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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

Stonewall Honor Book

Lambda Literary Award Winner

From the New York Times best-selling author of Every Day, this love story of shared humanity and history Hypable calls "an interconnecting web that will leave you emotionally exhausted and absolutely thrilled to have read something so beautiful and unique".

Based on true events - and narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS - Two Boys Kissing follows 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. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with universal questions of love, identity, and belonging.

©2013 David Levithan (P)2013 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

National Book Award Longlist

 

"A landmark achievement from a writer and editor who has helped create, in literature, a haven for queer youth." ( 

Publishers Weekly)

"The novel has genuine moments of insight and wisdom.... Inspiring." ( 

Kirkus Reviews)

Featured Article: The Best LGBTQIA+ Listens by Queer Authors


We scoured the LGBTQIA+ canon to present some of our favorite queer-focused listens of all time. Inclusivity and representation are among the most powerful and positive aspects of literature. Here are some of the best LGBTQIA+ listens available, from lesbian literature to bisexual and trans stories. And because we know that authenticity is important, our selections are all stories focused on gay characters, written by gay authors.

What listeners say about Two Boys Kissing

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A Powerful Book with a Unique Voice

Two Boys Kissing is a powerful book with a unique voice. It’s narrated by the spirits of gay men who died of AIDS and watch and wonder over the current generation of gay males. A series of character vignettes intersect to show the contrast between then and now- how things have changed and how they have remained the same. The backdrop of the two boys kissing for the Guinness Book of World Records is the link that binds the characters together.

We follow several teen boys throughout the book: The two boys kissing are exes Harry and Craig, Neil and Peter are in a long-term relationship, transgendered Avery meets Ryan, and Cooper is getting lost in the digital dating world. Each person has their ups and downs over the course of the book, and there are examples of good and bad parenting and coming out experiences. Cooper’s story probably got to me the most, and like the narrators of the book I wanted to reach out and help him through his crisis.

The ghost narrators see the familiar and unfamiliar in the world of today’s gay teens, from bullying and unaccepting parents, to gay proms and the rally of support of two boys kissing. I remember the early days of the AIDS pandemic so that colored my reading experience and made it hit home all the more. The voices from the past give contextual relevance to the events taking place in the present, and you can feel the collective sorrow, joy and hope in their words.

I listened to the audiobook, read by the author himself, David Levithan. I think it’s my first time hearing the author’s voice, and there’s always a part of me that worries when an author chooses to read their own work rather than leave it to the professionals. But, in this case Levithan delivers the book’s narration expertly, and I can’t imagine anyone else reading it. When an author can do voice work I think it’s great that they narrate their work- who else knows the book better, right? Levithan expertly conveys the emotional state of mind of the different personalities and brings the stories to life. There are several generations of voices and personalities in the book, and Levithan gives each a distinct delivery. With the books unique narrative the audiobook helped me keep track of all the characters and made the message resonate even more.

This book and Every Day are my favorite Levithan books and I think Two Boys Kissing is very relevant and moving. I was connected to the story through Levithan’s gorgeous words, and found the voices of the narrators meaningful.

5 people found this helpful

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Two boys kissing

Amazing. One of a kind book. Made me cry but also feel the pain of what the characters felt. If you buy this book, also buy a box of tissues.

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great story narrated by the author

Any additional comments?

First, the performance: you should know that this novel is narrated by the author, not by a professional actor. Some might find his voice nasal. That said, he is a wonderful reader. Not surprisingly, his performance brings a great deal of intelligence and emotion to the novel.

Second, the novel is fantastic. If you are turned off by the idea of reading a YA novel with a light-hearted title, don't assume that the book is unserious or one-dimensional. While it honestly deals with the perspectives of young people, it does so in the voice of experience, loss, and well-earned hope.

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Awesome work David

I can relate to the time in the story when everyone around us was dieing. I loved and lost three partners to aids, the first one being my most heartbreaking. I sat by his bedside in the hospitals and then in a nursing home. Before he lost the ability to speak and was in a very poor state we had deviced a signal which was to raise his point finger if he could hear me. This was so memorable to tell him I Love You at the end to see his finger rise!

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This Is A MUST Listen

It's four stories intertwined in a two day period. I'll call them the kiss, the couple, the prom, and the lost. The narrator is like the collective LGBT and AIDS victims in o1ne watching over us and seeing who we are. The emotions following these characters through this small window of their lives. It makes us remember those that came before and after us. It reminds us how far we've come and how much we still need to do. How thankful were you for those that supported you when you came out. The pain from those that turn thier backs on you when you told them. You will feel a lot from the two day look into these lives.

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Best book

This book is a great book, it brings you back into the feelings for being a youth and finding your first love or loosing it. It also reminds us of the love of our plants and how strong it was and for those with parents who supported us it is a great memory to never loose. With having so many Trans friends in my life I think the Author handled this with the raw part of love sees love for all and accepts youth has that some adults don't have. It was a beautiful store line.
Over all the hold book was great and defiantly is an emotion look back.

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I cried. A LOT.

Nuff said. This book is sad and gorgeous and funny and tragic and gives you tons of feels. Wow.

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waste of time

I couldn't even get past the beginning, it was so bad and uninteresting. I was happy to see this was free but even so the cost was too high.

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Keep listening

I honestly didn’t get into the book very much after the first 6 chapters and was about to find a different title to listen to, but somewhere after chapter 6 I was hooked.

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What a load of flapdoodle

Like one long string of fortune cookie fortunes read by someone who seems to believe there really are nuggets of wisdom hidden inside lousy cookies.