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Two Boys Kissing | [David Levithan]

Two Boys Kissing

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. This follow-up to the best-selling Every Day showcases David's trademark sharp-witted, warm-hearted tales of teenage love.
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Publisher's Summary

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. This follow-up to the best-selling Every Day showcases David's trademark sharp-witted, warm-hearted tales of teenage love, and serves as a perfect thematic bookend to David's YA debut and breakthrough, Boy Meets Boy, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2013.

©2013 David Levithan (P)2013 Listening Library

What the Critics Say

"A landmark achievement from a writer and editor who has helped create, in literature, a haven for queer youth." (Publishers Weekly)

"The novel has genuine moments of insight and wisdom.... Inspiring." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (48 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.2 (45 )
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3 star
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Story
4.1 (46 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carl 12-02-13
    Carl 12-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    21
    1
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    Story
    "great story narrated by the author"
    Any additional comments?

    First, the performance: you should know that this novel is narrated by the author, not by a professional actor. Some might find his voice nasal. That said, he is a wonderful reader. Not surprisingly, his performance brings a great deal of intelligence and emotion to the novel.

    Second, the novel is fantastic. If you are turned off by the idea of reading a YA novel with a light-hearted title, don't assume that the book is unserious or one-dimensional. While it honestly deals with the perspectives of young people, it does so in the voice of experience, loss, and well-earned hope.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Reading Date CA, United States 02-05-14
    The Reading Date CA, United States 02-05-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    67
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    FOLLOWING
    24
    12
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    "A Powerful Book with a Unique Voice"

    Two Boys Kissing is a powerful book with a unique voice. It’s narrated by the spirits of gay men who died of AIDS and watch and wonder over the current generation of gay males. A series of character vignettes intersect to show the contrast between then and now- how things have changed and how they have remained the same. The backdrop of the two boys kissing for the Guinness Book of World Records is the link that binds the characters together.

    We follow several teen boys throughout the book: The two boys kissing are exes Harry and Craig, Neil and Peter are in a long-term relationship, transgendered Avery meets Ryan, and Cooper is getting lost in the digital dating world. Each person has their ups and downs over the course of the book, and there are examples of good and bad parenting and coming out experiences. Cooper’s story probably got to me the most, and like the narrators of the book I wanted to reach out and help him through his crisis.

    The ghost narrators see the familiar and unfamiliar in the world of today’s gay teens, from bullying and unaccepting parents, to gay proms and the rally of support of two boys kissing. I remember the early days of the AIDS pandemic so that colored my reading experience and made it hit home all the more. The voices from the past give contextual relevance to the events taking place in the present, and you can feel the collective sorrow, joy and hope in their words.

    I listened to the audiobook, read by the author himself, David Levithan. I think it’s my first time hearing the author’s voice, and there’s always a part of me that worries when an author chooses to read their own work rather than leave it to the professionals. But, in this case Levithan delivers the book’s narration expertly, and I can’t imagine anyone else reading it. When an author can do voice work I think it’s great that they narrate their work- who else knows the book better, right? Levithan expertly conveys the emotional state of mind of the different personalities and brings the stories to life. There are several generations of voices and personalities in the book, and Levithan gives each a distinct delivery. With the books unique narrative the audiobook helped me keep track of all the characters and made the message resonate even more.

    This book and Every Day are my favorite Levithan books and I think Two Boys Kissing is very relevant and moving. I was connected to the story through Levithan’s gorgeous words, and found the voices of the narrators meaningful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. R. Benefield 06-17-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic!"
    What made the experience of listening to Two Boys Kissing the most enjoyable?

    I was happy the author, David Levithan, read the novel; I felt the novel was disseminated in the way it should have been--as the author read it the way he felt it and had envisioned it. The story was moving, and I am sure I will think about this novel for years to come.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The AID's chorus.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wanted to and did!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Richmond Heights, MO, United States 01-11-14
    David Richmond Heights, MO, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    7
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    "Required for gay men over 50"
    What made the experience of listening to Two Boys Kissing the most enjoyable?

    The language is beautiful and the insight is uncanny


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Two Boys Kissing?

    References without explanation about life during AIDS crisis


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was as if my life story had been told.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought a hard copy of the book so I could see the beautiful language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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