Sunday, August 10, 2008

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 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.


Once I got used to the style of David Levithan's writing, I did enjoy it, very much so. And although I have never heard of a high school being quite like Paul's, I can only imagine how refreshing it would be to live in a place when the majority of the people do not judge you for how you choose to live your life.

I enjoyed a lot of the characters in this book too! Infinite Darlene reminded me of a girl I went to high school with, and even some people that I know now. I really enjoyed her character and I loved that she was able to be the Homecoming Queen and the star Quarterback at the same time! Claudia, Noah's little sister, bothered me a bit because of her 'I am better than everyone' attitude, but that is just how girls that age act. Regardless, she fit into her family perfectly it seems, and I loved how Noah was worried about her emotional well being when their parents were out for the night. Joni seems to be like some girls out there who choose the boy over the friends. I related to Paul's plight when it came to Joni, and I thought he handled it better than most would have. My favorite character, though, was a tie between Noah and Tony. Both of them had very unique and sensitive characters and were very well articulated. I really enjoyed Noah's hobby of 'Painting the Music'. It sets him apart from the other characters and really allows us to see why Paul is falling for him as hard as he is. As for Tony, he just seems very sensitive and quiet, someone who wanted to be himself and wanted to be accepted for being gay. I think it is spectacular he was able to stick up for himself and just live life with his friends.

I had one problem with this book, though. It put forth a major stereotype that circles the gay community; that they are all 'whores' who can't be monogamous. When Paul wound up cheating on Noah, as brief as it was, he was basically solidifying this stereotype. At times, I thought the relationship, that had barely gotten off the ground, would never fully take flight and Paul would end up with Tony. But, as you well know, that is not what happened.

Overall, I loved this book. It took me a chapter or two to get into it, but once I did, I felt like I was in the book, I was apart of the story. When Paul was torn between boys or when Joni wasn't being the nicest of friends, I just wanted to help the other characters in the book so much. David Levithan is an author who has definitely caught my eye and when I can, I will be picking up his other books.

Other books written by David Levithan:
  • Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List
  • The Realm of Possibility
  • Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Wide Awake
  • Marly's Ghost


Melissa Walker said...

Great review. I really like the way you detailed all your opinions. As you know, I loved this book!

Book Chic said...

Fantastic, well-written review!

And no, I have not heard of a high school like Paul's either, but the point of this book and one of his other books Wide Awake, is to paint a picture of a future world where a high school like that is possible, where everyone is accepted for who they are. So it's almost like realistic fantasy in that sense.

I've read a lot of reviews where people hated that aspect of the book because it's not real. And gays can't relate to it because most of us were teased and such, so reading a book where everyone's accepted seems to touch a nerve. But honestly, I enjoyed it for that aspect because it's nice to read a GLBT book that's not all about "Gays are wrong!" and how the main characters deal with that. It's refreshing to see a book where that battle is already over, and now we're focusing on a new problem.