bullies, people who hate homosexuals, parents who can't accept it, parents who ignores it... But we also meet awesome friends, family and people who accept it without any issues at all, and supports them completely. 'He plants himself right there in front of Craig's mother and says, "You need to love him. I don't care who you thought he was, or who you want him to be, you need to love him exactly as he is because your son is a remarkable human being. You have to understand that."' The story is told from a "we", a "we" that is made up of gay men who died of AIDS. Something that also gives us an insight in how the times were for them. They watch these teens, relate to them, wish they could help them... "The phrase rush to judgment is a silly one. When it comes to judgment, most of us don't have to rush. We don't have to even leave the couch. Our judgment is so easy to reach for." Overall, this book is extremely good. It's thought-provoking and full of truths--both sad and hopeful. Just look at these quotes, a few of many that I absolutely love. Some things that happen are truly wonderful to see and others makes you ache for the boys; for the men who died. And the Kiss was a mix of both, making me cheer for them while aching for them as they were struggling through those 32 hours without any breaks or chance to sit down... "There are so many minutes and hours and days we spend taking life for granted, not feeling it so much as going along with it. But then there are moments like this, when the aliveness of life is crystalline, palpable, undeniable. It is the ultimate buoy against drowning. It is the ever-saving grace." It was almost impossible to put down once you truly got into it! I was a bit surprised by how sad it was after starting and ended up taking a little break to get into the mood for it, but those last 82%? Those I finished within a few hours; I just had to know more! I definitely recommend picking this one up, it's so worth the read. Everyone should check it out! It might be YA, but I think it has so much in it for all ages. "We watch you, but we can't intervene. We have already done our part. Just as you are doing your part, whether you know it or not, whether you mean to or not, whether you want to or not. Choose your actions wisely."
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  • Victor Almeida
    July 24, 2016
    Lindo. Lindo. Lindo. E lindo também.Esse é um dos livros mais diferentes que eu li nas últimas semanas. Não só pela forma como ele é narrado, mas por todas as histórias contadas. É Levithan: cheio de frases maravilhosas, delicadamente compostas, e que passam uma sutileza e complexidade ao mesmo tempo. Meu Deus como esse homem sabe o que tá fazendo! Li o livro todo em um dia e, apesar de demorar um pouquinho pra me acostumar com a narrativa, logo eu já estava dentro dele.Os personagens são fantás Lindo. Lindo. Lindo. E lindo também.Esse é um dos livros mais diferentes que eu li nas últimas semanas. Não só pela forma como ele é narrado, mas por todas as histórias contadas. É Levithan: cheio de frases maravilhosas, delicadamente compostas, e que passam uma sutileza e complexidade ao mesmo tempo. Meu Deus como esse homem sabe o que tá fazendo! Li o livro todo em um dia e, apesar de demorar um pouquinho pra me acostumar com a narrativa, logo eu já estava dentro dele.Os personagens são fantásticos, carismáticos e relacionáveis. Já mencionei que a história é linda né? Pois eu vou falar de novo: LINDA! Eu não consigo encontrar outro adjetivo. Vocês precisam ler e ter essa experiência por conta própria. Me emocionei, me identifiquei, torci e fiquei aflito junto com tudo o que acontecia.É, acima de tudo, uma história verdadeira. Um livro que não esconde nada. Um livro incrível.
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  • Lisa
    March 19, 2013
    What can I say? I’ve read many books with a better setting. I’ve read many books with a more intriguing plot. And I’ve read many books in which I felt closer to the protagonists. But Two Boys Kissing was still so much better than many of these books.I was eagerly looking forward to the release of this book and David Levithan did not disappoint- far from it: This book turned out to be by far my favourite of Levithans’ books and easily one of my favourite books of 2013. The cover (and how gorgeous What can I say? I’ve read many books with a better setting. I’ve read many books with a more intriguing plot. And I’ve read many books in which I felt closer to the protagonists. But Two Boys Kissing was still so much better than many of these books.I was eagerly looking forward to the release of this book and David Levithan did not disappoint- far from it: This book turned out to be by far my favourite of Levithans’ books and easily one of my favourite books of 2013. The cover (and how gorgeous is the cover?) pretty much sums up the major plot surrounding eight characters, who's storylines overlap: Ex-boyfriends Harry and Craig aim to break the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss inspired and supported by their friend Tariq who got beaten up by haters. Meanwhile, we get to know the couple Neil and Peter, follow Ryan when he starts dating Avery who was born in a girl’s body and Cooper, who doesn’t feel comfortable with his identity. Through these various perspectives, David Levithan grants an insight into what it’s like to be a gay teen in today’s world. The protagonists experience support and acceptance on the one hand and incomprehensible hate from society on the other hand. There were scenes hurting so much and scenes so wonderful, scenes my heart would break and the ones’ I was laughing out loud.As a consequence of these different experiences, the reader is left both sad and hopeful, and certainly thoughtful in terms of the LGTQ community. I have never come around to a narrative point of view such as the one provided in Two Boys Kissing. It took me a bit to get used to, but when I did it, it was just brilliant!The book is told from those who have succumbed to AIDS and are now keeping an eye on the present generation. The readers learn about their misery, their joys and how much the world has changed since they left it behind. “Trust us: There is a nearly perfect balance between the past and the future. As we become the distant past, you become a future few of us would have imagined.”But we also learn how far the human race still has to go for acceptance. “You spend so much time, so much effort, trying to hold yourself together. And then everything falls apart anyway.”The narration style Levithan chose was the perfect one: A combination of present and past giving everyone the possibility to express his thoughts, an epic voice opening up to the reader and a poetic writing providing a book full of quotes you never want to forget. I don’t want to say much more because the book is based on many tiny enchanting moments that you should experience yourself. Who isn’t convinced just yet: This book includes the cutest moment in a bookstore ever.
