Book Review: Boy Meets Boy

This was my first Levithan book. I really liked it.

On romance: Paul and Noah was charming and gooey, rich with the grand gestures that teens think are necessary, and maybe are necessary. It got pretty Hallmark Card there at the end but I can’t resist a good romantic ending. Sue me.

On character: Paul was sooo self-aware I teetered for a while on whether this was okay with me. But I bought in. Here’s why: The crux of the book is that here is this gay boy whose been accepted by his parents, by his teachers, by his friends, and who even has had boyfriends throughout his young life, and so has normal life problems like, Does Noah like me? What is love? Why is my best friend abandoning me for her boyfriend? And why can’t Tony’s parents accept him for who he is? If such a place exists, and I hope it does, then I can believe this character exists. I can imagine that gay teens need this book. Everyone needs this book–needs to know what kind of world should exist: one where a gay kid has pretty much the same problems as any other.

The minor characters could easily have slipped into caricatures and stereotypes: the new kid, the wounded ex, the tranny, the bitchy friend, the sheltered friend. But they didn’t. They were rounded characters who I cared about to the end.

On setting: Mostly the characters were the setting. We saw the homes of Paul and Noah and Tony. All of them were insights to the people who lived there and nothing more. We saw the school, a typical school physically: there were halls and lockers. But again the people were what made the community. And that was romantic for sure, every kind of gay having a place and a say. Levithan seemed to refuse to go anywhere darker than Paul’s ex cheating on him out of confusion. And the book worked for it.

It was an interesting world to join into and explore with Paul. I definitely want to read more of Levithan’s books.

Published by jody sparks

Jody Sparks Mugele spent her first career in marketing writing and leading teams of writers and editors. After her son came out as transgender in 2015, she dedicated herself to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. For two years, she led the Indianapolis regional chapter of PFLAG, a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She has given many conference talks about parenting trans kids, healthcare in the trans community, and suicidality among LGBTQ+ youth. And with GenderNexus, an Indianapolis-based advocacy organization, she created programming and led support groups to work with parents to help their children through all aspects of gender transition. She recently moved to Northeast Georgia where she is excited to develop opportunities to continue to strongly and proudly advocate for LGBTQ+ members of our society. She also LOVES kitschy Christmas crafting!

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