Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
What I thought: Honestly, I’m having a hard time fathoming how I feel about this book into coherent thoughts. I’m reminded of when I read The Lorax as a young child & was struck by how it was a cute story to tell an important message. Reading this book gave me that same feeling- this is a beautiful story woven with David Levithan’s trademark beautiful language, but there’s also a constant currant of this matters.
As first, I was just a bit bothered by the Greek Chorus narration, but by the time I was about a third of the way into the book, I loved each and every one of them. They tell not only the stories that make up the book, but a whole second (well, fifth) story, that might just be the most interesting story of the bunch.
Every time I read one of Levithan’s books, my favorite thing about them is how real and honest they feel, and this is no exception. There are true-feeling accounts of accepting parents & not accepting parents, of happy out couples & closeted kids who are lost and scared, of friends & of more than friends, and Levithan knows how to use words in a way that make me need to stop and pause and take every syllable in before moving on.
After finishing this book, I had to stop and decompress for about twenty minutes, because this book is now a part of me, and it’s an adjustment. I'm going to see David Levithan at YALLFest in November, and I'm going to have to compose my thoughts a bit better before then.
Read this if: you are a fan of LGBTQQAI fiction, if you want an atypical contemporary YA novel, if you have a heart?
Out of 5: 5/5
This book was 90/120 for 2013