Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. 

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Series: None
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?


  1. Sounds like an amazing, powerful and relevant novel. I've got a copy for review on my shelf too and I look forward to it. Great review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. It is! I hope you get to it soon, it's beautiful. Thnak you!

  2. This book was pure amazing. You said everything in your review perfectly.

    Wonderful review, Celine! <33

  3. I may be the only one left that hasn't read this book. It sounds SO amazing, I really don't know what I'm waiting for. (Oh yeah, that HUGE review pile I have glaring back at me... LOL) Great review! :)

    1. I hope you get to it soon! It's so beautiful. (Also, LOL, I can understand your problem. But it's totally worth it ;) )

      Thank you!

  4. "the way Levithan handles words: they're not just words, but feelings, images, truth flooding out of the pages" Aww, I so want to read this book! It sounds such a 'ME' book. I rarely cry over books, but have a feeling this will get to me. And I know that feeling. There are some books where I love the writing so much that I feel tempted to quote the whole book. :) Can't wait to get my hands on it and read it! Awesome review!

    1. Well, this IS one of those books I want to quote in its entirety! I can't wait 'till you read it, because I LOVED it :)

      Thank you!


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