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Two Boys Kissing

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  10,189 ratings  ·  1,548 reviews
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locki
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published June 1st 2013)
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Daneil Newcomb Bare your heart to it. Let this book devour you, whole. It's worth it.
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Mock Printz 2014
8th out of 75 books — 734 voters
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Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
33rd out of 776 books — 1,948 voters

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Community Reviews

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David Levithan has just become my new coup de cœur author. Every time I will find my heart aching for an LGBT book or a meaningful read, it’s in his works that I will look forward to plunge myself. And there are so many books of his that I have not had the occasion to devour yet. Yet.

It’s with a lingering sensation that I turned the last page. While this may be the kind of story that needs a certain conclusion to its plot (and you can feel it), I didn’t want to let go of the endearing, realistic
Actual rating is 4.5 stars -- We gather the things we learned, and they don't nearly add up to fill the space of a life. You will miss the taste of Froot Loops. You will miss the sound of traffic. You will miss your back against his. You will miss him stealing the sheets.

Do not ignore these things.

** This review is not really a review concerning the book's merits so much as me rambling about how important I feel this book is for gay teens. My apologies.

Two Boys Kissing has officially cemented m
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

Don’t let the provocative cover stop you from picking up this book. It is about two boys, Craig and Harry, who are still good friends, but no longer together, locking lips to break the world’s record for the longest kiss.

Enough time had gone by that when they started kissing again, the electricity was gone, replaced by something closer to architecture. They were kissing with a purpose, but the purpose wasn’t them; it was the kiss itself. They weren’t using the kiss to
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See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you Text Publishing Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

We were once like you, only our world wasn't like yours. You have no idea how close to death you came. A generation or two earlier, you might be here with us.

We resent you. You astonish us.

I have never read a GLBT book in my life. I have never had an opinion on gay people. I have never needed to. I have never really thought about gay people.
Emily May

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, the boys who were with us beyond 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?

The Good
This kind of book is still very much needed. What the blurb doesn't tell you is that this feels like several short stories woven into one, all of them surrounding the theme of gay tee
I'd give this book a standing ovation if I could. Absolutely beautiful, life-affirming, and a story so needed amidst today's changing viewpoints on LGBT rights.

The cover and the title pretty much say it all. Two Boys Kissing runs the gamut of eight "main" characters - ex-boyfriends Craig and Harry aiming to break the Guinness World Record for longest kiss; Tariq, quasi-inspiration of the big kiss after getting beaten up by haters and staunch supporter of their challenge; steady couple Neil and P
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)

When The Doctor asks, you don't refuse.

After Finishing

3.5 Stars

Two Boys Kissing is not only a book about two boys. It follows the life of a long-time couple, a broken up couple, a new couple, and a boy searching to be part of a couple.
Watching over these boys are the lost ones. The people we have lost from disease and suicide, the ones who look at these boys with both worry and envy, the ones of a lost generation of gay teenagers not unlike the ones we're reading about now.

I was looking forwa
Jeremy West
I just want to say that Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan was possibly the most beautiful book I've ever read. I can't describe to you the feelings it gives but I can tell you that it will open your eyes dramatically. This book will change you for the better after reading it. Causing you to be aware, cautious, caring, and loving to everyone around you. I seriously cannot wait to share this book with others.
Review to come! I need a moment.

"We have stepped away, but not entirely away. They know this. They sense it. We are no longer here, but we are not yet gone. And we will be like that for the rest of their lives.
We watch, and they surprise us.
We watch, and they surpass us."

Two Boys Kissing wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I still ended up loving it. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I think that it wasn't something quite as... sad, as this ended up being. It wasn't a super
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 Stars, but rounding up because I feel like it.

After several disappointments with David Levithan's works written with Rachel Cohn and Andrea Cremer, I'd built up some healthy skepticism about whether his writing really worked for me. With Two Boys Kissing, I now know that he's an author I definitely need to be reading, and am no longer concerned about the collection of his books I already own. Two Boys Kissing is beautiful, a statement about what matters and what it's like to be a gay boy or
What can I say?

