Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
I've been waiting for Two Boys Kissing to be released ever since I first heard that David Levithan was releasing another solo book. And it was worth every minute of stalking, obsessing and monitoring my mailman. Although a short book, it took me far longer than it usually would to read a 200 page book because when I read Levithan, I love savouring every word and I never want the book to end.
The two boys who are attempting the world record for kissing are the lynchpins of the story and the way that Harry and Craig communicate and support each other throughout their marathon is really touching. The reactions of the people around them was both uplifting and saddening, but all the while they continued to support each other, without words, just with actions and it really made me feel that they were completely dedicated to their cause and each other.
However, Two Boys Kissing is not just the story of Harry and Craig, it is also the story of several other boys that are drawn to Harry and Craigs world record attempt, all whilst experiencing their own life-changing and affirming situations. Two Boys Kissing doesn't have distinct chapter POVs, instead it flickers through the boys' stories, giving in depth views to their lives or brief flashes of life-changing moments. All the characters are three dimensional and so likeable, and I was drawn into all their stories as they struggled with their own identities, the pressures of their families and for acceptance from the people around them.
I particularly loved Ryan and Avery who meet at the beginning of the story and navigate a multitude of issues whilst just trying to get to know each other. Levithan tells their story with sensitivity without resorting to sappy ways to grab sympathy, and I loved the way he protrayed their relationship.
The one thing I was unsure of before I started reading was the Greek Chorus - I couldn't quite imagine how Levithan would pull it off, but he definitely proved me wrong. More than any of the individual characters, I was completely entranced by the Greek Chorus - and at times I felt quite emotional at their descriptions of their lives, struggles and the advice that they wanted to give all the teen boys that they were watching over. Having an emotional connection to nameless, faceless characters isn't something that happens often, and really shows just how talented David Levithan is as a writer.
Two Boys Kissing is just another example of why I love David Levithan's writing and storytelling so much - although this is a short book, I was dreading the ending within the first 10 pages, and I had to force myself to read it slowly, so I could enjoy it for what it is - a wonderful, heartfelt YA GLBT novel that made me happy, sad, angry and hopeful all at the same time.