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  • Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
    July 15, 2016
    Este libro... ni sé por dónde empezar. Es un libro precioso, pero que te destroza un poquito por dentro. En Dos Chicos Besándose encontramos varias historias paralelas de chicos homosexuales. Están Harry y Craig, que alguna vez fueron novios, y ahora quieren romper el récord del beso más largo del mundo que dura más de 32 horas; Neil y Peter, que llevan una relación bastante estable; Ryan y Avery, que empiezan a conocerse, a salir y a aceptarse más allá de cualquier prejuicio; Cooper, quien tien Este libro... ni sé por dónde empezar. Es un libro precioso, pero que te destroza un poquito por dentro. En Dos Chicos Besándose encontramos varias historias paralelas de chicos homosexuales. Están Harry y Craig, que alguna vez fueron novios, y ahora quieren romper el récord del beso más largo del mundo que dura más de 32 horas; Neil y Peter, que llevan una relación bastante estable; Ryan y Avery, que empiezan a conocerse, a salir y a aceptarse más allá de cualquier prejuicio; Cooper, quien tiene una relación complicadísima consigo mismo y que intenta rellenar los vacíos que siente con ligues efímeros; y Tariq, un chico con muchos miedos.Dos Chicos Besándose tiene un tono bastante poético que me llegó a molestar por momentos, pero más allá de eso, lo que más me impresionó fue la voz narradora. O voces narradoras, debería decir. Desde un primer momento, nos queda clarísimo que las historias de estos chicos no las están contando ellos mismos ni un simple observador externo. Todo este libro está narrado por un gran conjunto de voces que representan a todos los hombres que murieron de sida, por todos esos hombres que perdieron esa batalla por la falta de conciencia, de aceptación y de amplitud de mente que regía (y en algunos lugares rige) el mundo. Cuando lees Dos Chicos Besándose sientes que estás escuchando la historia contada por las voces del pasado que tienen esperanza en el futuro, por voces que les piden a los chicos que no se rindan, que todo va a mejorar, que todo ya está mejorando. Creo que la palabra para describir este tipo de narración es "desgarradora". Dos Chicos Besándose es un libro que celebra a tolerancia, el respeto, la diversidad y, sobre todo, el amor. Puede que esta historia no te abra la mente si eres alguien demasiado conservador, pero si eres una persona que cree que el amor es amor y ya está, te vas a convencer aún más de ello. Te vas a alegrar con cada rayito de esperanza que surge entre estos chicos y se te va a partir un poco el corazón cuando sufren, cuando los rechazan y cuando son juzgados por ser quienes son. Definitivamente, David Levithan es un maestro en plasmar las emociones y el ambiente que rodeaba a estos chicos. La opresión, el miedo, la incertidumbre y las ganas de gritarle al mundo que quieres a un chico y no poder... Dos Chicos Besándose es un libro intenso y que recomiendo muchísimo, aunque sentí el final un poco abrupto.
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  • Thomas
    April 27, 2013
    3.5 starsWhile I applaud David Levithan's ambition in writing a book like this, it did not blow me away. Even though Two Boys Kissing focuses on two boys staying connected - literally by the mouth - for more than 24 hours, I felt distanced from all of the characters in this novel.Two Boys Kissing revolves around Craig and Henry, two boys trying to set the record for longest kiss in the world. While they broke up before setting out on this mission, Peter and Neil are a couple, even though they ha 3.5 starsWhile I applaud David Levithan's ambition in writing a book like this, it did not blow me away. Even though Two Boys Kissing focuses on two boys staying connected - literally by the mouth - for more than 24 hours, I felt distanced from all of the characters in this novel.Two Boys Kissing revolves around Craig and Henry, two boys trying to set the record for longest kiss in the world. While they broke up before setting out on this mission, Peter and Neil are a couple, even though they have issues as well. Avery sets out on a new relationship with Ryan, hoping that his transgender status will not harm their new bond. And Cooper faces a tough journey after his father finds out about his homosexuality.The amount of characters detracted from the quality of this book the most. Levithan would write beautiful, meaningful passages but I would feel little emotion reading them, mainly because each character had so little space for development beyond his surface level features. It felt like the characters were vehicles for the deeper messages and the Greek chorus of dead men method of narration as opposed to actual, breathing people.Overall, a good read, and I am thankful that this book exists. I wholeheartedly support the themes and messages within the novel and I would recommend Two Boys Kissing to David Levithan fans as well as YA contemporary fiction fans searching for something different.
