Publisher: Random House Audio and Listening Library
Available: NOW!!August 27, 2013
Source: Random House Audio for review
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 locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.
I am not sure even where to begin with this review. I guess I should say that I really felt it should have 4.5 stars, but that was only because it was not what I expected of the book…it ended up being so much more, but not what I expected. I expected a story of two boys kissing and really that was all and what it became was a look at the community of past and present and how they are the same but so very different.
I was so intrigued by this book, I think at first it was because I have a lot of LGTBQ friends and I support them as much as I can and there is nothing wrong with two boys kissing so why not read a book entitled such? I was interested and excited to listen to this as an audiobook and was surprised to find that the reader was the author himself, David Levithan.
Wow… that is my reaction to this book. It is told from the points of view of many different teenage gay and questioning boys, as well as the spirits of the deceased gay community looking down on this new community.
There are 3 pairs of boys, then Cooper --a stand alone, and the spirits, all interwoven into a beautiful and dramatic story. It encompassed two boys kissing, two boys finding each other, two in a relationship but making sure their families understand them, and Cooper who doesn’t want to be himself any longer. It was sad and happy, controversial and normal, and overall a very powerful book to listen to. I found myself in literal tears of joy and of sadness at how communities react and the reality of how the book portrays all of these people and their situations.
There was a focus on all of the different emotions one can have in this community and how the public reacts to it and how it feels to be looked at as different and gross, when really you just want to be an equal. It was beautiful and I am so happy to have listened to it.
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