Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

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Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Published by:
 Alfred A. Knopf
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQI+, Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 223
Rating: 4
Date Read: 24/03/2015

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

When I started reading this, I have to admit I found it all a little strange. There were kids meeting up, playing instruments, singing and dancing in a bookstore. It was a bookstore that they basically used as a club.

Also, Paul’s high school and town were basically in their own little bubble where everyone was tolerant and accepting of everyone, be they gay, straight, bi, or a cross-dressing quarterback. I found this a sweet fantasy but unrealistic.

“There isn’t really a gay scene or a straight scene in our town. They all got mixed up a while back, which I think is for the best. And whether your heart is strictly ballroom or bluegrass punk, the dance floors are open to whatever you have to offer. This is my town.”

However, his friend Tony does have a problem with it. Or more like his parents do, because Tony’s parents are really religious and homophobic.

“His parents are extremely religious. It doesn’t even matter which religion—they’re all the same at a certain point, and few of them want a gay boy cruising around with his friends on a Saturday night.”

Then there’s Kyle, Paul’s ex-boyfriend who can’t seem to decide what he wants. Joni is Paul’s best friend who might not be his best friend for much longer. Infinite Darlene is the school’s drag queen quarterback, as unrealistic as that sounds. And finally, there’s Noah. The one that might make everything else worthwhile for Paul.

The story is told through Paul’s eyes. He’s upbeat and popular and has been openly gay since kindergarten. When he first sees new kid Noah, he is smitten. This book is about much more than his feelings for Noah and I enjoyed that about it most. Paul is struggling with childhood friendships that are changing and evolving. Despite the unreal feel of his town, the rest of the story seemed natural and realistic.

My favourite character was Tony and I wish the book would have been a little more about him. Tony is one of the few characters that has to deal with parents who aren’t very accepting of his sexuality.

“He told me about his school, which was not like my school, and his parents, who were not like my parents.”

Overall I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a quick, light, LGBT YA read.

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