Recommending 'Two Boys Kissing' by David Levithan

This book hurts my heart – in a good way

It isn’t often that I recommend a book before I have finished it, but here we go. Miniscule spoilers of ‘Two Boys Kissing’ ahead.

The past and the present collide in a beautiful homage to both

This is probably the fifth time that I have picked up ‘’Two Boys Kissing’’, read til page 35 and then put the book back down, unable to continue. This is not because it is a bad book; on the contrary, it is such a good book that the reason I can’t continue is because it hurts my heart. In a good way, but it hurts.

Masterfully written, Levithan’s novel is spread across several distinct stories. The common denominator is the narrator. The narrator, with their wise words, deep insight, empathy and sympathy for the novel’s subjects. The narrator is the reason I keep putting the book down to go cry in a fetus-like position on my bed, each time. You see, the narrator isn’t a single individual. They are a collective of all queers who have gone before – in the context of this novel, I assume them to be dead gay men, but their gender isn’t specified.

They narrate the stories as they unfold, drawing parallels to their own lives, dispensing wisdom, wishes and hopes as they watch the young gay couple attempt to break the world record of longest kiss, as they watch a young trans boy begin to fall in love, or as they watch a young gay boy run away from his homophobic parents.

This book receives 4 out of 5 rainbows

Beautiful written, hauntingly relatable and devastatingly needed, Two Boys Kissing is a wonderful read so far. And maybe, if I ever manage to finish this book, I’ll come and update this recommendation.

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