Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Boy Meets Boy

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...

Title:Boy Meets Boy
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0375832998
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:223 pages

Boy Meets Boy Reviews

  • Calilibrarian
    Nov 30, 2007

    When I first read this book, I fell in love...

    in love with the main character and with the writer. David Levithan nailed what I'd been looking for for some time; a type of book that should be written many times over for alot of different kids.

    Here is the review I wrote June, 2004

    I just read an incredible book. Its called Boy meets Boy by David Levithan. I loved it on so many levels; the main one being its normalcy. Through my book travels, I read alot of teen angst, where the main character is

    When I first read this book, I fell in love...

    in love with the main character and with the writer. David Levithan nailed what I'd been looking for for some time; a type of book that should be written many times over for alot of different kids.

    Here is the review I wrote June, 2004

    I just read an incredible book. Its called Boy meets Boy by David Levithan. I loved it on so many levels; the main one being its normalcy. Through my book travels, I read alot of teen angst, where the main character is dealing with tragedy in some form, or struggling to find his place...but in Boy meets Boy, the main character in this book, Paul, is someone that I would want to be my friend. Someone I like and want to see again, get to know and see him grow and develope. (And so, of course, I will read Levithans next work eagerly)

    Paul comes from a secure, happy two parent family, he's fifteen and loves his parents. They worry about him, understand him, yet support him with little fanfare and alot of pride. The fact that Paul is gay is almost beside the point--which in my opinion is the point. This is a story about friends who deal with struggles of love, trust, relationships and simple suburban life that is for once (gasp) not denigrated, but celebrated. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

    Okay, I wrote that short review back in June and re-reading it I see that it fails to do justice to the book. I was literally crying when I finished it. From sadness? No not at all. Sometimes a scene is so poignant that you get choked up. The last scene was powerful and beautiful that I had to hold it to myself a little longer. This is the magic that David Levithan creates.

    This book is about a gay teenager that is happy, is NORMAL, and is a precious adorable soul. I like his ethics, his take on life, his matter of fact acceptance that he is gay, like he's blond or blue eyed. I love his parents who accepted it from day one--possibly when his kindergarten teacher made a notation that Paul was probably gay. There is nothing unusual about his family (why would there be?) they are loving parents that have expectations for Paul and his brother like any other family. This book is not about the gay experience yet is wholly involved with the relationships between Paul, his new love interest and his old boyfriend, not to mention a host of other funny sometimes wacky characters.

    Teen issues are teen issues...does it matter whether or not they are gay?

    Kids need to see themselves within the context of normalcy. David has done this.

  • Tatiana
    Aug 05, 2010

    Any book that makes me cry deserves at least 4 stars.

    managed to squeeze tears out of me on several occasions. It doesn't mean, however, that this is one of

    downer novels where someone dies or suffers horrible decease or misfortunes. Quite the opposite, this book is actually upbeat and lighthearted, and my tears were tears of pride and relief mostly.

    The setting of the novel is unusual. In fact, I am dying to borrow from

    and call

    a

    . A to

    Any book that makes me cry deserves at least 4 stars.

    managed to squeeze tears out of me on several occasions. It doesn't mean, however, that this is one of

    downer novels where someone dies or suffers horrible decease or misfortunes. Quite the opposite, this book is actually upbeat and lighthearted, and my tears were tears of pride and relief mostly.

    The setting of the novel is unusual. In fact, I am dying to borrow from

    and call

    a

    . A town where all action takes place is fantastical, the level of acceptance of all kinds of sexuality is unprecedented. Our main character Paul is the most well adjusted gay teen you will ever meet. He never had any trouble coming out at the age of 5, he is popular, in fact, a transvestite quarterback is popular in Paul's wonder-school too. In short, Paul's life is free of all homosexuality-related problems and anxieties we all are accustomed to reading about. However it doesn't mean Paul is perfect - he falls in love, botches his relationship, gets involved with his ex, is concerned about his relationships with his friends, both gay and straight - basically he has all your normal teen problems. This is a book about how he deals with them.

    is a wonderful, heartfelt, sweet love story, story about friendships and acceptance, a celebration of individuality and difference. This book is rightfully regarded as a pioneer gay teen novel. And, most importantly, it is a delight to read.

