Title: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Publication Year: 2003
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Source: E-book purchased from the Apple store
From the cover:
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.
I cannot possibly say enough good things about this book.
For starters, I love the premise: that the world the characters are living in is generally ultra-accepting of queerness in all its flavours, and that homophobia is the exception, not the norm. Everyone at school seems to accept each and every one of the characters for who they are, and Paul’s parents even seem to be progressive in other matters, like truly understanding his need for space and time alone without the need to push themselves on him. I truly felt like the book portrayed the LGBT characters in a positive light, something that is so often missing.
The friendships between the teens are also reflective of the real world. They fight, make up, gossip, pass notes, and talk about each other in the hallways and on the phone. They hold grudges, crushes, and just generally behave like real people do. I love that Boy Meets Boy reflects the realities of life today, because it makes it so much more than a “queer” YA novel. Each and every teenager I’ve known could see themselves, at least in part, in one of these characters.
This is all without even mentioning Levithan’s fantastic style of narration. The wit and humour that he used in the book, particularly in Noah’s narration, really made me want to keep reading. I was enthralled.
I wish I had had something like Boy Meets Boy to read when I was a teenager. And, even more so, I wish that the world of this book was the world we lived in today.