Two Boys Kissing

David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing
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Two Boys Kissing

David Levithan

Seventeen-year-olds Craig and Harry are trying to set a new Guinness World Record for kissing. Around them, Ryan and Avery are falling in love, Neil and Peter are falling out of love, and Cooper might be somewhere, but he is also, dangerously, nowhere.

Narrated, Greek-chorus style, by the generation of gay men lost to AIDS, this novel is a thematic companion to David Levithan’s groundbreaking Boy Meets Boy, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013. Two Boys Kissing is trademark Levithan: warm, sharp and real. It is also something new and completely extraordinary.


As the omnipresent narrator explains, Two Boys Kissing is about the power of possibility. It’s not about sex, it’s about the power of seeing two boys who love each other being able to display that love: ‘Every time two boys kiss, it opens up the world a little bit more.’

Craig and Harry are attempting a world record for the longest kiss. In the 32 hours, 12 minutes and 10 seconds it will take to break the current record, we follow two other gay couples with families that are both accepting and not.

There are belligerent bullies who are angry and scared by homosexuality, friends that support each other, and one sad and lonely boy who feels that no one cares about him. Overseeing this all is a generation of men who lost their battle to live free and sexual lives when AIDS stepped in and silenced their dreams. These voices offer to today’s youth the wisdom of experience and the nurturing and soothing perspective of what is relevant and truly important.

Two Boys Kissing is wise, respectful and honest, and David Levithan writes with integrity and sensitivity about young love without titillation or sensationalism. I wholeheartedly recommend this extraordinary book.

Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorne.

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