Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Rating: More than 5 stars
We no longer sleep, and because we no longer sleep, we no longer dream. Instead we watch. We don't want to miss a thing. You have become our dreaming.I can't seem to find the words to describe how utterly perfect Two Boys Kissing is. Where to start? With the honest and real characters? The prose that killed me with its beauty? The important message this novel holds? I wish I could leave you with just a bunch of GIFs about people flailing and fangirling and screaming and sobbing, but you expect a review... So here I go.
The first thing you notice when you start reading, is Levithan's way with words: the book is told from a 'we'-perspective. We see the main characters and their actions through the eyes of the generation of gay men who have died from AIDS. Not only that makes this book special, but the way Levithan handles words: they're not just words, but feelings, images, truth flooding out of the pages. You should know something about me: I never cry over books. Never ever. It's just not something I do, although I sometimes wish I could. Two Boys Kissing had me dangerously close to crying with it's prose alone. I want to be surrounded by Levithan's writing forever and ever. I usually begin my reviews with a quote: if I see a memorable quote while reading, I make a note with the page number. After writing down the first couple of pages, I gave up. The quote up there? I opened a random page and took a quote. That's how good his writing is.
Two Boys Kissing is such an important book. It's relatively short, with just over 200 pages, for the enormous message inside it. Every gay teen should read this. Every gay adult should read this. Every straight teen should read it too, and every straight adult. Basically: everyone should read this and think about it.
The characters shine too. Though we don't get to know them extremely well, I felt for each and every one of them and marvelled at the skill Levithan displayed: the characters are all different, but in tiny ways. A lot of characters out there in YA books are complete opposites, contrasting to make each character look more real. Although these charcaters are all different too, they were different in subtle ways. In how they dealt with situations, in how they talked, in their thoughts, their reactions... It takes skill to write characters like this, and it was done very well.
This review probably isn't very coherent: I wrote it right after I finished the book, or in other words: while emotionally unstable! It also ism't very long, but there are only so many ways you can say a book was perfect...
Bottom line: If you haven't read this beautiful and moving story, fix it now.
What did you think of this book? Are there any other Levithan novels you'd recommend to me?