Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan Book Review

The two boys kissing are Craig and Harry. They are hoping to set the world record for the longest kiss. They’re not a couple, But they used to be. Peter and Neil are a couple. Their kisses are different. Avery and Ryan have only just met and are trying to figure out what happens next. Cooper is alone. He’s not sure how he feels As the marathon progresses, these boys, their friends and families evaluate the changing nature of feelings, behaviour and this crazy thing called love.
Oh this book… Craig and Harry used to date but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to kiss each other for a world record, and to show others that their is nothing wrong with two boys kissing.

Peter and Neil are the young couple in love. Although Neil still feels as though his family still haven’t come to terms with him being gay. And it hurts. Especially when he knows that Peter’s family accept it.

Then there’s Avery and Ryan. The blue haired boy and the pink haired boy who meets at the Gay Prom. But Avery is hiding a secret about himself and has to find a way to tell Ryan before anything starts getting serious. But can he handle the truth?

Then there’s Cooper. He’s so so lonely. All he wants is to be loved, so he goes on gay chatroom sites to talk to others, but even that can’t make him happy. Then his parents find out and his dad is not all that acceptable of his life choice and gets verbally violent with him. So Cooper runs away. Will he go back home? Or will he do something drastic?

Tariq is the friend of Harry and Craig. The one who has his own demons to face. He was beat up very badly for being gay and its shaken his confidence. He’s still jumpy when theres a gang of people. So not only are Craig and Harry doing this for the world record… they are doing it for him too. Everyone of these boys has something to come to terms with; whether its demons from the past, getting family acceptance, getting acceptance about who you are and what love really is. This book covers it all.

And the narration? Its not from the boys perspective. Its written from the perspective of past gay men, of gay men who died of AIDS. Who are watching over their own loved ones, watching over the younger generation of gay men and how sometimes, the world really hasn’t changed that much. I loved every single second of this book. It was so uplifting and heartfelt. And made me cry in certain places.

Being gay doesn’t bother me. I have gay friends myself (both boy/boy and girl/girl). I’m not gay myself but I accept people for who they are. I’ve never read a book like this before so I didn’t know what I was going to read but from the first page I was sucked into these boys lives. Each and everyone one of them had their own demons to face and you felt yourself feeling for them all.

Craig and Harry: These two are the ones setting the world record. Harry’s family are so accepting of who he is. Love him for being himself but Craig’s family don’t know he’s gay. He’s terrified of telling them but he knows that they’re going to find out when this kiss goes viral. I loved how these two were with each other. Even though they were no longer a couple you could see the love they had for each other was real, whether or not they were together.

Avery and Ryan: Ryan wants out of the town and I can understand why. The only person whose accepting of him is his Aunt. Then along come the pink haired boy Avery who he dances with at the prom. Avery has his own secrets. He’s the one who everyone sees as a boy but was born a girl. He’s the one struggling to tell Ryan, the one struggling to find out where he really belongs in the world. But with Ryan… it feels different. Avery was a character I really loved.

Peter and Neil: Peter and Neil are the young couple who are in love. Whose kisses show just how much they do. Peter’s family accept him for who he is. Neil’s family know he’s gay but they don’t talk about it. And it hurts him. These two really showed what it meant to be young and in love. They were still in that “honeymoon” stage, still amazed that they had found each other. They were comfortable with each other, even after spending the day together they spoke on Skype, going into comfortable silences. They are the definition of happy couple. I loved them.

Tariq: He was beaten up for being gay and I got so so angry when I read his story because seriously what gives people the right to do that to someone just because of who they are? Tariq tried not to let it get him down but you could see certain times when it still terrified him. I wanted to reach in and hug him.

Cooper: Oh god this boy broke my heart. He is so so so lonely. I wanted to reach in and just hug and love him. His father was horrible to him when he found out he was gay and his mother did nothing. I understand why he ran. Why he loses himself in chatrooms, why he wants to escape. When he meets someone on the chatroom in real life I can see why he lied about who he was, changes his name, his age. He wants to get lost in the motion of sex. To be obliterated but after a bit of fooling around sex doesn’t happen. He’s lost and what he tries to do…. oh god. It killed me.

This book showed what it was like for young gay men, for the gay men of the past. It was enlightening. It was heartbreaking. But even through all those times, they managed to prove how strong they were, even if all they wanted to do was break down. There was a lot of insight and some life lessons in this book too. I hate people who a prejudiced against gay people. It is not a life choice. They didn’t wake up one day and think “I’m going to be gay” No. Its there when they are conceived, there when they are born. It is apart of them and people who don’t accept it really need to start doing so.

It must have been hard for David to write certain scenes. Especially when people started commenting on Craig and Harry’s kiss. It angered me so it must have angered David.

I know its only fiction but when you really get involved in these characters lives, it hurts. The one caller who phones in and says “I hope they are giving each other AIDS” really really got me angry. And its a fictional character! But there are people out there who are like that and it really really makes me mad.

People who don’t accept gay people, pee me off. They are close minded. They are prejudiced. They are ignorant. I want people to read this book. To understand what its like for gay people, especially when they are younger.

We are all equal.

“There is the sudden. There is the eventual.
And in between, there is the living.
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.”

David Levithan I praise you for this book. I love you for this book.

5 out 5 stars!

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