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Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Title:  Boy Meets Boy
Author:  David Levithan
Series:  None
Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date:  September 9, 2003
Pages:  185
Format/Source:  Paperback/Gift from a friend

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Contemporary, LGBT


This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.  (From Goodreads)

Levithan Love-a-thon…

My friend Courtney at Abducted by Books found a signed copy of this book when we were in Austin for the Tour de Nerdfighting, so she graciously gave me her old copy!  Courtney is also hosting an event this month called the Levithan Love-a-thon over at her blog, where you can win your choice of one of five David Levithan books.  Hurry – the giveaway ends today (I think)! And since she’s having this event featuring books by David Levithan, I figured I would go ahead and read Boy Meets Boy and post my review before the end of the month!

A Lot to Live Up To…

I haven’t read many YA Contemporary novels.  I usually like there to be some kind of Science Fiction or paranormal aspect to my novels, but as I read more and more Contemporaries I realize that I like them more than I thought I would!  However, because my first forays into the land of YA Contemporary were books by John Green and now David Levithan, the Contemporaries on my TBR list have a lot to live up to!  Both of these men were born to write, and have honed their craft so well that they turn the most mundane actions and thoughts into sentences that become works of art themselves.

For example, here are some of my most favorite quotes from Boy Meets Boy:

“Tony has to be home by midnight, so we are on a Cinderella mission.  With this in mind, we keep our eye on the ball.”

“The promise of a kiss will carry us forward.”

“Kyle and I sit at one of the chem tables; the words of our conversation will fall from the air into empty glass beakers, awaiting invisible measure.”

“Conversation is not his strong suit.  In fact, I’m not sure it’s a suit he owns.”

With that last quote, he takes a cliche and adds to it, giving it a new twist. But my favorite parts of the writing have to be when Levithan turns what could have been a simple sentence into something much more.  For example, at the beginning of one chapter, the main character, Paul, is looking through the halls of his school, searching for Noah, whom he met briefly before and supposedly also goes to Paul’s school.  Instead of writing something like, “I never found him,” Levithan writes, “But the connection isn’t made.”  I just love how he finds new, interesting ways to say things.

A Dream World…

In this story, the main character, Paul, has known he was gay from a very young age.  Which happens with many LGBT youth, but Levithan has Paul come out to his parents in Kindergarten!  I don’t claim to know all the coming out stories in the world, but this seems a bit atypical.  

But I loved it.  And I loved how Paul’s community is so open and welcoming. His Kindergarten teacher told him that being gay wasn’t wrong, and that it was absolutely right for him. Paul then runs for class president in 3rd grade with the slogan, “Vote for me…I’m gay!” and wins!  And he and his friends form a gay-straight alliance in his elementary school.  At first I wasn’t sure if Levithan was writing about his ideal society, or if it was more of a humorous or thought-provoking take on life as a gay child, but I’d love for my son to grow up in this kind of environment.  Of course, he’ll have that kind of environment at home, but I doubt that his life at school (regardless of his personal sexual orientation) will be like this, especially living in such a conservative state.  Ah, one can dream…

Overall…

I love the world and the characters and the story that David Levithan created, whether he meant it to simply be a love story or something more. His characters were all complex individuals with their own flaws and faults. The end was almost a tad bit anti-climactic for me (which might only be because of the fact that I read so many stories with twists and turns and cliff-hanger endings), and that really was the only thing that kept this book from getting a five-star rating from me.

That said, my rating for Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan:


Four big stars – probably more like 4 1/2.  This story is beautifully written and thought-provoking, and paints a picture of a world that I someday hope to live in.



Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Random House

If you like this book, you should try: Will Grayson, Will Grayson │ Paper Towns

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by a friend. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

16 Comments

  1. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    February 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I don't know how, but I am going to get caught up with all the john green and david levithan books before BEA, especially since john and I will be having breakfast together. ;)

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      February 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      That is such an awesome feature they have going on at BEA! I'm totally jealous. I think I'll try to get Courtney to start saving now so we can go next year! I can't wait to hear all about your trip (even though it's months away)!

    2. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      March 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Are you going to try to go to BEA next year, Steph?

  2. Sophie

    February 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    The first time I read something by David Levithan was when I was reading an anthology of short stories, and his was called "Starbucks Boy". From the moment I finished reading it, I KNEW I had to read something by him.

    Boy Meets Boy is definitely on my wishlist! I've read other reviews that say the same as you — a not-very-real world, but at the same time a very desirable one and hopefully the near future. I also read mostly paranormal or urban fantasy books, and I've happened to love the few contemporaries I've read in between! And I'm dying to read this one :)

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      February 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

      It's really good. David Levithan and John Green are definitely some awesome writers, and they've sparked a little bit of a love for contemporary for me! I hope you get to read this one soon, and I'll look forward to your review! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Bittner

    February 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I am glad that you liked it!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      February 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

      It was so good! I can't wait to read more from him!

  4. Giselle

    February 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Oh this sounds very sweet I love the simple of nice cover too. Great review Andrea this is definitely gong on my TBR list!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      February 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks! It was really good. I can't wait to read more from him. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Karen

    February 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I have heard soooo many good things about David Levithan, I really need to read something of his soon. I don't read a lot of contemporary either but if he's in any way associated with John Green, I will definitely make an exception!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      February 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      You should totally read some of his books. I LOVED Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which he wrote with John Green. I can't wait to read more of his books! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      March 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      And thanks so much for stopping by! ;)

  6. fakesteph

    March 1, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I've been meaning to read this. Have you read Will Grayson, Will Grayson yet?

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      March 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Yes, and I loved it! WG, WG, Paper Towns, and TFiOS are my favorite John Green books. I've read all of John Green's books (except for his compilations), but WG, WG and BMB are the first of David Levithan's books I've read. I can't wait to read more from him, though.

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