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  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    March 14, 2013
    4.5 Stars, but rounding up because I feel like it.After several disappointments with David Levithan's works written with Rachel Cohn and Andrea Cremer, I'd built up some healthy skepticism about whether his writing really worked for me. With Two Boys Kissing, I now know that he's an author I definitely need to be reading, and am no longer concerned about the collection of his books I already own. Two Boys Kissing is beautiful, a statement about what matters and what it's like to be a gay boy or 4.5 Stars, but rounding up because I feel like it.After several disappointments with David Levithan's works written with Rachel Cohn and Andrea Cremer, I'd built up some healthy skepticism about whether his writing really worked for me. With Two Boys Kissing, I now know that he's an author I definitely need to be reading, and am no longer concerned about the collection of his books I already own. Two Boys Kissing is beautiful, a statement about what matters and what it's like to be a gay boy or man.David Levithan's writing is pretentious, of that I have no doubt. It certainly will not appeal to a lot of readers, who will be annoyed by that, and I don't know how it will play with teen readers, but I love it. The writing in Two Boys Kissing is complex and beautiful and simple. There were so many beautiful quotes that are heartbreaking or inspiring or funny. Plus, I'm personally not bothered by pretentious writing so long as it fits the narrative style and it's perfect for Two Boys Kissing.The narrators of Two Boys Kissing are, in fact, none of the boys involved in the plot of the story. In fact, they are all dead. In what the blurb aptly describes as a "Greek Chorus," gay men from times before, specifically a generation dead from AIDS watches the boys live out their lives and marvels at how times have changed. At first, I was immensely skeptical of this writing style, but I actually ended up being a huge fan of the way this played out. Though a bit distancing from the actual teen characters and their issues, I found myself highly connected to this chorus of dead men, choking up in every one of their little asides, either from sadness or the inspiring beauty of their words.By having this chorus of men narrate, Levithan was able to do two things: universalize the experience of being a gay man into more than just what the eight boys specifically focused on have experienced and indicate how much progress has already been made in the acceptance of homosexuality. Certainly total acceptance remains in the future, but the chorus marvels at the fact that two boys can kiss in front of their high school for over a day and receive largely positive feedback. Being gay is no longer as closeted as it used to be.Another aspect of Two Boys Kissing that I loved was the diversity of the characters, both ethnically and situationally. Characters, both main and minor, come from different racial backgrounds, and that's just a fact and not a defining characteristic. Levithan also portrays with the eight gay teens eight different experiences of being a young gay in America. There are the two boys kissing, broken up and trying to figure out how to become friends. There's a couple in a healthy relationship, accepted by both sets of parents. There's a potential couple in the making, one of the boys who is partway through his gender change from female to male. There's a boy who was badly beaten for his sexual identity, determined to support his best friends in their record-breaking kiss. Finally, there's a boy who fears no one will ever love him who trolls the internet for connection, pretending to be whatever someone wants on a gay dating website. Two Boys Kissing really focuses on capturing the whole range of experience and does so well.My complaints are very minor. First off, and this could be very serious for some, Two Boys Kissing is definitely preachy. However, I support the messages herein and didn't mind the preaching. Still, it's worth noting that Levithan isn't setting a scene before the reader and leaving them to draw conclusions; he also sets out the conclusions he wants the reader to draw. The other thing, and this is really nitpicky, is that Levithan really loves the term "screwing," and uses it a lot. It really just seemed really out of place and overused, since I feel like it's slang that I don't hear all that much anymore.I loved Two Boys Kissing. Levithan has written a gorgeous novel with a unique perspective and really delved into the issues of being a gay male. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in GLBT fiction.
