Title: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: September 9, 2003
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)
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…
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.