I’ve read many books with a better setting.
I’ve read many books with a more intriguing plot.
And I’ve read many books in which I felt closer to the protagonists.

But Two Boys Kissing was still so much better than many of these books.

I was eagerly looking forward to the release of this book and David Levithan did not disappoint- far from it: This book turned out to be by far my favourite of Levithans’ books and easily one of my favourite books of 2013.

The cover (and how gorgeous

Two Boys Kissing. I love saying this title. Two Boys Kissing! The author, title, and cover had me swooning at first sight. Love at first sight! I mean look at that cover! Beautiful.

David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing is a powerful mix of voices, generations, pains, and fears. Characters and voices that will show readers how so many emotions and opinions have changed and how so many things heart-shatteringly remain the same. Parents hurt, kids bully, and society disappoints no matter what the year
Gregory Baird
"We always underestimated our own participation in magic."

I read this book back in August, just as we began our big move, and I'm so excited to finally get the chance to talk it up to you guys.

But first, a story to illustrate just why this book is so spot-on and so important. I had only read one other David Levithan novel before (the sublime Lover's Dictionary). I had always intended to read more, but never got around to it. So when I stumbled on him signing advanced copies of his latest book at
3.5 stars

While I applaud David Levithan's ambition in writing a book like this, it did not blow me away. Even though Two Boys Kissing focuses on two boys staying connected - literally by the mouth - for more than 24 hours, I felt distanced from all of the characters in this novel.

Two Boys Kissing revolves around Craig and Henry, two boys trying to set the record for longest kiss in the world. While they broke up before setting out on this mission, Peter and Neil are a couple, even though they ha
Kaje Harper
4.5 stars. This book feels in some ways more salient, more poignant, for my generation than for the teen readers it is aimed at. The narrative voice of the book is omnisicient, the collective voices of all the men who died of AIDS, a generation back. They are looking down at gay teen boys, and one F2M trans, and describing, analyzing, wishing hard enough to bring tears, that their experiences could inform those younger lives. Although the boys in this story are one generation closer to equality, ...more
DNF at 20%

No. I won't do it to me.
We as the generation of gay men lost to AIDS COULD BE an inventive idea but I have to admit that a Greek Chorus we-narrating is not my thing, it's hard to digest. Too crowded. I just couldn't get rid of the image of the ghost army talking to me.

Besides, these background voices sounded too pathetically and tediously for my taste.

Parents who don't have a respect for their child's privacy and read his chat conversation and as a result threw him out of the house
Clover Donovan
Mar 15, 2013 Clover Donovan marked it as to-read
Now there's a YA cover you don't see every day.
It's hard for me to put into words my feeling about this book. But since I'm a writer, I suppose I ought to try.

I have been a fan of David's work for a while now. I have been awed by his ability to churn out impressive novel after novel and to cover so much unique ground in such a relatively short time. But this novel is really a game-changer. I mean that both for David's career and for LGBTQ literature in general.

Even though I am a YA author, I really reacted to this book as a gay man who is 42
Emily *Full-time Fangirl*
Two boys kissing is the first book I'm reading by David Levithan, and it will deffinitely not be the last! This book is amazing, so beautiful and real. It made me laugh and it made me cry, ripping my heart to shred.

I fell in love with all the characters, struggling and laughing with them, feeling their pain and joy! There were so many emotional moments in this book, so many things that made me think. I had to reread a lot of the things I read, not because I didn't get it , but because it was
There are two reasons why this book gets the highest rating I can give:
1. it's important, and
2. it's beautiful.

I'm floored, to be honest. Because it's written with such skill, such a delicate, profound understanding that even the most drab, uninspiring story would have been transformed into something brilliant under Levithan's touch, and that's definitely not what this is.

