Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan Review: LGBT masterpiece

December 27, 2013 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan Review: LGBT masterpieceTwo Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Published by Text Publishing on 21 August, 2013
Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository
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Seventeen-year-olds Craig and Harry are trying to set a new Guinness World Record for kissing.

Around them, Ryan and Avery are falling in love, Neil and Peter are falling out of love, and Cooper might be somewhere, but he is also, dangerously, nowhere.

Narrated, Greek-chorus style, by the generation of gay men lost to AIDS, this novel is a thematic companion to David Levithan’s groundbreaking Boy Meets Boy, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013.

Two Boys Kissing is trademark Levithan: warm, sharp and real. It is also something new and completely extraordinary.

I’ve heard endless good things about this profound, thought provoking book by David Levithan, as he explores the LGBT genre in a ground breaking way. Written from the perspective of a Greek Chorus of a generation of gay men lost to AIDS, the book was unusual, impactful and incredibly relevant.

On the surface, this may seem to be a book about gay pride, but it is so much more. It is about the treatment of gays in the generation before (the Greek Chorus shares this) and the generation now, and their hope for equality and liberty in the future. From the flamboyant, to the closet gay, to the ones who have come out, they are all covered here through different stories.

“I am gay. I have always been gay. I will always be gay. You have to understand that, and you have to understand that we are not really a family until you understand that.” 

From Cooper, the teenager who explores different identities online, to Neil and Kim, the gay couple, to Avery and Paul who have just met, and finally Harry and Craig who are competing for the world’s longest male kiss, all of these people and the issues they were struggling with just seemed so real that real people struggle with day to day.

Is there something wrong with me? How should I tell my parents? Can people see that I’m different? Is the man that I’m with the man I’ll be with in the future? Everything from prejudice, self-loathing, gay bashing, a transgender, and a different variety of parental reactions are covered here, and it’s truly an emotional read.  

While others adored it, the Greek Chorus was a storytelling technique wasn’t one that I was a fan of. They seemed omnipresent and creepy at times and everything just needed to be incredibly profound, even though it didn’t need to be. The story of each of these teenagers, and what Harry and Craig are doing was enough. They didn’t need to make every paragraph monumental by shouting from the rooftops.

Maybe this is why we like watching you so much. Everything is still new to you. We long past the experience, although we witness new things all the time.

Besides that, Two Boys Kissing is an incredible piece of literature that is more relevant today than ever, bringing about the real issues that gay people face even in today’s world. You would love to think that everyone is accepting and respectful of other human beings, no matter what their sexual orientation is, but that’s not the case. I thoroughly recommend this book to all readers, you’ll be a changed person afterwards.

Thank you Text Publishing for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reminder: This is a scheduled post. I am currently on hiatus and will be replying to comments upon my return on January 12.

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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12 responses to “Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan Review: LGBT masterpiece

  1. Weee! Need to add this on my TBR as I am planning to read more LGBT books this year. I am not really familiar with the Greek chorus style of story telling so I really can't comment about that. Hahahah.

    This is my second time to hear about this book but during the first time, I really ignored it. But right now , I am going to give it a try. It's always good to read about difficult and sensitive topics. It always reminds me not to be bitter with my life because there are other people who are dealing with tougher issues in life.

    Great review!

  2. WOW, your review is awesome, Jeann! I haven't read Two Boys Kissing, yet, but it's on my TBR. It seems to be a beautiful, real and poignant story. I don't think I'd mind the Greek chorus, but I guess I won't know until I read it.

    I think it's really important that there continues to be books about subjects that are hard to deal with, both for those who live with being gay, for example, and also the people who can't let go of their hate for everything that's different.

    Happy 2014, Jeann! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas 🙂
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  3. I haven't read this book yet cause I know it's gonna be a deeply emotional read that it's gonna make me angry at the close-mindedness of people, but I think it's a book that deserves to be read no matter how much it'll make me rage.

    Thanks for a great review, Jeann.
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