Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Two Boys Kissing’ by David Levithan. The book was first published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House Kids Imprint) on August 27th, 2013 and is about 208 pages long. The audiobook was released by Random House on August 27th, 2013, narrated by David Levithan and is 6 hrs and 15 mins long.
Why I read this book: This book has often been recommended to me and I loved seeing it in mainstream book stores. So cool to have the image of two boys locked in a kiss in the book store window. I have to admit, it was not quite what I expected, when started to read it for the first time and I put it down for a while until I was in the right mood. I’m glad I picked it up again. It was PERFECTION! ❤
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.
Named to the National Book Award Longlist
A Lambda Literary Award Winner
A Stonewall Honor Book
I expected this book to be a sweet story of two boys trying to break the record for the longest kiss in the world. What I got was so much more. ‘Two Boys Kissing’ took my by surprise and will forever be very special to me. It is one of those rare books that will stay with readers for a long time and touch them in a meaningful way.
The author honors the generation of gay men before him, who narrate this story, and the generation after him, who live in a new world. While there are relationships and there is love, this book isn’t really a romance and the ending is too open-ended to be a HEA. However it is such a beautiful story that I really hope a lot of people will give the book a chance and read it. It is so worth it.
The unique narrator voices of the gay men before took getting used to for me, especially as I was expecting something very different. However, after a few pages the story hooked me and the narration felt just right. Perfect. Their stories are painful and emotional. They have lived their lives in a different world, but they hope their experiences have helped the new generations that followed them. It is so important to never forget the people who came before us and their understanding and hope for the boys in this story was beautiful.
Harry and Craig, the two boys who try to break the kissing contest are just two out of many wonderful and very likable characters readers get to meet in this book. While they kiss to make a statement for hope and love and acceptance and support each other non verbally through the many hours in front of a camera, the world around them does not stand still. They inspire some and antagonize others. There are painful scenes as well as scenes of hope. It felt very realistic and I loved that this book is based on real events.
There are many wonderful stories of boys navigating family, identity, sexuality, love and I cared for all of them. The story skips from head to head to show different POVs and while this kind of storytelling does not always work for me, the author really does it quite successfully. The kiss worked well as the main plot that connected all story threads in a skillful way, but every smaller thread was just as beautiful and important.
David Levithan manages something incredible here. This book is meaningful and intense and tackles difficult themes like Aids and Identity, but it also feels hopeful and light. It has a delicate balance that would seem impossible, but the author makes it work.
Rating: 10/10 Pots of Gold
David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.