Paul’s had plenty of boyfriends but when he meets Noah, he knows they could be something special. They’ve both been hurt in the past but this is the perfect new beginning. But Paul’s friends’ lives are in disarray. Can he help them and have time to date? Will this be the one to last?
Boy Meets Boy is a sweet little high school story but not a lot more. Its main draw is that it doesn’t make homosexuality an issue, it just exists and it’s a story about a boy meeting a boy that he likes. And then promptly goes and screws things up. Just like any other high school crush story. I really started to dislike Paul; in his effort to help everyone, he ends up in awkward situations. It just felt like he didn’t think much about his actions beyond the moment.
There were quite a lot of supporting characters and none of them were covered in depth. I liked Tony’s story; the gay son of religious parents who believe his sexuality is damning him to hell and therefore like him hanging out with girls. I thought there were some really lovely moments with him. I didn’t quite get Joni’s motivation to date Chuck, a character who just oozes nobbiness. There are some wonderful little observations too that would make me pick up something else of his.
“The first time I met you,” he says, not directly to me, not directly to the floor – somewhere in between, “I honestly couldn’t believe that someone like you could exist, or even a town like yours could entirely exist.”
I’m with Noah on this. It’s a lovely utopian vision of a school where everyone is accepted, with a high percentage of gay kids and even a drag queen on the football team. I can sort of see Levithan is saying, look this is normal, but it all came across a little twee. And what on earth is that bit about a teacher telling a five year old that he (the boy) is gay about? I don’t think anyone at that age knows their sexuality; the opposite sex is generally considered weird and to be avoided. It’s hard to believe in these kids’ lives when you don’t quite believe their world.
Boy Meets Boy has recently been reissued by HarperCollins and is available in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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