  • karen
    Oct 24, 2010

    hm. i don't really know what to make of this one.

    see, here's the deal - i know this is a hugely popular gay teen fiction book - it has been around for a while and everyone loves it (LGM) , but in light of recent current events, it just makes me nervous.

    this book takes place in a gay utopia, really. a world where there would be no need for the

    and on the one hand, i'm sure gay teens would love reading it because it is like an escapist fantasy where everyone is tolerant

    hm. i don't really know what to make of this one.

    see, here's the deal - i know this is a hugely popular gay teen fiction book - it has been around for a while and everyone loves it (LGM) , but in light of recent current events, it just makes me nervous.

    this book takes place in a gay utopia, really. a world where there would be no need for the

    and on the one hand, i'm sure gay teens would love reading it because it is like an escapist fantasy where everyone is tolerant and heterosexuals actually seem to be the minority and the homecoming queen is the same entity as the quarterback. football players in drag, what more could an acceptance-seeking gay teen want??

    but on the other hand, doesn't this kind of hyperbolic fantasy make teens feel

    ?? because it is totally not like this anywhere i have ever heard of. where the boy scouts have been banned from town for not being gaycepting and changed to "the joy scouts". where the vegetarians win and get the local mcdonalds changed to a veggie d. where everyone's parents are cool with their gay kids coming out when they are 8. (but not one town over, mind you, just in this weird rainbow-gated community). doesn't a kid read that, and then go to their real high school and get called a fag, and doesn't it make them feel worse?

    i have no idea.

    apart from my squeamishness about how this book operates psychologically in a real-world context that has lately been more dramatic than usual, the book itself is okay. it's a fine little story about first real love and loyalty and all the regular ups and downs of high school. not particularly illuminating, but it is only 185 pages, so what can you do??

    however, all social climate stuff aside, this got me peeving:

    "joni's brought us here because sometimes you just have to dance like a madman in the self-help section of your local bookstore."

    this is untrue. no dancing, please. it is a place of business. take that shit outside, capice?

  • Ami
    Nov 07, 2010

    You know a book is special, when the first thing you do AFTER you close the last page is ... sighing and whisper, "Beautiful".

    That is exactly what I do after I finish reading Levithan's

    . I think this is one of the most beautiful and smartest young adult book dealing with gay-themed that I have read. Sure, this book has sort of an unrealistic portrayal of LGBT acceptance. But that is the beauty of it. This is THE Gay Utopia World -- where

    You know a book is special, when the first thing you do AFTER you close the last page is ... sighing and whisper, "Beautiful".

    That is exactly what I do after I finish reading Levithan's

    . I think this is one of the most beautiful and smartest young adult book dealing with gay-themed that I have read. Sure, this book has sort of an unrealistic portrayal of LGBT acceptance. But that is the beauty of it. This is THE Gay Utopia World -- where the gay kids and the lesbian kids and the drag queens can exist in a high school with the other kids, in a town where P-FLAG is "

    ", where the town Boy Scouts changes their name to Joy Scouts simply because "

    ".

    It's a hopeful world, and in the center of it, is the love story between Paul -- who knows he is gay since he is five years old -- and Noah, the new senior at the high school. It is also a story of friendship and fighting for the right to be who you are, with Paul's friends: Joni, Tony, Infinite Darlene, Ted, and Paul's ex, Kyle. This book makes me laugh in the beginning, when I read how Paul comes out to his parents ... "Guess, what, I'm gay" (Paul says to his mother). "Honey ... Paul leaned a new word!" (that's how his mother reacted).

    But it also made me think, when Tony, Paul's friend who lives at another town, with a very strict religious parents, tells him that he always feels lost because he is pretending to be someone he is not and even if it hurts him, he knows that his parents actually love him.

