Monday, June 2, 2014

Recently Read: Boy Meets Boy

Yesterday I read my second David Levithan book (I have previously read How They Met and Other Stories and loved it.) One thing that I like about Levithan's novels is that a lot of them start out as short stories that he wrote for his friends for Valentine's Day and I think that is so sweet. I believe that How They Met and Other Stories is a compilation of those Valentine's stories, and Boy Meets Boy began as as short story.

I read Boy Meets Boy in one night, it is a rather short book, but the characters and the story really suck you in. The main character of this novel is Paul, who has known he was gay since kindergarten. Paul meets the new kids Noah, and they begin a flirtation. This book has a really great setting and some really great characters. Infinite Darlene is of course extremely memorable, and I promise she will crack you up.

I really enjoy Levithan's writing style and the bits of humor he places in his writing right next to beautiful sentences. This book was originally published in 2003, which is important to remember when considering how special this book is. At that time, there were not as many books with gay main characters as there are today, and many of them focused on the negative and misery that came with being gay. This is not a book about LBGT struggles and miseries, this is a book about how gay and lesbian teens fall in love exactly the same way as heterosexual teens. This book is about love, friendship, loyalty, and staying true to yourself, the fact that the main character, and many of the other characters, are gay, is not the biggest point you should take away from this story. The themes are very powerful and universal in this novel.  

One of Paul's best friend's name is Tony, he is also gay but does not live in Paul's town. Paul's town is accepting of every aspect of every person in the town, where's Tony's parents are extremely religious and believe Tony is dammed because he is gay. Tony's battle to accept himself and to help his parents accept him is extremely moving. The contrast between Paul's life and Tony's life is extreme and eye-opening. I highly recommend this book to anyone. If you are looking to start with Levithan this is a great place. I am looking forward to reading more Levithan books in the near future.     

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