Sunday, June 22, 2014

Two Boys Kissing

"You have no idea how fast things can change. You have no idea how suddenly years can pass and lives can end. Ignorance is not bliss. Bliss is knowing the full meaning of what you've been given."

With writing as beautiful as David Levithan's, the plot is often beside the point. Happily, the plot of Two Boys Kissing is interesting. Craig and Harry are two teenagers who decide to break the record for the world's longest kiss, over 32 hours. The day of the kiss unfolds in a series of vignettes about other gay boys--one rejected by his family, another starting a new relationship, others who have been together for a long time. The characters are all connected by the event of the kiss. Best of all is the narration, a chorus of men who passed away from AIDS and who look down on the story with wisdom. "We wish we could show you the world as it sleeps. Then you'd never have any doubt about how similar, how trusting, how astounding and vulnerable we all are."

This book could be a lifeline for a reader struggling with sexual identity. For that reader, there are plenty of quotes to hang on to:

"Some of our parents chose to banish us rather than see us for who we were. And some of our parents, when they found out we were sick, stopped being dragons and became dragons layers instead. Sometimes that's what it takes--the final battle. But it should take much, much less than that."

"There are all these moments you don't think you will survive. And then you survive."

Powerful quotes and an engaging plot that could make all the difference for a reader.

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