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  • Gus
    March 2, 2017
    Esta reseña NO contiene spoilersEste es uno de esos libros que te exprimen un poquito el corazón y se instalan ahí para siempre.SINOPSISNarrado por hombres homosexuales que murieron de SIDA, Dos chicos besándose nos cuenta diferentes historias de adolescentes que están lidiando con su orientación sexual de diferentes maneras. El foco central del libro está dirigido hacia Harry y Craig, dos chicos que están planeando batir el récord del beso más largo del mundo. Mientras tanto, en distintas locac Esta reseña NO contiene spoilersEste es uno de esos libros que te exprimen un poquito el corazón y se instalan ahí para siempre.SINOPSISNarrado por hombres homosexuales que murieron de SIDA, Dos chicos besándose nos cuenta diferentes historias de adolescentes que están lidiando con su orientación sexual de diferentes maneras. El foco central del libro está dirigido hacia Harry y Craig, dos chicos que están planeando batir el récord del beso más largo del mundo. Mientras tanto, en distintas locaciones, otros jóvenes están atravesando sus propias situaciones completamente diferentes unas de otras, con el punto en común de que todos están buscando aprender a vivir con ellos mismos.PERSONAJESEl cast principal de este libro está compuesto por adolescentes homosexuales que están intentando vivir el día a día de forma normal. Por un lado tenemos a Harry y Craig, quienes buscan batir el récord de el beso más largo de la historia ubicándose nada más y nada menos que al frente del colegio. Su objetivo va más allá del récord en sí, lo que quieren es hacer una declaración y transmitir un mensaje. Estamos haciendo esto y NO dañamos a nadie. Por otro lado seguimos al resto de personajes: Peter y Neil, que están aprendiendo de a poco cómo ser una pareja; a Cooper, que es un jóven que está bastante desesperanzado y se aferra a conocer personas por internet a escondidas de sus padres; a Tariq, que hace lo imposible para que el beso salga bien, y por último a Ryan y Avery, que se conocen en una fiesta y no pueden evitar sentirse atraídos.Cada uno de los personajes está creado muy cuidadosamente y con todo el cariño del mundo. Algunas historias son esperanzadoras mientras que otras te rompen el corazón, todo de una manera única que sólo Levithan es capaz de crear.ESCRITURAEste es el segundo trabajo que leo de David Levithan (el primero fue Will Grayson, Will Grayson) y estoy muy feliz de decir que no decepciona. La narración de este libro es bastante particular porque no está contado por un "él" o un "yo", sino que la voz es de un "nosotros". Eso tiene un gran mérito porque no es un método de escritura convencional y David lo logró a la perfección. El libro salta de una historia a la otra constantemente, lo cual provoca mucha curiosidad e impide que lo sueltes. Levithan transmite las palabras de una manera especial. Tiene la capacidad de llegar a lo más profundo del corazón y jugar con él a su antojo. Por momentos lo llena de emoción, pero después lo aprieta y lo destruye. Hace experimentar una variedad incontable de emociones.CONCLUSIÓNDos chicos besándose es una historia única. Nos muestra cuán importante es no tener prejuicios e intentar aceptar a los demás a pesar de que sean diferentes a nosotros. Nadie puede adjudicarse el derecho de mortificar o marginar a alguien porque lo considera "diferente" o no cumple sus estándares de normalidad. Aprendamos a aceptar y a querer.Además, el libro transmite un mensaje esperanzador. Alzá la voz. Seas quien seas, estés donde estés, hablá. Demostrale al mundo quién sos y qué tenés para dar.Les aseguro que si tienen la oportunidad de leerlo va a cambiar algo dentro de ustedes, encender una chispa. Conmueve, enoja, frustra y completa... todo a la vez.
