Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Published May 3, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

I haven’t done a book review on here before and I finished this book a while back, so I thought I would talk about it!

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Two Boys Kissing is a young adult book written by David Levithan. I haven’t read any of his books before, but I enjoyed Will Grayson, Will grayson which he wrote with John Green. It was published the 27th of August.

In the author’s note at the end of the novel David Levithan writes the following:

“On September 18, 2010, college students Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello kissed for thirty-two hours, thirty minutes, and forty-seven seconds (longer than the characters in this book) to break the Guinness World Record for longest continuous kiss. I am just one of many people who were inspired by what they did”.

The story was inspired by what they did.”

It was based on true events, and is about two boys, Craig and Harry, who want to set the world record for the longest kiss. They are no longer a couple, but both care for each other and are facing their own feelings and those of their family as the marathon progresses. The focus is mainly one these two boys, but it follows several stories.
Peter and Neil are a couple with their struggles, while Avery and Ryan have just met and are trying to figure things out.  We also meet Cooper, who is alone and spends most of his time on the internet, but can’t find happiness and is close to giving up.

Harry and Craig face trouble in the form of exhaustion, dehydration and everything else that comes with a kiss that lasts for over a day. In addition, they are met with the judgements (and support) that come with trying to break such a record. This book talks about long term relationships and coming out of them, gender identity, feelings, loneliness and love.

David Levithan has an incredibly unique narrative voice, and that was not any different in this book. It had me confused for a while, but when I figured out who the narrative was, It increased the power of the voice. The novel is narrated by the generation of gay men who passed away from AIDS. It took a while for me to get used to his writing style, but as I said, once I understood his techniques I learned to appreciate it. The way he puts things makes you really think about what he is saying and how, which makes the reading experience very different.

A lot of Young adult books are written just to be written,in my opinion. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing as those books can be great, but this book has a message. It’s a very loud one that can’t be ignored and doesn’t apologize, and therefor the book has been called “preachy.” I do agree with that statement to some extent, as it does have a clear message that comes through strongly on every page, but there is a lot more to it. The message I got from it was that everyone, every gay man deserved to love and be loved, and be able to express it. Two Boys Kissing is about love and how hard it can be at times, but also how splendid and wonderful. It’s about falling in and out of love, about hiding and revealing the truth. It’s about family and friends, and about how their reactions can affect someone.The beautiful and complex language helps to tell this story and adds a lot to it, making it enjoyable and moving to read.
I’ll add some quotes I loved, although there are many more. Look at them whichever way you like and don’t ask me to analyze them for you, I do that enough in English Literature.

“It is very hard to stay alive just for your own sake. It is very hard to stare into day after day without another familiar face staring back. It turns your heart into a purposeless muscle.”

“When you need to hold onto something, you should. Whatever gets you through, take it.”
“Things are not magical because they’ve been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them.”
“There is no reason that we should ever be ashamed of our bodies or ashamed of our love.”

Finally, I would recommend this book to everyone. No matter if you are straight, gay, bisexual or whatever else, this book shows you something about situations people have to face. Whether you can relate or not, I think it’s important to read books like this, especially “Two Boys Kissing”, because it makes you understand. It makes you understand what they are going through and that love is just as real, no matter in what form it comes. And I think this is important, because I believe understanding is the key to accepting. Even though the novel only follows them for a few days, all the characters are awfully realistic and their feelings are real and genuine. Their happiness, frustration, fear, loneliness, sadness and love is described in a way which makes it believable the situations of all the boys are different yet have the same basic moral. Also, as a person who is utterly obsessed with quotes, Two boys kissing has some amazing ones. Just saying.
I have never read a book quite like this, and I think everyone should read it, even if you think you can’t relate to the characters because this novel will surprise you in the best way. It teaches you so much about the struggles of gay teenagers.
I had not expected to like the book as much as I did when I picked it up, but it’s worth the hype.

Also, even though it’s hard to pick a favorite, I think the last line of the novel is amazing. Endings are always important and I value last lines, and this did not disappoint.
So, whether you want to read the book immediately or if you have no plans to read it because you think you will hate it, I want you to take one message from it:

“Make more than dust.”
– Two boys Kissing by David Levithan.

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2 comments on “Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

  • I bought this book a while back, but have yet to read it. After reading your review, I think I’m going to go pick it up and give it a read. Thanks!

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