Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (Book Review)

Two Boys KissingTwo Boys Kissing by David Levithan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What this book is about:

Neil and Peter have been together for a year and have found in each other a person to love and share their lives. Neil’s parents are still quite confused about him being gay while Peter’s parents have accepted Neil as a member of their family.
Tariq is another teenage boy, one of those that were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Cooper is always alone.
Avery with the pink hair and Ryan with the blue hair are going on their first date soon. Avery is a boy born in a female body. He hopes Ryan will like him.
Craig and Harry are not together anymore but they are going to attempt to brain the Guiness World Record for the longest kiss. They are doing this together.

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Here we have a book comprised of several short paragraphs that take a look into the lives of several teenage gay boys. The story is narrated by a Greek chorus of gay men who died of AIDS several decades ago. What this means is that we have a narration in a first-person plural point of view, “we”. A Greek chorus, according to Wiki, “is a homogeneous, non-individualised group of performers in the plays of classical Greece, who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action”. This is a short book of about 200 pages, written with evident emotion. A story that flows quickly and pleasantly at times and harshly even brutally at others. The stories of the boys take place around the time before and during Craig and Harry’s kiss.

You can’t know what it is like for us now – you will always be one step behind.
Be thankful for that.
You can’t know what it was like for us then – you will always be one step ahead.
Be thankful for that, too.
Trust us: There is a nearly perfect balance between the past and the future. As we become the distant past, you become a future few of us would have imagined.

P1040449_FotorA unique, imaginative narrative perspective. Imagine if all the men who died of AIDS could know back then how society and the world would change 30-35 years later. Using their point of view, David Levithan managed to create emotions of grief and sadness for all those who died alone, who had no-one to fight for them, who were abandoned even by their mothers. We also get to see those men who died with their partners at their side and their remorseful parents who finally realised that their children were dying. We also experience happyness and hope because things are different now, we are the future and their are the past. And the chorus is looking at the gay boys of today and cheers for them and celebrates them. This is why you are alive, because you are worth it. And there is so much the world has to offer you, you just keep on fighting for the things you want to achieve. This is the message that I got from the book narrated to all the young gay boys in the world from a fatherly, dare I say, point of view. Also, I was having these frequent images of the movies Milk and The Normal Heart which definitely helped me build images of the narrtion and get immersed in the story.

Freedom isn’t just about voting and marrying and kissing on the street, although all of these things are important. Freedom is also about what you will allow yourself to do.

This is not a book that will appeal to everyone.In fact, this is a book that will appeal to quite a few people but not the majority. Because this is a book about being gay in the past and being gay today. Which of course, is an interesting premise for many people and in no way do I mean to say that only gay men are going to enjoy this book. But if you are not interested in reading a story that is strongly discussing homosexuality in men and boys, then you are probably not going to enjoy this book. No matter what this story is about, this is very well written and has some very important messages to pass to the younger generations. There are some brilliant quotes, and we all get some good advice from a chorus of gay men. They want you to know that you are not alone.

This is what happens when you become ill: Dancing stops being a reality and becomes a metaphor. More often than not, it is an unkind one. I am dancing as fast as I can. As if the disease is the fiddler who keeps playing faster and faster, and to lose step is to die. You try and try and try, until finally the fiddler wears you down.

P1040450_FotorThought provoking story that doesn’t try to hide the ugly truth.Throughout most of this book, there are two boys kissing for many hours while people are watching them. A kiss between two boys might seem, weird or disgusting or horrific. But when something goes on for hours and hours it becomes boring, normal. People stop caring as much, they get tired of fighting these two boys and the boys themselves get tired of fighting. They become two bodies with the same needs as everyone else. To eat, drink water, sit down and rest, take a bathroom break. We all come down to being human just like that. The kiss becomes something extreme, something provoking but the author manages to bring it down to something so basic as two bodies touching ad holding each other.

Waking is hard, and waking is glorious. We watch as you stir, then as you stumble out of your beds. We know that gratitude is the last thing on your mind. But you should be grateful.
You’ve made it to another day.

This chorus made me take a moment to think of some of the things I take for granted in my life. How many boys have their parents’ support? How many of the mare abandoned? I want many people to read this book and I understand why most won’t. I appreciate that this book exists for those out there who need to read it, whoever they are.
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I want to read this so bad πŸ™‚ It sounds so unique and also lovely review πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. mensrea3 says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚ It’s really something different and it was very well-written and also short. If you pick it up you will be done in a couple of days. I’m curious to see what you’ll think about it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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