Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 27th March 2014
Edition: UK proof, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), Are We There Yet?, Wide Awake, Naomi & Eli’s No-Kiss List (with Rachel Cohn), Love is the Higher Law, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), The Lover’s Dictionary, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (with Rachel Cohn), Invisibility (with Andrea Cremer), Every Day, How They Met and Other Stories
The two boys kissing are Craig and Harry. They are hoping to see the world record for the longest kiss. They’re not a couple, but they used to be.
Peter and Neil are a couple. Their kisses are different. Avery and Ryan have only just met and are trying to figure out what happens next. Cooper is alone. He’s not sure what he feels.
As the marathon progresses, these boys, their friends and families evaluate the changing nature of feelings, behaviours and this crazy thing called love.
Two Boys Kissing was one of my most anticipated boys of 2014 so I’m extremely pleased that it lived up to expectations.
This novel feels a little different to the others of his I’ve read. The message behind it was stronger, as was Levithan’s narrative voice. The stories of Harry, Craig, Ryan, Avery and Cooper are told from a lofty distance; the generation of people before the heroes of Two Boys Kissing. A lot of the focus is on how different life is for a person nowadays if they’re gay, though it’s still far from what it needs to be. There is also a lot of discussion about AIDS: how it was seen then, how it’s seen now and how it could have been helped along a long time ago.
It’s an incredibly powerful novel Levithan has written, and it’s empowering too. Through the different relationships portrayed by the characters, their varying situations and the people around them Levithan details the struggles of everyday life for people who have come out. Craig and Harry are trying to bring this to the attention of everyone by having two boys break the world record for the longest kiss. But they’re also doing it for themselves. To make their families notice who they are and what they suffer. To feel alive.
For the first time since reading David Levithan’s books, Tow Boys Kissing made me feel like maybe I wasn’t clever enough to fully understand and appreciate David Levithan’s thought process and writing. He works on a completely different plane to me and, ugh, his writing kills me. It’s just so gorgeous and thought-provoking and completely unique. I really never have read prose like his before.
Two Boys Kissing is important, empowering and completely stunning, but most of all it carries a message to those suffering with their sexuality: your life is worth living.
Thanks to Electric Monkey for the review copy.