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  • Gregory Baird
    July 16, 2013
    "We always underestimated our own participation in magic."I read this book back in August, just as we began our big move, and I'm so excited to finally get the chance to talk it up to you guys.But first, a story to illustrate just why this book is so spot-on and so important. I had only read one other David Levithan novel before (the sublime Lover's Dictionary). I had always intended to read more, but never got around to it. So when I stumbled on him signing advanced copies of his latest book at "We always underestimated our own participation in magic."I read this book back in August, just as we began our big move, and I'm so excited to finally get the chance to talk it up to you guys.But first, a story to illustrate just why this book is so spot-on and so important. I had only read one other David Levithan novel before (the sublime Lover's Dictionary). I had always intended to read more, but never got around to it. So when I stumbled on him signing advanced copies of his latest book at BEA this year, you would think I jumped at the opportunity. You'd be wrong. I hesitated. Because I saw the poster standing next to him, with the book's jacket image and title. And I actually thought to myself "I can't walk around with a book about two boys kissing--people will think I'm nuts!" I am not proud at all that this thought occurred to me--a man who is not only gay but gay married, a man who endured perhaps more than his fair share of bullying in junior high and came out the other side. Luckily, as soon as the thought was born I realized how silly it was. So I got on line, and while Mr. Levithan signed an advanced copy for me I told him what a great fan of Lover's Dictionary I am. He was very polite and sweet.A few days later, I picked up Two Boys Kissing on my way out the door to begin my subway ride to work. As I waited for the train, then as I sat on the train going downtown, I felt self conscious. I felt like people could see what I was reading and were staring at me. Nevertheless, I was determined not to let these inexplicable fears of mine interfere with my reading. By the time I went home that day, I was falling in love with the book itself, which greatly helped ease my nerves. As I read, and as the message (there's nothing wrong with two boys kissing) sank in, I began to feel empowered whenever I had the book in my hands. It was like a sign: this is who I am. Deal with it. At the same time, I realized that all the stares I had felt on the first day were completely in my own head. I felt even more ashamed.Getting to the novel itself, it follows the interlocking stories of seven gay teens living in the present day. Craig and Harry are exes, but they've decided to go for the world's record for longest kiss. Their quest frames the novel. Peter and Neil are a couple, trying to figure out what their deep feelings for each other mean for the uncertain future that graduation and adulthood will inevitably bring. Avery and Ryan have just met and are going on their first official date, going through all the awkwardness and excitement and hope of getting to know someone for the first time. Cooper has no one; he trolls hook-up sites for cheap thrills that he never allows to come to anything, and he hates himself for every minute of it. When his parents catch him at this, he runs away from home and feels lost, abandoned, and thoroughly alone.This sounds strange, but a ghostly cluster of gay men who died of AIDS form a Greek chorus of sorts to narrate the stories and tie them together. Like I said, it sounds strange, but Levithan pulls it off like a master. The chorus is ultimately what gives Two Boys Kissing its resonance. It honors the troubled history of LGBT people, is thankful for how far we have come, saddened by how much hate and sadness still exists, and remains hopeful for the future represented by these gay teens, who are revolutionizing the world simply by having the courage to be themselves.I would go so far as to say that Two Boys Kissing is not just a good book, it's an important one. It captures the struggle and the history of the LGBT past and melds it with the present and the future--all without feeling preachy or like a history lesson. As a gay man who grew up in the pre-Ellen, pre-Will & Grace, pre-It Gets Better world, it hits home in a way I cannot adequately express. But you can see it reflected in my initial fear of this book--because that is exactly what it was that I felt when I almost didn't get in line at BEA. It was that old fear that to be gay is to need to hide, to go unnoticed, rearing its ugly head. The boldness of this book is that the "revolutionary" act at its center is actually almost mundane: a kiss. If it provokes a response, it is only because the people doing the kissing are the same gender. Hopefully, someday that won't seem so bold.Grade: A-More reviews can be found on my blog: www.SupposedlyFun.com
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  • Laura
    March 21, 2013
    Two Boys Kissing. I love saying this title. Two Boys Kissing! The author, title, and cover had me swooning at first sight. Love at first sight! I mean look at that cover! Beautiful.David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing is a powerful mix of voices, generations, pains, and fears. Characters and voices that will show readers how so many emotions and opinions have changed and how so many things heart-shatteringly remain the same. Parents hurt, kids bully, and society disappoints no matter what the year Two Boys Kissing. I love saying this title. Two Boys Kissing! The author, title, and cover had me swooning at first sight. Love at first sight! I mean look at that cover! Beautiful.David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing is a powerful mix of voices, generations, pains, and fears. Characters and voices that will show readers how so many emotions and opinions have changed and how so many things heart-shatteringly remain the same. Parents hurt, kids bully, and society disappoints no matter what the year on the calendar reads. BUT at the same time….people reach out, pain heals, and hearts beat, beat, *beat* with life and love. Never take that for granted. Being alive. Alive to dance, alive to love, and yes—alive to kiss!”There are so many minutes and hours and days we spend taking life for granted, not feeling it so much as going along with it. But then there are moments like this, when the aliveness of life is crystalline, palpable, undeniable. It is the ultimate buoy against drowning. It is the ever-saving grace.”These pages share and show the community, families, boys, and emotions swirling around Harry and Craig, two boys trying to break the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss. Each character and layer holds their own story filled with joys and sorrows. For such a short book, Levithan somehow weaves together stories