Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Publication Date: March 27th 2014 (this edition)
Publisher: Egmont
Length: 239 pages

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. 
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

I’ve tried a few of David Levithan’s short stories and ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’ and hadn’t gotten along with them at all, which meant that I wasn’t in any rush to pick up any other books by him. But then I got talking to a very good friend about how she absolutely adores some of his books and I thought I really ought to give him another go – enter ‘Two Boys Kissing’.

There is no way I’m actually going to be able to adequately put into words just how much I loved this book.
It’s told in one of the most unique ways I’ve ever seen a story narrated – by a Greek chorus of the gay men lost to AIDS. It’s quite an odd storytelling style to get used to, but it didn’t take me long to fall into the style and I now can’t imagine it being told in any other way. It meant that you were able to glimpse all of the characters’ lives easily, skipping from one to the next as easy as thought, and to be granted little pieces of wisdom and thoughts that otherwise would never have found their way into the story.

“Love is so painful, how could you ever wish it on anybody? And love is so essential, how could you ever stand in its way?” 

It also has a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. Whilst from the blurb you would assume the story would focus on Harry & Craig, I loved that actually all of the boys are given time to develop and we see a very equal amount of all of them.

This is a beautiful story, a tough story, a story that made me cry and filled me with love and hope. It is a story I think everyone should read, that should be studied in school and given to friends and family for Christmas. It is a story that utterly wrecked me emotionally, but left me feeling so, so glad that I read it.

It is a book that I know I’m going to need to go back and re-visit. It was so incredibly written that I kept finding passages I want to go back and re-read, sections that I know would have even more impact the second time around, and whole swathes that were just so beautifully written it brought me to tears.
It is a book that demands attention – that demands to be felt. Stunning, unique and utterly brilliant.

“We do not start as dust. We do not end as dust. We make more than dust. That’s all we ask of you. Make more than dust.”


  1. I really liked this book too!! The writing!! It's like a book full of quotes. I wished it was longer though... I could read about those characters for a lot more pages :)

    1. I did give the length a bit of a side eye, it seemed like it wouldn't be enough space with that many pages to cover that many characters, but it both did a stunning job and left me wanting more. It's so stunning! You're right, I was looking back through my highlighted passages and it read like a book of quotes! Thanks so much for reading!