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Two Boys Kissing

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  43,557 ratings  ·  4,713 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, 200 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Daneil Newcomb Bare your heart to it. Let this book devour you, whole. It's worth it. …moreBare your heart to it. Let this book devour you, whole. It's worth it. (less)
Frankie If you don't like reading about some instances of extreme homophobia and violence, or if discussion of depression, death, and suicide aren't something…moreIf you don't like reading about some instances of extreme homophobia and violence, or if discussion of depression, death, and suicide aren't something you're comfortable with this might not be the book for you.(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
”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?”

Oh my! *deep sigh* How am I even supposed to write a review about this wonderful piece of literature? I’ll try… Of course I’ll try, but I’m pretty certain it will be more than just tough to describe my deep love for this wonderful book!

”Two Boys Kissing” hit me right in the heart and triggered all those horrible and amazing feels and if I’m entirely honest I still don’t know
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"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?"

I don't even know how to do this book justice - so I will simply say READ IT. Seriously, read it! This is a book I want to go out and tell everyone I know about!

“There is no reason that we should ever be ashamed of our bodies or ashamed of our love.”

I loved, loved, loved the narration of the book by the Greek Chorus of gay men who died of AIDS. It was simply beautiful and ex
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This small little 196 page book packs more of a punch that some 800 page puppy squishers that I've read. Just beautiful.

Freedom is also about what you will allow yourself to do.

Craig and Henry: they are the two boys kissing. Going for the world's record longest kiss.

Peter and Neil: already a couple

Avery and Ryan: new to a relationship and trying to make their way

And Cooper-who feels so lost

Tariq. My favorite character in the whole book.

Just read this book.

The first sentence of the truth
Emily May
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it

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 g
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
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 "poignant, wise, profound" stars !!!

2017 Honorable Mention with High Distinction Read

This is a YA masterpiece. I am so immensely moved by this novel. If you know a gay this for him and kiss him and let him know that you care. If you want to understand what it means to be a gay youth read this book yourself and allow your heart to open, swell and if its like mine will explode with sadness, gladness, thankfulness and hope.

These are such genuine stories of a variety of young gay m
Justin Tate
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Please forgive me if I get too excited during this review - but seriously, this is a novel worth getting excited about. It doesn't matter how old or how gay you are, you need this in your life.

Although it's modern YA, Two Boys Kissing is narrated/overseen by the collaborative voices of gay men who died from AIDS. Their voices tell the stories of various current-day gay youths. We see them succeed, we see them fail, we watch them make mistakes and atone. If the structure sounds complicated, it's
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
“Things are not magical because they've been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them.”

At first, I struggled to get into this and I put it down twice before it kept me reading. The most irritating thing about it and the only thing that bothered me was the first-person-plural narrative. It somehow made everything nostalgic and sentimental, which pulled me down at first. Another thing I struggled with was the many main characters!
I think the thing I liked the
Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews

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.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an unfortunate cover and title for this fabulously original book.

Looking at the cover, you would think this is a YA cheesy gay romance. Wrong!

Sure, there’s a bit of YA gay romance. But Two Boys Kissing is so much more. Where to start? The narrators are the collective voice of men who died of AIDS two generations ago. From a unique omniscient perspective, they tell the contemporary story of a few LGBT teenage boys. Two of them are trying to break the world record for the longest kiss. They a
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Debbie by: Bianca
Pogo Stick Time!!

Well, I’m bouncing high on my pogo stick again! Wowser! Is this ever fun! If it hadn’t been for a couple of friends who went cuckoo over this book, I never in a million years would have picked it up.

First, it’s YA. I do like some YA, but if you line up some fiction titles, I’ll almost always choose the literary or contemporary books. Often the language in YA novels is just so plain. And if it’s topical, it runs the risk of being a message book that’s pushing its agenda in all c
Elyse  Walters
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This paperback has been sitting on my shelf for years.
I didn’t know it would be ‘that’ **amazing**.

I was almost shocked by the brilliance of what David Levithan created. SO EXCEPTIONAL!!!!

This novel - based on several true stories is phenomenally ‘timeless’ —a young adult LGBT *classic*.
A tribute to the past- present - and - future!
A ‘must’ read to get the magnitude of this book’s power on our lives!!!!
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.
Jeremy West
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
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

This book ...
How do I convey how good this book is, when I'm shouting expletives in my head- the kinds that express incredulity at having one's mind blown away. I'm also very sleep deprived, thanks to staying up late to finish it. So, bear with me.