of gender, coming out, new love, old loves, bullying and so much more. But for me, the power, fuel, and heart of this book was the older generation of men who died of AIDS. Their voices guide us through this story. We hear them. The side by side pain and stories from these men with the young boys trying so hard to find their way in life, struggling with who they are is….I can’t put a word to it. Powerful seems too small. The narration and storytelling displayed here is something special to read and experience. The past is a big part of who we are today. I never want to forget that. There is a lot going on in this book, but Levithan deals with all the issues with beauty, wit and depth. No issue felt rushed or squeezed in. It all fit. Every word and moment fit right into my heart.Harry and Craig’s struggle to break the record is the center, focus, and glue to this story. Everything feels connected to their kiss. Locked lips, aching legs, fears, tears, courage, friendship, and love. These boys reveal and share so much of themselves. I found myself rooting and hoping for them and every single person around them out loud. Hold on! Hold on to each other. Support each other. All of you—Harry, Craig, Neil, Peter, Cooper, Avery, Ryan, Tariq and so many more. Just hold on.Now it is no secret around here that David Levithan is one of my favorite authors. I could roll around in his words forever. Pure magic, pure hope, and pure love live in his words. I adore the man. Simple as that. So before I embarrass myself and go all fangirl gushing on you (too late…hehe) let me get to my one and only “but” of the book. The ending. Sometimes I feel like Mr. Levithan tries too hard. Too hard to encapsulate the whole emotional journey and shebang in a line or two at the end. The last few lines in this story felt stale and forced to me. My heart felt deflated—the air stolen from the room. That said though, this point is not entirely negative. I can always feel and see how much Mr. Levithan wants to inspire, provide hope, and a helping hand to his readers. That is not a bad thing. It is one of the big reasons why I love the man. A Levithan world always lives and breathes love and hope. His words and characters tell us to keep on fighting, searching, hoping, and kissing. You will find your way.Everyone should read this book. Buy it. Read it. Celebrate it. Celebrate the fact it is sitting on the YA shelf at your local library or bookstore. Two Boys Kissing reminds me to always remember the ones who fought, pushed forward and loved before me. Celebrate the fact that this book is published and out here for young readers to grab on to and share and love.Thank you, Mr. Levithan.Highly recommended.
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  • Kaje Harper
    August 16, 2013
    4.5 stars. This book feels in some ways more salient, more poignant, for my generation than for the teen readers it is aimed at. The narrative voice of the book is omnisicient, the collective voices of all the men who died of AIDS, a generation back. They are looking down at gay teen boys, and one F2M trans, and describing, analyzing, wishing hard enough to bring tears, that their experiences could inform those younger lives. Although the boys in this story are one generation closer to equality, 4.5 stars. This book feels in some ways more salient, more poignant, for my generation than for the teen readers it is aimed at. The narrative voice of the book is omnisicient, the collective voices of all the men who died of AIDS, a generation back. They are looking down at gay teen boys, and one F2M trans, and describing, analyzing, wishing hard enough to bring tears, that their experiences could inform those younger lives. Although the boys in this story are one generation closer to equality, although something like a 32-hour gay kiss could never have happened on a high-school lawn when the men were alive, still for these boys there is pain and there is alienation. There are families who want to pretend gay doesn't exist, and some who will lash out when confronted with it. There are bullies, who hurt with words and with fists. This story shows two boys, kissing for 32 hours to break a Guinness record. And around them, other boys and pairs of boys are meeting, or in relationships, or despairing of ever having a relationship. The stories are engaging, and yet set at a slight distance by the narrative format. The ache I feel for Cooper, facing a family who will hate him for saying he's gay, is paralleled, and almost exceeded by my fellow-feeling for those narrators. They speak my truths, as a parent and mentor. They say the things we wish teens would hear. The things we wish teens would feel, in their bodies and bones. All the advice that somehow is impossible to get from words, and must be learned in life and time and breath. If those young people would only give themselves that time.There are some very wise and beautifully phrased life lessons, of all kinds, from the gay men's chorus here:"There is no one else in the world that he wants to kiss or screw or talk to or share his life with. So why, he wonders, does a part of it still feel empty? Why, after a year, isn't it complete?He is on the verge of finding that very hard truth-that it will never be complete, or feel complete. This is usually something you only have to learn once-that just like there is no such thing as forever, there is no such thing as total. When you're in the thrall of your first love, this discovery feels like the breaking of all momentum, the undermining of all promise. For the past year, Neil has assumed that love was like a liquid pouring into a vessel, and the longer you loved, the more full the vessel became, until it was entirely full. The truth is that over time, the vessel expands as well. You grow. Your life widens. And you can't expect your partner's love alone to fill you. There will always be space for other things."This book is one I'd like to put in every teenager's hands, gay or straight. And yet, I think all the truths in here will be hard for them to absorb from a reading. Hard to believe, from the black and white pages, just as they are disregarded from the lips of adults, and from our midnight text messages, and our old-fashioned letters. It gets better. This pain is not all there is. You will find yourself, if you give it time. Along with this dead generation, I've thrown those words into the wind, and hoped somehow, some would be heard.Levithan is an optimist, in his writing. He finds for his characters, realistic but optimistic endings. This book is no exception. You will finish it with a happy sigh, and the expectation that these lives will go on, many together, even if the paths aren't clear. As always, the crystal exactness of some of his phrases struck me over and over here. I hope youth read this, but it still feels to me like a book that will strike its fullest chord in those of us who love them, and are watching them grow.
