Two Boys Kissing

Paperback | May 12, 2015

byDavid Levithan

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"You have to read this.” Rainbow Rowell, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park

In his follow-up to tthe New York Times bestselling author of Every Day, andDavid Levithan, coauthor of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green) and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), crafts a novel that the Los Angeles Times calls “open, frank, and ultimately optimistic.”

Based on true events—and narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS—Two Boys Kissing follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with universal questions of love, identity, and belonging.
Named to the National Book Award Longlist
A Lambda Literary Award Winner
A Stonewall Honor Book

“An intriguing, complex narrative with an unusual point of view…[and] a quality of retrospection that is rare (and refreshing) in YA literature.” —The Washington Post

From the Hardcover edition.

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From the Publisher

"You have to read this.” —Rainbow Rowell, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park In his follow-up to tthe New York Times bestselling author of Every Day, andDavid Levithan, coauthor of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green) and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), crafts a novel that the Los Angeles Tim...

DAVID LEVITHAN is a children’s book editor in New York City and the author of several books for young adults, including Boy Meets Boy, Love Is the Higher Law, and Every Day. He coauthored Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green, and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List with ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.47 inPublished:May 12, 2015Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307931919

ISBN - 13:9780307931917

Customer Reviews of Two Boys Kissing


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting and well written. I only read this book because it was an impulse read. "Oh an lgbt+ book! cool!" But it was so much more than that. The writing was stunning, and flawless, I loved how it was put together. I thought the narration would bother me, I don't like reading third person. Yet this book feels like it couldn't have been written any other way. I found myself crying at the end, it was this subconscious thing. I had gotten so attached to these characters, and events that happen to them near the end broke me. I really really enjoyed this book. It is under-appreciated. I wish more would read it.
Date published: 2016-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting and heart-warming... I fell in love with David Levithan's writing when I listened to the audio book of _Boy Meets Boy_. Here, in _Two Boys Kissing_, he writes in a lyrical, disjointed style that I quickly realised was not madness, but method! The characters are all deftly drawn and realistic, and they are easy to love, and hate, and love again with more awareness as the story closes. I'm an early-30s gay guy, and reading books like this is an education for me: first for my "inner teenager," who was terrified that he might actually be gay but wanted someone to sit him down at tell him how the world really worked; and second for my not-so-inner writer- and scholar-self, because I believe it's important to remember our Queer history and to tell our stories as truthfully and beautifully as possible. My favourite part of the novel was how deftly Levithan wove the voices of the living and the dead (who are, somehow, still alive, like a communion of Queer saints). I grew to love the voices of the men who died of AIDS just as much as the winsome and complicated teens (and adults!) of the book. If you like teen romance, gay history, teen angst, difficult discussions, and hopefulness all in one package, I'll bet you will love this book!  
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Loved the narration
Date published: 2013-12-01

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“There are more than two boys kissing in this book, and every one of them will reach your heart. You have to read this.” - Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park “Remarkable.” - Frank Bruni, The New York TimesEntertainment Weekly, August 21, 2013:"Author David Levithan's poignant novel follows the stories of gay teens joined through an unconventional protest. A-" The Washington Post, August 20, 2013:"Over the years, Levithan has consistently explored new creative territory...'Two Boys Kissing' reveals his command of an intriguing, complex narrative with an unusual point of view: the first-person plural. This 'we' is the combined voice of men who died during the AIDS pandemic several decades ago. As the boys’ stories become more closely entwined and connect in a satisfying finale, the reflections of these 'shadow uncles' lend a quality of retrospection that is rare (and refreshing) in YA literature."The Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2013:"Open, frank and ultimately optimistic."The Wall Street Journal Speakeasy, October 24, 2013:"'Two Boys Kissing’ couldn’t have arrived at a more timely moment, just months after the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. The shift in society’s attitudes towards the LGBT community has long been embraced by many in the young adult crowd. Levithan seems to intuitively understand this generation—and his new book allows him to bring their particular struggles and joys to life."Newsday, August 21, 2013:"We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, goes an oft-paraphrased line. David Levithan gives vivid voice to it in his latest YA novel, 'Two Boys Kissing'. BookPage, August 28, 2013:"Levithan’s powerful, multifaceted novel explores just how far things have come for many gay teens—and how far things still need to go."Starred Review, The Bulletin, September 2013:"Both celebratory and elegiac… There’s much to discuss here about identity, about social media, about community—and it would be a particularly stellar choice for a multi-generational LGTBQ-focused book club.” Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 3, 2013:"A landmark achievement from a writer and editor who has helped create, in literature, a haven for queer youth.""No one does heart-pulling emotion like Levithan, and this book, coming a decade after his groundbreaking debut, 'Boy Meets Boy,' has special resonance."- Gayle Forman, author of Just One Day and Just One Year, for"Brilliant, moving, important, and wise." - Jennifer E. Smith, author of This Is What Happy Looks Like and The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightWAMC Northeast Public Radio, September 19, 2013:"Two Boys Kissing will make you laugh and cry, but best of all, it will make you relive those perfect innocuous moments of finding and then being with your first love."Romantic Times Book Review, September 2013:"Thought provoking, poignant and beautifully written, above all this is an unbelievably important book for anyone who has struggled with identity, love and loss. The omniscient narration is incredibly moving and appreciative of the fragility of life. A groundbreaking addition to the LGBT genre and community."Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2013:"The novel has genuine moments of insight and wisdom...Inspiring.", August 23, 2013:"Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan takes the stories of all these boys and spins them into an interconnecting web that will leave you emotionally exhausted and absolutely thrilled to have read something so beautiful and unique...Will educate, entertain and move you.", May 6, 2013:"Levithan takes contemporary to a whole new space with this novel, finding new ground in storytelling around important issues that directly affect teens today."Booklist, August 1, 2013:"Levithan leans intensely into this work...There’s little doubt that this title, with its weight, significance, and literary quality, will find its way into LGBTQ and wider cannons. Stock up."School Library Journal, September 2013: "The story will engage readers, both female and male.""The high level of imaginative and intuitive empathy that is apparent in all of his works is especially strong here—as not only are his protagonists fully realized, but so are the voices of the collective narration, whose experiences are as varied as the characters on the page... It is the best book I have read this year."- Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Books Inc. "Everyone needs to read this, not just YA. How perfectly David puts the past, present and future into one small novel. Now, as soon as my eyes stop watering and the goose bumps on my arms go away, I can continue my day." - Carolyn Anbar, Watchung Booksellers"Levithan's choice of narrator was inspiring and heartbreaking. Giving a voice to that generation and exposing young kids to those voices, blew me away...Two Boys Kissing feels like a very important book, something I think everyone should read and something that's touched me in a way no YA has in a really long time." - John Kwiatkowski, Murder by the BookFrom the Hardcover edition.