    "

    It's so heartbreaking the way Tony says it -- no kids should ever feel that way, it's just wrong!!! -- but that is one fact that is closer to the world we live in.

    But this book is also romantic and witty -- and you need to read how Paul determines to prove to Noah that he loves him, by giving him, let's see: flowers and time (first day), words and definitions (second day), space (third day), song (fourth day), film (fifth day), letters (sixth day), and himself (seventh day). I DARE YOU to find one adult romance who can be as inventive and unique like this book, in declaring one's love to another. Those books simply pale in comparison. Plus the beautiful "paint some music" scene that is so beautiful, I can imagine it in my mind and start painting some music as well.

    This book is one that I can cherish, because it touches not only my brain, but also my heart and my soul. Thank you, Mr. Levithan.

  • Vinaya
    Apr 19, 2012

    Or Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Boy Meets Boy

    I want to live in the world David Levithan has created. It's fun, it's fabulous, it's the literary equivalent of unicorn fart! Sure, I know there probably doesn't exist a place where all the teenagers gather together to dance away Sunday nights in the local bookstore. Where the school's star quarterback is a crossdresser with the improbable name of Infinite Darlene. Where the Boy Scouts quit and reform as the Joy Scouts because the Boy Scouts would

    Or Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Boy Meets Boy

    I want to live in the world David Levithan has created. It's fun, it's fabulous, it's the literary equivalent of unicorn fart! Sure, I know there probably doesn't exist a place where all the teenagers gather together to dance away Sunday nights in the local bookstore. Where the school's star quarterback is a crossdresser with the improbable name of Infinite Darlene. Where the Boy Scouts quit and reform as the Joy Scouts because the Boy Scouts wouldn't accept gay members. But it's nice to suspend your disbelief and just

    this magical, happy place with it's accepting, encouraging populace where being gay is no more unusual than being straight and the love of your life would just walk up to you in the Self Improvement section. Hello, Narnia!

    I don't think I stopped smiling AT ALL through the first hundred-odd pages of this book. I asked for a happy gay romance, and boy, did this story deliver! Paul is a great protagonist - he is comfortable in his own skin, he is popular and well-adjusted, he has an adorable family I just could not get enough of, and the story of his and Noah's budding romance is all sparkles and rainbows without being cheesy in the least. I LOVED the fact that Noah brought him flowers on their first date, and I loved that we got to see them hang out with his quirky family. This book was like an episode of Glee - you know real life's not this easy, but that's kind of the

    !

    Despite the sunshine-y tone of the book, it manages to address several issues with a fairly large cast of characters who all steal your heart. There's Tony, struggling struggling with his sexuality in the midst of his rabidly religious family. And Kyle, Paul's ex, who is confused about whether he likes girls or boys, unable to understand that liking both is a possibility. And then there's Joni, who's been friends with Paul since forever, but now she's changing, because she's in love with the one boy who can't accept Paul for what he is. And Noah, so happy in the beginning, but filled with doubts on the inside, burned before and wary of being burned again. This is a story about a bunch of teenagers trying to find their place in the world, and the general tone of levity doesn't distract from the importance of the message.

    So there I was, coasting along on this pink cloud, when I got a rude shock!

    David Levithan must be some kind of genius. After a twist that left me fuming mad, I thought the rest of the book was going to be ruined. But somehow, he managed to explain it just right, in a way that was realistic and compassionate, yet without make lame justifications for Paul's behaviour. Somehow, somehow, he managed to not only bring me back to the point of liking the book, he had me smiling again!

    I am a complete

    when it comes to romance. Nothing melts my heart like hearts and flowers and grand gestures. And this book had some of the most satisfyingly cheesy romantic gestures ever written. Again, I say, I want to live in David Levithan's world! I loved the way the relationship between the two main characters was rebuilt, in a manner that was sweet and warm, and peculiarly their own, giving the reader a nice case of the warm fuzzies.