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  • Carla Dente
    August 10, 2015
    casi no dejé de llorar en ningún momento... un libro precioso y esperanzador. No le cambiaría nada♥ es perfecto así como está.¡MÁS QUE RECOMENDADO! mi favorito en lo que va del año :3Reseña (opinión personal sin spoilers): http://mimundoestaentuspaginas.blogsp...
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  • Richard Denney
    March 15, 2013
    Now there's a YA cover you don't see every day.MOTHERFUCKING BEAUTIFUL.
  • Lena♥Ribka
    June 25, 2014
    DNF at 20%No. I won't do it to me. We as the generation of gay men lost to AIDS COULD BE an inventive idea but I have to admit that a Greek Chorus we-narrating is not my thing, it's hard to digest. Too crowded. I just couldn't get rid of the image of the ghost army talking to me. Besides, these background voices sounded too pathetically and tediously for my taste. Parents who don't have a respect for their child's privacy and read his chat conversation and as a result threw him out of the house DNF at 20%No. I won't do it to me. We as the generation of gay men lost to AIDS COULD BE an inventive idea but I have to admit that a Greek Chorus we-narrating is not my thing, it's hard to digest. Too crowded. I just couldn't get rid of the image of the ghost army talking to me. Besides, these background voices sounded too pathetically and tediously for my taste. Parents who don't have a respect for their child's privacy and read his chat conversation and as a result threw him out of the house - this kid has already his driving licence! - is not necessarily a homophobic problem. I don't want to go in details about the characters that were kinda occasionally picked up to frame the plot. What plot BTW? Okay. I am not going to tell, "It's not a book, it's me..." ...It's WE.
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  • Leo Robertson
    September 7, 2014
    Beautiful and expert piece of writing: rages without lecturing, empathises without pandering, and maintains to the finish a tone that is never too heavy nor too light.The story centres on two teenage boys trying to beat the world record for longest kiss, and follows a collection of LGBT characters across the stretch of time that the kiss lasts, occasionally commenting on their reaction to the kiss and its significance, which allows Levithan to build layer upon layer of meaning to the kiss: what Beautiful and expert piece of writing: rages without lecturing, empathises without pandering, and maintains to the finish a tone that is never too heavy nor too light.The story centres on two teenage boys trying to beat the world record for longest kiss, and follows a collection of LGBT characters across the stretch of time that the kiss lasts, occasionally commenting on their reaction to the kiss and its significance, which allows Levithan to build layer upon layer of meaning to the kiss: what it means for the two central characters, the characters in the subplots, the progress of the gay rights movement and the power of each generation of humanity, its responsibility and history. To accomplish all of this in 208 pages, for a (predominantly) YA audience, is miraculous.The story is narrated by the collective ghost of all gay men from the generation before Levithan’s, a generation that shares the pain of AIDS, suicide and any other bigotry-adjacent deaths, and watches the teens across three or so days with a careful eye, desperate to inform them but unable to intervene. Yet the narrators are in awe of the boys and how they have chosen to do their part for the movement whose immaturity pretty much killed most if not all of them.The choice of narrator gracefully sidesteps a number of pitfalls of “LGBT fiction”, most notably AIDS fatigue, homophobia fatigue and broken suspension of disbelief through abnormally high concentration of suffering gay characters in one given location. Without trying to sound callous, it’s very easy to lose the attention of your audience if too many characters have AIDS (Team America’s crass critique of “Rent”), too many of them experience intolerance or too many of them are gay. Your story is about a subset of society, so, while gay-themed, it can’t be about a society composed purely of gay characters. What then? One option frequently chosen is to set the story in a place known for being big on gay culture, like San Francisco or Manchester, but then you run the risk of alienating an audience who wince as they wonder just how much promiscuity, drug abuse or underage sex you feel it necessary to include, or sidestep. But the world of Two Boys Kissing contains none of these things. It pools together the relevant ghosts of the past into one narrator, and picks out the YA LGBT folk where they reside in their native environments amongst the rest of the populace, without once drawing attention to this technique. An omniscient collective as a narrator can glide around as it pleases and pick characters out of a presumably much larger tapestry. Present tense was a great choice also, and definitely works here as we experience the three days of every character. Levithan is most indebted to Virgin Suicides (we the narrator), Mrs Dalloway (all these folk in a day!) and Ulysses (in the local is the infinite) for his chosen narrative, but using the techniques of Eugenides, Woolf and Joyce, he holds the reader’s attention across many POVs, interweaves them beautifully, never leaves any of them behind across the hours, characterises all of them and not once has you asking “Who was that again?” And the use of technology and its influence on the characters keeps the story fresh, and reminds the reader of the power the internet has in getting our message to so many people. And despite all modernist influence, you always know what the fuck he’s on about, too: bonus!All digressions from the main story are kept to no more than a short paragraph and that’s all Levithan needs. Research is kept out of the story, as the story