Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

August 13, 2014 4 Stars, Reviews 4

Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBT
Published On: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 196
Format: e-Book
Source: Digital Library
My Rating: 4 Stars

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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 had this book on my kindle for the last two weeks as a library loan, and I wasn’t so sure I was going to read it before the loan ended, but I came across this review which convinced me to read it. So I renewed my loan and added it to my list of books to read for the #BtHReadathon!

I expected a lot from this book. I’m not sure why. Probably because of the positive reviews I’ve read. But since I wasn’t entirely happy with the other book I read by Levithan, I think I may have been more wary going in.

“Things are not magical because they’ve been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them, and then deem them so.”

Either way, this book was not a letdown. I expected something a bit different from it. For example, I didn’t expect so many characters to come into play. It was a pleasant surprise though. Even though at times I kept forgetting which boys were which. I got Harry and Craig mixed up with Peter and Neil and it bothered me endlessly that I kept doing it.

How you'll feel while reading this.

How you’ll feel while reading this. (AKA totally in awe)

Other than that this book is AMAZING. It focuses on words and how powerful they can be, but how actions can sometimes be even more powerful.

“”You can give words, but you can’t take them. And when words are given and received, that is when they are shared. We remember what that was like. Words so real they were almost tangible. There are conversations you remember, for certain. But more than that, there is the sensations of conversation. You will remember that, even when the precise words begin to blur. How you gave, how you received. How close you felt to this other person, how remarkable this closeness was.”

Harry and Craig aren’t a couple, but they’ve set out to break the world record for longest kiss. It’s much more than just breaking a record though, they’re trying to prove a point.

Two Boys Kissing has SO many amazing quotes that I had trouble picking a few to share. If you end up not loving the story, you’ll most definitely end up falling in love with the writing. However, that’s unlikely, because the story really is great, and it most likely isn’t what you expect.

I recommend EVERYONE read this, but of course, there are always going to be people who don’t love it. However, if you’re one those who will end up loving this book, count on it make you feel everything. Especially, alive.

“Our lives were short, and we never would have wanted to have them be shorter. Sometimes perspective comes far too late. You cannot trust yourself. You think you can, but you can’t. Not because you are selfish. You cannot live for anyone else’s sake. As much as you may want to, you can’t stay alive just because other people want you alive. You cannot stay alive for your parents. You cannot stay alive for your friends. And you have no responsibility to stay alive for them. You have no responsibility to anyone but yourself to live.”


About David Levithan


I find it downright baffling to write about myself, which is why I’m considering it somewhat cruel and usual to have to write this brief bio and to update it now and then. The factual approach (born ’72, Brown ’94, first book ’03) seems a bit dry, while the emotional landscape (happy childhood, happy adolescence – give or take a few poems – and happy adulthood so far) sounds horribly well-adjusted. The only addiction I’ve ever had was a brief spiral into the arms of diet Dr Pepper, unless you count My So-Called Life episodes as a drug. I am evangelical in my musical beliefs.

Luckily, I am much happier talking about my books than I am talking about myself. My first novel, Boy Meets Boy, started as a story I wrote for my friends for Valentine’s Day (something I’ve done for the past twenty-two years and counting) and turned itself into a teen novel. When not writing during spare hours on weekends, I am editorial director at Scholastic, and the founding editor of the PUSH imprint, which is devoted to finding new voices and new authors in teen literature. (Read More»)



About Jessica

Jessica is an twenty year old blogger who lives in Michigan. She's currently a junior in college. She's a full-time student and part-time employee. She loves to read young adult fiction, especially contemporary, romance, and dystopian. Feel free to drop by and say hi by leaving a comment on one of her blog posts- she'll be sure to reply!

4 Responses to “Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan”

  1. Sarah @ Smitten over Books

    I love good writing and it’s always a good sign when you have trouble picking up quotes you want to share after reading. I haven’t had any luck with David Levithan’s books as well unless he co-authored it with someone, so I’m really glad you liked this very much. Plus, the feels are everything! I might try this one soon. 😀
    Sarah @ Smitten over Books recently posted…Review: Ghost House by Alexandra AdornettoMy Profile

    • Jessica

      I feel like this book was similar to Everyday but it has more of a point and more feels. I enjoyed it much more. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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