    If you are not a big fan of sweetness and light, I would suggest you stay away from this book. As you can probably tell from the cutesy cover, it is pure fluff - the kind of book you'd take with you to the beach. It is very well written fluff, however, and if straightforward romance floats your boat, I could not recommend this book more highly. Now, since I am running out of words, Reasons 9 and 10 shall speak for themselves!

    My recommendation? Date a Unicorn - Read this book - Up your fuzzy quotient today!

    Oh, and thank you to Hannah Moskowitz for recommending a book that

    met my requirements! :)

    Image Attribution: Matthew Inman for Mingle2.com

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  • Whitney Atkinson
    Apr 04, 2015

    The more I read David Levithan, the less impressed I become. Or maybe it's just that i'm beginning to read his older works, and they're just not that great.

    This was what i'm now starting to label a "typical" Levithan book. Unimpressive, bland plot, okay characters, average writing. I nearly didn't finish this because I thought maybe it wouldn't be worth it, and I can honestly admit that I wouldn't have missed anything had I decided to DNF it. It's not the worst story in the world, and I did lik

    The more I read David Levithan, the less impressed I become. Or maybe it's just that i'm beginning to read his older works, and they're just not that great.

    This was what i'm now starting to label a "typical" Levithan book. Unimpressive, bland plot, okay characters, average writing. I nearly didn't finish this because I thought maybe it wouldn't be worth it, and I can honestly admit that I wouldn't have missed anything had I decided to DNF it. It's not the worst story in the world, and I did like that this book has a gay protagonist because it's so rare to read about, but this book was written in 2003 and you can tell it's so horribly outdated and the audiobook is old as well and it was really irritating because there were a lot of voice changes and background music. Some of the events in this book were too unrealistic for my taste (ie. a transgender girl being the quarterback of the football team). Overall this book is just meh and it made me question if I should just get rid of my last two Levithan books on my TBR, which are "Are We There Yet?" and "How They Met and Other Stories"

  • Fabian
    Apr 12, 2016

    Despite its pretenses & it's overall theme of goodness and friendship, the story is kinda, sorta pedestrian*. A love triangle not in the least bit bizarre, our character is a prancing, megaconfident & hyperpositive social Pollyanna. These kids seemingly live in a perpetual children's museum-- their hometown caters to them all to such a staggering degree as to make you go "ick."

    "On the seventh day I gave him me." Yeah, Paul. You and your buddies have a god complex. The atmosphere is too s

    Despite its pretenses & it's overall theme of goodness and friendship, the story is kinda, sorta pedestrian*. A love triangle not in the least bit bizarre, our character is a prancing, megaconfident & hyperpositive social Pollyanna. These kids seemingly live in a perpetual children's museum-- their hometown caters to them all to such a staggering degree as to make you go "ick."

    "On the seventh day I gave him me." Yeah, Paul. You and your buddies have a god complex. The atmosphere is too sweet, often unbelievably. Plus references to "Breakfast Club"? Yeah. These characters definitely DO NOT EXIST. Or ever will. Or ever did.

    *It's always convenient for an adolescent idyll/fairy tale/hormonal angst to have two dudes go for you at once (see: Twilight, ...etc.) cos, you know, YOU DESERVE IT, girl!

  • Chloe
    Mar 16, 2017

    Reducing my rating from 4 to 3 stars after reading

    and realising how much better it did a reasonably similar vibe than this book!

    This was an absolutely adorable

    Reducing my rating from 4 to 3 stars after reading

    and realising how much better it did a reasonably similar vibe than this book!

    This was an absolutely adorable book. I needed a light contemporary to break up the fantasy I'm reading and this was just what I needed.

    I love the concept of towns like these, where everything is different to most of the world and it's a little bit weird but it's normal for its inhabitants. I love how sweet and safe this world feels. Despite that, it doesn't ignore homophobia; it's still explored with Tony's character, and it's very true and honest. I love the innocence in this and yet the little truths that are spoken. It's beautifully written and very sweet. I really enjoyed this book!


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