informs us what we need to know, and details of narrators’ ghosts dying of AIDS are interjected where necessary: neither held back nor needlessly disgusting. Levithan communicates life’s big truths in a graceful economic way that is never too heavy. His outrage and the strength of his message is justified but puts so delicately a lovely message that must be true of all ongoing historical struggles for equality: “We want you to remember what we did, but we don’t want you wandering around feeling the weight of your debt to us; we want you to live with purpose and have fun and be happy.”I must admit: as a gay man, I feel that “man” is a more inextricable category that I fall into than “gay”, even although I didn’t decide either. I’m not a homophobic gay (real thing) but neither do I have any gay friends IRL- not out of choice, I just don’t know any gay people and feel no desire to explicitly seek them out, just as I feel no need to ostracise anyone from my tribe who isn’t gay either. That’s what equality means to me. Anyway, Levithan informs me of how indebted I am in my day-to-day life by the untold stories of all the souls in the gay rights movement before me (mostly American but American gay history is gay history), and hints at their suffering, as it is a thing we can only begin to imagine. He makes the excellent point that you might think race can’t be hidden but sexuality can, but hey, it can’t really, can it? Christopher Hitchens says one thing you can’t ever do, as it enrages people, is to compare the plight of black people to that of gay people, although he wasn’t sure why. Todd Glass, on Marc Maron’s podcast (on which he publicly came out) made similar points to Levithan, that a black kid never knew the pain of being kicked out of his house by his parents just for being black (well, maybe this kid), or the mass of deaths primarily caused by a disease but secondarily by a widespread rejection from society and an unwillingness to act until a celebrity or some other group of more important people were affected.But aren’t we all a part of something bigger? Aren’t we all in some way indebted to our history, and isn’t that a beautiful thing to remember, that we are part of a whole, of a hopefully as-infinite-as-is-possibile continuum of people? That we each have our small duty to pay, our local influence which propagates globally with even more ease in this day and age? That fame, fortune, looks and youth are fleeting, and we should spend more time focused on what’s really important?I know I just said in my review of DFW’s Oblivion that we’re all alone and we are too limited within ourselves to really feel a part of something bigger or even begin to know what that would feel like. I refute that in the case of this book which demonstrates that Wallace can’t be correct, or this book wouldn’t be possible. But I also think both things, while they completely contradict one another, are true. This is why we need to read so much, though! If we find one truth too sad, we should keep reading until we find its happy counterpart, which most likely exists, and add truth upon truth to our head even if it feels like it’s gonna burst, because I don’t think that’s ever happened :)Really, this is not the letter from one gay generation to another that it professes to be. This is for any lonely person who’s forgotten what they’re a part of. This is for anyone who is currently doubting what fiction is for (as I do continually), and what it has the power to achieve.
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  • Bill
    February 13, 2013
    It's hard for me to put into words my feeling about this book. But since I'm a writer, I suppose I ought to try.I have been a fan of David's work for a while now. I have been awed by his ability to churn out impressive novel after novel and to cover so much unique ground in such a relatively short time. But this novel is really a game-changer. I mean that both for David's career and for LGBTQ literature in general.Even though I am a YA author, I really reacted to this book as a gay man who is 42 It's hard for me to put into words my feeling about this book. But since I'm a writer, I suppose I ought to try.I have been a fan of David's work for a while now. I have been awed by his ability to churn out impressive novel after novel and to cover so much unique ground in such a relatively short time. But this novel is really a game-changer. I mean that both for David's career and for LGBTQ literature in general.Even though I am a YA author, I really reacted to this book as a gay man who is 42, who grew up amid the AIDS crisis in New York. To have those feelings brought back and juxtaposed with the relative hope of this new generation was exceedingly powerful to me. I found myself sobbing reading this book. I have not sobbed so much reading a book in -- ever? It's certainly been years at the very least. A few weeks ago, while at a writing conference in Portland, I spoke about the book during a seminar I was giving about LGBTQ lit and I started to tear up just talking about it.There is so much beauty here in this prose. I am generally not a fan of "We" narratives, but for some reason this one didn't bother me in the least. I didn't find it jarring, and I didn't find it took me out of the narrative. Perhaps it's because I know this "We." This voice sounded authentic to me. I didn't doubt for a second the authority of the narrative, and that's not easy when the narrator is intended to be a Greek Chorus of dead folks.I have been telling all my gay friends who are my age or older that they need to buy this book as soon as it comes out. I think it will strongly appeal to those of us who have lost so many friends and loved ones. I simply cannot answer the question of how a young gay person will respond to this book, but I'm so excited to find out!Simply a game changer in the genre. To my relatively discerning eye, the finest gay YA novel ever.
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