Saturday, June 29, 2013
I sat spellbound.
I had begun the book, Two Boys Kissing (Random House, August 2013), a few days ago on a train and had nearly missed my stop. I had picked it up again today, after the errands were done. I'd wanted a clean house and a full refrigerator, no chance for any niggling interruptions, for there are books, and there are books. Two Boys Kissing is a book.
About a marathon kiss between two best friends in a public place, in a still-jarring world. About the lives beyond the kiss—a long-time couple and a brand-new couple and a boy who doesn't believe he'll ever fit in. About the parents and friends and teachers and bullies and sisters and aunts who make the world scary and safe. About those who died from disease and despair and still have stories to tell; they miss the sun, they miss the chance at love, they miss how much it must hurt to kiss for thirty-two unbroken hours. They narrate, exhilarate, caution, scream—these men who have gone on, these men who watch boys who don't know everything yet about right now, or the future. They prowl into beating hearts and silk-bind separate narratives and most of the time they cannot be heard, but sometimes, it seems, they can.
David Levithan writes big stories. He has countless definitions, and proof, of love. He gives no credence to the idea of the impossible. Two Boys Kissing commands the page and shifts perspectives. It validates first love, endangered love, once love, future love.
It says someone out there cares.
It says live:
Waking is hard, and waking is glorious. We watch as you stir, then as you stumble out of your beds. We know that gratitude is the last thing on your mind. But you should be grateful.
You've made it to another day.