is not really what you think it will be about. Though it is about two boys kissing, but in true David Levithan style it is really addressing so much more. The two boys in question are Harry and Craig who used to date. Now they are kissing in order to break the world's record in a particularly attention getting way. They will kiss over a weekend on the front lawn of their high school. Harry's parents know he is gay and completely support this endeavor. Craig's parents are less aware and less supportive than he and we would like. We also follow the story of Avery, a transgendered boy, and Ryan who meet the night before the kiss begins at a gay prom and a long term couple, Peter and Neil. Cooper also figures into the story as he is discovered on gay pick-up sites by his disgusted father. Hovering over all these stories are the ghosts of gay men who have gone before, those who have died of AIDS and who are part of the generation that refused to hide despite some horrific repercussions. They linger to watch as the world changes for the better for young men like those in the story.
This is not a long novel, but it is lovely and sad, but hopeful that though we have come a long way, there is still work to be done. So while the two kissing boys are at the center of the story, Levithan has really written a book about being gay. He writes about how being gay is still what you are rather than one part of what you are, but he also writes of the day when this will no longer be the case.
I think that Levithan does not back away from what has surely been controversial reaction and I am glad. Someone needs to write books about the gay, teen experience for all the reasons we know YA literature is important: so kids do not feel alone in whatever they are experiencing, and so they know their stories are being told and read.