Title: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Drama, LGBT
Medium: ARC Paperback, Received For Review
I have been avoiding writing the review for several days. Not that I have anything bad to say or that I didn't like the book, but because it was so good, I can't really think of a way to put it into the correct words. I will try to do it justice.
I had heard such good reviews of this book that even the (new-to-me) genre of LGBT couldn't scare me away. I had heard so many people say that it touched them in so many ways, straight or gay. Personally, I am a straight heterosexual female, attracted to men, and though my personal beliefs stance on marriage does not matter, some people think so anyway. If so, they would really hate this book. They wouldn't hate the writing, the author, the characters, the plot, or anything of that nature, but they would hate the book for what it stood for. Complete equality, marriage rights, all of that. Clearly, they have not read this novel and seen its true meaning.
Big un-spoiler here: This novel does NOT focus completely on gay men. It is not some gay-pride flaunty novel. It is so much more than that. This novel is narrated by a Greek Chorus of gay men who have died of AIDS, fighting for love, justice, and a cure. The focus of this story is on several gay teenage couples, and at the center are two guys who are best friends, and who are also competing to win the Guinness Book Record for world's longest kiss. A 32 hour marathon of kissing! Not only does this novel feature friendship, love, relationships, break ups, betrayal, bullying, self realization, and more, but it also shows how much love can really mean to two people. It shows you that even though the love stories may be different than yours, they still have the core element of loving one person no matter what the obstacles are.
This novel also honors those who have perished due to AIDS, the cost of loving someone that is so very unfair. It begs for people to understand and realize what people around them are going through, that not only is "coming out" hard for them, but what lies ahead. Just for being who they are, who they truly are, makes them a target for bullying and so many more pains. But to them, love is worth anything. Love is the greatest sacrifice.
The writing in this novel was beautiful. Just simply stunning. It was beautifully simple and easy to fly through, yet pristine and emotional. The writing was clear and yet complex in the best of ways. A gorgeous Tour de force. It strikes you to your very core and opens your mind up to changes. Like I said, I'm straight, and have never read a LGBT novel before, and I must tell you I am pleasantly surprised. This novel was a suspenseful, poignant, emotional, frank, optimistic read, perfect for anyone who loves contemporary, drama, or anyone who is looking to have a thought provoking read. 4.5 stars.