“9.00 p.m. on a November Saturday, Joni, Tony and I are out on the town. Tony is from the next town over and he needs to get out. His parents are extremely religious. It doesn’t matter which religion – they’re all the same at a certain point and few of them want a gay boy cruising around with his friends on a Saturday night. So every week Tony feeds us bible stories, then on a Saturday we show up at his doorstep well versed in parables and earnestness, dazzling his parents with our blinding purity. They slip him a twenty and tell him to enjoy our study group.”
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Paul and his friends are happy, things could be better for them, Paul’s ex could stop avoiding him in the corridor, Joni could have not just gone through a break up and Tony’s parents could actually listen to him, but they are happy. Then Paul meets Noah. Liking boys is nothing new to Paul, he’s known he is gay his whole life, but heartbreak can happen at the worst of times and along with everything else falling apart around him Paul comes to realise that love changes everything, for everyone.
I swear I thought I had read this a long, long time ago, all the way back in 2005 when it was first published. There is a good chance that I did, but things are a little hazy back then and upon my most recent read I can honestly say I’m sure I would have remembered this book!
Everything about Boy Meets Boy is brilliant. Here is a world where being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or not even knowing your sexual preference is ok, no one judges you for any of it… unless your a bit of a douche to go with it, and I wish our whole world could be like that!
The story is fantastic, each of the main characters had their own things going on and they were all kind of independent from each other which was great. Paul had this thing going on with Kyle and Noah, Tony had his parents, Joni… well I don’t know what Joni has going on but she needs to sort herself out, and the others, they were all fantastic. I wish I was as brazen and confident as Infinite Darlene, or as brave as Tony, and oh my, don’t get me started on how awesome Claudia is even though shes in the book for a whole five minutes!
This book is full of teenage angst, but its worth the read anyway just to see what it could teach people about the world and how people treat others. I loved it for that but I loved it for just how laid back it was in this teaching, it never felt preachy, it never felt like it was trying to be bigger than it was; it just was. Life for Paul in Boy Meets Boy is exactly what I hope life is like for most teens, it is confusing, but its not awful and its not that hard when you do have your friends around you.
If I was reading this book as a teenager I would have my hopes up that there was a town just like Paul’s, where two guys holding hands whilst walking down the street wasn’t met by looks from others and where the schools were happy to have a transgender student wearing whatever the hell she wanted and still being star of the football team. However as an adult I have a crushing disappointment in the world because I fear it isn’t possible, not with the amount of hate there is.
I can still hold out hope, I know that people are becoming more accepting in our current age and I know that at least in most civilised countries people aren’t prosecuted for being gay as they once were, and I can hope that a place like Paul’s town will become a norm in the future, because thats the kind of place I would want my children growing up… and damnit I will get them to read this book and see that at least in fiction, even if not in real life, a place like that can exist. Its awful and wrong that these are my thoughts, but I’m hoping its not a reflection of me being wrong, but a reflection of the world I have experienced being wrong.
Anyway, to move away from the real world and its faults… Boy Meets Boy is a fantastic story and whilst I agree that it does take a little time to really kick in, I thought it was fantastic. I would urge everyone and anyone to read it and it has cemented my belief that David Levithan is possibly one of the best young adult authors out there at the moment.
Boy Meets Boy was re-released by Harper Collins on August 1st. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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