- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Format: Hardback | 200 pages
- Dimensions: 144mm x 212mm x 22mm | 320g
- Publication date: 27 August 2013
- ISBN 10: 0307931900
- ISBN 13: 9780307931900
- Sales rank: 37,541
A 2014 Lambda Literary Award Winner A 2014 Stonewall Honor Book Named to the 2013 National Book Award Longlist ""You have to read this." " - Rainbow Rowell, author of "Eleanor & Park" In his follow-up to the "New York Times" bestselling" Every Day, " David Levithan, coauthor of bestsellers "Will Grayson, Will Grayson "and" Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, " crafts a novel that the "Los Angeles Times" calls "open, frank, and ultimately optimistic." Based on true events--and narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS--"Two Boys Kissing" follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with universal questions of love, identity, and belonging.
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DAVID LEVITHAN is a children's book editor in New York City and the author of several books for young adults, including "Boy Meets Boy, Love Is the Higher Law, "and "Every Day." He coauthored "Will Grayson, Will Grayson "with John Green," " and "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, " and "Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List" with Rachel Cohn.
By Kate @ Fictional Thoughts 13 Sep 2013
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.
Two Boys Kissing is the story of Harry, Craig, Ryan, Avery, Cooper, Neil and Peter. They may be teenagers from different towns and have different backgrounds but their sexuality connects them. Craig and Harry are trying to set the world record for the longest kiss to prove a point. Exes but still friends, there's no one the other would trust more to spend thirty-two hours, twelve minutes and at least ten seconds kissing. Ryan and Avery are in the grasp of new love with all the secrets and surprises that go along with getting to know someone new. Cooper's life is falling down around him with the line between reality and real life blurred. And Neil and Peter have been together for a year - things are no longer new but there is a lot about each other lurking behind the surface. These characters cover the entire dating spectrum and have so many differences - their familial situations, their cultural backgrounds, their relationship statuses - and yet are part of a network because of one thing. Their sexual preferences.
With the novel being narrated by a chorus of gay men who have been where the teens are now, made their mistakes and danced their dances, this book is a unique perspective into the lives of the next generation of gay men. The writing is beautiful - slightly pretentious but perfect for the setting. I loved reading this book and found quotes I wanted to remember on almost every page. I've been a fan of David Levithan's books since I read Boy Meets Boy ten years ago and thought Two Boys Kissing managed to convey the same message of acceptance and sexuality despite being darker and more realistic than his novel from a decade ago.
There's a certain cyclical nature to this book - with the harassment of people based in their sexuality spanning across the characters despite their other circumstances. But the highlight is the support that they receive - from friends, family and complete strangers who want equality. I found some of the lines to be fantastic in their hope of future equality - "Max is a marvel to us. He will never have to come out because he will never have been kept in."
All of the action in this book happens over just a couple of days, covers seven main characters in just over two hundred pages and yet I felt close to these characters. There's enough detail to feel like I knew these boys, had experienced their heartbreaks and knew where they were going to go in the future - and I think this can be attributed to the unique narration style. The pop culture references are artfully inserted throughout the book with enough detail to feel included (book spine poetry with books I've read!) yet ambiguous enough to keep from dating the novel.
The authors note at the end of the book was fascinating to read - the record Harry and Craig were attempting to break was inspired by a true story as were other facets of the novel. I loved this book . It's full of hope and optimism with beautiful writing whilst still not glossing over the more painful aspects in life. I definitely recommend it to readers of all ages who enjoy a good story.
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 3, 2013: "A landmark achievement from a writer and editor who has helped create, in literature, a haven for queer youth." Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2013: "The novel has genuine moments of insight and wisdom...Inspiring." Bookish.com, May 6, 2013: "Levithan takes contemporary to a whole new space with this novel, finding new ground in storytelling around important issues that directly affect teens today." Booklist, August 1, 2013: "Levithan leans intensely into this work...There's little doubt that this title, with its weight, significance, and literary quality, will find its way into LGBTQ and wider cannons. Stock up." Romantic Times Book Review, September 2013: "Thought provoking, poignant and beautifully written, above all this is an unbelievably important book for anyone who has struggled with identity, love and loss. The omniscient narration is incredibly moving and appreciative of the fragility of life. A groundbreaking addition to the LGBT genre and community." "Brilliant, moving, important, and wise." - Jennifer E. Smith, author of "This Is What Happy Looks Like" and "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight" "The high level of imaginative and intuitive empathy that is apparent in all of his works is especially strong here--as not only are his protagonists fully realized, but so are the voices of the collective narration, whose experiences are as varied as the characters on the page... It is the best book I have read this year." - Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Books Inc. "Everyone needs to read this, not just YA. How perfectly David puts the past, present and future into one small novel. Now, as soon as my eyes stop watering and the goose bumps on my arms go away, I can continue my day." - Carolyn Anbar, Watchung Booksellers "Levithan's choice of narrator was inspiring and heartbreaking. Giving a voice to that generation and exposing y