I was browsing through 700+ books on my Kindle, to see if anything jumps at me, hoping for a book that wasn't blah. Honestly, I couldn't remember why I bought this book, especially since I had been thinking "I've about had enough of readi
Chris Horsefield
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Don't be put off - by the blurb and the kind of silly sounding story of two kids trying to break a world kissing record (barf) ad that's like saying Great Expectations is about a woman who's ruined a wedding cake…it's so much more than the initial premise.
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 the
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it! I loved that the story was narrated by gay men who have passed away. It gives the story so much extra meaning.

Here are some quotes that, for me, packed a punch:

"***** fell to the ground, remembered someone telling him to curl up, to protect himself that way. They were laughing now, enjoying it, thrilled by it. He couldn't even yell for help, because the only sounds he could make were ones he'd never heard before, a wailing, gutteral acknowledgement of the sudden, intense pain as they
Debbie "DJ"
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, own, favorites, lgbt
HOLY MOLY! This made my all time favorites list!

I never would have thought with a title of “Two Boys Kissing,” and a not so great cover, I would have loved this book so much. Also, I get a little perturbed when it’s always boys and not girls. But, this this is so universal it didn’t matter.

Levithan centers his novel around a true event, two boys kissing to break a world record. But, my oh my, the narrators are the previous generation of gay men, looking down with support, understanding, and even
Reading Corner
I definitely enjoyed this book especially because I think it's message and relevance is profound.It was nice to read a book with so many gay characters instead of a gay character lazily shoved into a young adult book for the sake of diversity.This book deals with many important issues regarding sexuality like coming out and feeling comfortable with your own sexuality.

However, I think the story telling was poor and I felt parts of the book were overly dramatic and took away from the story.At time
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Two Boys Kissing is a powerful read. The story encompasses several stories of the struggles of what it means to be a gay youth all the while describing the joy and pain of trying to break the world's record for the longest kiss. Was that a run on sentence? I feel a little overwhelmed from just finishing this deeply emotional book.

*cleansing breath* First of all, I'm delighted that this is a YA novel. I feel that it's a must read for every age, but the fact that it's shelved in the YA section wa
* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Stars!

Heartbreaking while uplifting, this was an unique tale showcasing the challenges the LGBT community faced and still faces.

This chronicles a couple days in the life of several teens and their journey towards finding love and themselves, all told by the affecting omniscient and collective voices of those who’ve come before and are now long gone, tragically taken by AIDS.

While wistfully sad and bittersweet, this was full of hope and optimism and a recommended read!

Richard Derus
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Real Rating: 3.5* of five

Were I a teen, I'd be over the moon about this interlocking-loves narrative. I'm not, and I haven't been in a very very long time (the Bee Gees charted the last year of my teens), so my muted response to the teen-angst "does he/doesn't he/will he/won't he" stuff is pretty much assured.

Others have commented on the dead gay men of my generation being the collective narrators with everything from tolerant smirks to outright derision. I am not a fan of second-person narratio
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: eh

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 forw
Dave Schaafsma
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fall-2018, ya-glbt
David Levithan writes a YA novel that is both epistolary and hortatory, a letter of encouragement from one generation of dead gay men to the current generation of gay boys. It was inspired in part by a Walt Whitman poem where he misheard the first line as two boys kissing:

We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going—North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying—elbows stretching—fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless—eating, drinking, sleeping, l
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Does he love me, I want to know
How can I tell if he loves me so
“Is it in his eyes, oh no you'll be deceived
Is it in his eyes, oh no you'll make believe
If you want to know, if he loves you so
It's in his kiss
That's where it is, oh yeah”

“It’s in His Kiss” / ”The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” Songwriters: Rudy Clark

I remember seeing this title when I read another David Levithan book, ‘Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares’ and enjoying it so much that I wanted to check out some of his other boo
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have no words! This was absolutely amazing! I started it just a couple of hours ago and I couldn't put it down. So mesmerising!

I don't want to spoil the story, it's astonishing and I loved every single character, not only the "2 boys kissing", but also Avery and Ryan, Neil and Peter, even Cooper. They all broke my heart. I want to hug them all and keep them safe from any harm. Such wonderful souls!

This is a book about dreams, aspirations, feelings, heart-breaking, hurting, hope, dead hope, br
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
Betsy Robinson
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Almost from the first word, the writing pulls you into a vortex, swirling you through this story, told by a single-voiced chorus of dead gay men. Absolutely mesmerizing.

I owe Goodreaders Debbie Annan and Esil a great debt for their reviews. Never in a million years would I have gravitated to a Y.A. book with this cover and this title. But now that I have read the book, I understand the publisher's reasoning: to get this book to young gay boys and girls who need it. They did the right thing to r
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2013
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
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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.


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