I hadn’t meant to go with another Levithan so quickly folks, but I’ve been slacking in the book reading department (I’m visiting my grandmother) so here it is.
This is the kind of book that you pick up off the shelf because the cover is so cute. Luckily, it’s pretty cute inside too. It took me a little while to get used the the writing style, which is present tense and definitely trying to sound cool, but once I got into the story I didn’t mind it.
Levithan has created a world where acceptance is the norm. It’s a wonderful way of sharing hope for the future, but it also allows his love story to unfold without any drama over the “issue” of being gay and all the focus instead on the characters and their feelings towards each other. Boy Meets Boy has many of the essential elements for a fun teen romance, from best friend drama to dance planning committees (perhaps you don’t consider this essential, but there’s nothing like a high school dance for teen love) to grand gestures.
Great for: This is a pretty sweet gay romance and surprisingly short on both sex and controversial issues. Perfect for boys who want to read a book about love that serves as an escape rather than an reminder of the obstacles they may face.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – This is a book about a boy who likes boys, so if you’re not comfortable with that, skip it. Other than that, this book is pretty tame in this category. There is definitely kissing, between boys and other boys and girls and boys. There is a transgender character who is both homecoming queen and quarterback of the football team. There is discussion that a male/female couple may be having sex. The starring couple of the book at one point grasps at each other and explores each other while kissing. No clothing is removed.
Profanity– “fag,” “queer,” “faggot,” “hell,”
Death, Violence and Gore – As little kids, Joni and Paul play an “avoid death” game which involves one person suggesting a possible fatal event and the other naming something also slightly awful and gory to avoid dying from the first event. Joni threatens to beat someone up, then does. Wrestlers try to beat Paul up but he is protected by the fencing team. Some boys are about to fight. There is a very brief mention of a football player who died in a car accident.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – There’s a mention of people hanging out at the “Queer Beer Bar.” Ted makes a drunk phone call.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.