The novel's structure is genius, because its smooth, quick transitions make the story feel tense and tranquil at the same tim
rating: 5.5/5

I do not possess the skills with words to properly express my opinions and emotions in this review to do this book justice. This is such a short YA novel and yet contains so much within its pages. Narrated by a Greek chorus of gay men who have died from AIDS, it ties together the experiences of these men in the past to the experiences of the current generation of young gay men. It is beautiful, amazingly written, emotional, philosophical, and so much, much, much more. I think I may
Que historia más genial. Me fascinó,sufrí terriblemente y llegue a pensar que el final sería diferente,pero hasta en eso fue perfecto.

Mis personajes favoritos,sin dudas el principal,el narrador. La manera tan conmovedora de contar la historia,hacia que no pudieras despegarte de ella. Y Cooper,mi niño cuanto sufrió y cuanto sufrí yo con él. Ryan y Avery fueron los menos que me llamaron la atención,en realidad no vi que pintaron mucho en la historia,tampoco es que estuvieran mal,pero pudieron ser
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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87 Stars

“This is the story of creation. The creation of a kiss. The creation of stories. The creation of lives.” The kiss belongs to Harry and Craig, two 17-year olds who are trying to break the world record for longest kiss, but the story belongs to so many others. It belongs to Neil and Peter, who have a comfortable dating relationship. It belongs to Tariq, who was the victim of a brutal hate crime. It belongs to Avery, a transgender who is thrilled and afraid at the possibility of first love
Jan 26, 2014 Louisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Oh man, I really couldn't get into the whole dead gay men Greek chorus narration thing. It ruined the whole book for me. The title of the book was more of a highlight than the story itself. Sadly underwhelming. I should have known better because I didn't enjoy Every Day by the same author. My bad.
Anna  (Bananas!)
gay pride photo: gay pride gaypride.jpg

This book is about the experience of being gay. It's about the community of queer people who share in that specific pain (of being silent, being afraid) and power (when you first stood up, when you became proud of who you are.)

Our history as well as the future of acceptance and equality that we hope to see are both explored


Don't read Two Boys Kissing. Read this instead - "A Word From the Nearly Distant Past." This story by Levithan emcompasses everything the book tries to be in a muc
Rachel Lightwood
Dec 04, 2013 Rachel Lightwood marked it as desperate-to-read
I was having a discussion with my friends a few days ago about how people treat gay people. As an atheist in a Christian school there are many, many times that I have to hold my breathe to stop myself from saying things that I know go against their beliefs. But do you know what? I am sick of doing that. They have no right to judge the gay community. No right at all. I want to slap each and every one of their faces hard... with a chair... a large, heavy metal chair... when they dare undermine gay ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Two Boys Kissing is my second solo book written by David Levithan. I first read Every Day last October and I was blown away by the unique writing style and profound storyline. I mentioned that David Levithan's writing can take a little getting used to because it's extremely 'profound, deep and meaningful'. It's the same for Two Boys Kissing, so it did take me half the book to become completely absorbed in the story and for me to stop getting distracted by rhetorical devices that David Levithan ...more
Wendy F
Feels Like an Equal Sign

Alert! alert! This is another book that EVERYONE should read! alert! Alert!

The phrase 'rush to judgement' is a silly one. When it comes to judgement, most of us don't have to rush. We don't have to even leave the couch. Our judgement is so easy to reach for.
None of these people who are talking know Craig or Harry, or even care about who Craig or Harry are. The minute you stop talking about individuals and start talking about a group, your judgement has a flaw in it.

I re
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2014 Hub Reading ...: Two Boys Kissing 9 61 Apr 04, 2014 08:43AM  
Mock Printz 2015: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan 7 85 Jan 26, 2014 11:48AM  
YA LGBT Books: September 2013 BotM - Two Boys Kissing *spoilers* 39 124 Jan 14, 2014 10:54AM  
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

More about David Levithan...
Will Grayson, Will Grayson Every Day (Every Day #1) Boy Meets Boy The Lover's Dictionary The Realm of Possibility

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“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?” 181 likes
“He has no idea how beautiful the ordinary becomes once it disappears.” 89 likes
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