Title : Two Boys Kissing
Author : David Levithan
First Published : 2013
Publisher : Knopf books
We think of the boys we kissed, the boys we screwed, the boys we loved, the boys who didn't love us back, the boys who were with us at the end. 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?
This is a beautiful book. It’s beautiful because it feels real, because it contains a strong statement. This is one of the best gay story I’ve ever read. The story is simple but also powerful. The message is clear but it doesn’t judge. I praise David Levithan for this gracefully written story.
Two boys kissing is about two boys trying to break the world record for the longest kissing time. It is inspired by a true story of two boys who broke the same world record. A lot of bad things happened to them because they are gay. Through the kissing record, they wanted to make a statement, that despite of being gay, they are human, they are no different than any of us, they deserve to love and be loved. The story is narrated by a chorus of older generation gay men who died of AIDS. They refer to themselves as “we”. The “we” in this story tell the story of eight present generation gay teenagers with their own struggle living as gay in a still unfriendly world.
Tariq is gay. Tariq is a dancer. The combination of both make him a nice target of bullying.
Peter and Neil are couple who’s lucky enough to be able to be together openly but still has their own personal struggle.
Neil is a blue haired boy. Avery is a pink haired boy living in a girl’s body. One night, they meet in a gay prom. They dance for a while and the rest is history.
Cooper is alone. His life is in the internet. Everything’s just an ordinary day for him until one day, his dad finds out that he is gay.
Harry and Craig are the boys who make this story possible, the two boys kissing.
I know, strange color choice, right? For a boy born as a girl, who want to be seen as a boy. But think about it, it just shows how arbitrary gender is. Pink is female, but why? Are girls any more pink than boys? Are boys any more blue than girls? It something that has been sold to us, mostly so other things can be sold to us.
When I read this book, I couldn’t stop. The way Levithan narrated the story through the Greek Chorus worked really well for me. It makes the story feels more intimate. The personal story of each character is amazing. Harry and Craig’s kissing somehow makes all the boys in this story life’s intertwined. As the story goes, i grew to love all of the character. I died inside with their sadness, I felt relieved with their happiness.
The message in this book is very strong. There’s definitely a statement the writer wants to show through the story, just the same with the effort to break the world record is also a statement that gays do exist, and they’re no different than any of us. But I don’t feel the book preachy. I feel its honesty. Through the character’s painful truth, there’s a clear message that wants the reader to understand the struggle these boys have to go through everyday.
If there is one complain I have about this book is the ending. After the world record breaking is completed, I want to know more about all the character. I want to know if Harry and Craig are doing alright after the exhausting event. I want to know what the world thinks. But unfortunately, the story stops after the needed time for kissing is reached. But overall, this book is definitely a must read. This book will open your eyes and most importantly, your heart. This is definitely Levithan’s masterpiece. Very well done J
Some of our parents were always on our side. Some of our parents chose to banish us rather than to see us for who we were. and some of our parents, when they found out we were sick, stopped being parents and became dragon slayer instead