Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

It is OK for two boys to kiss. As Levithan narrates, it does not matter who you kiss or who you screw. Most importantly, we are all human beings and deserve equality. Two Boys Kissing, written and read by David Levithan, is a popular LGBT+ young adult novel based on a true story of two boys attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest kiss.  This review is based on the audiobook version of Two Boys Kissing. Given fictional names, Craig and Harry are the center of this story.  Surrounded by a myriad of struggling gay boys, both alive and dead, Craig and Harry must navigate everyday life. Hauntingly, ghosts of previous boys who have died from AIDS share the story of the Craig’s and Harry’s journey. The narrative is esoteric, mature, emotional, and intellectual.  The intense subject matter, including suicide, is paired with the humorous act of a…

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Review: Girls Like Us By Gail Giles

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles is a young adult read that takes risks at portraying ‘street’ youth with emotional and physical disabilities.  This title is especially relevant for its multicultural and realistic fiction elements. Upon high school graduation and spending years as “Speddies” in the special education program, Biddy and Quincy enter the ‘real’ world. Placed in a safe home environment with an older woman and given jobs, both girls learn to work together.  Ultimately, the girls form a family with the people around them, and over time, Biddy and Quincy discover how to overcome abuse and rape. At the book’s heart, Giles examines Biddy and Quincy to their core; as Biddy sheds her protective, giant coat filled with candy bars, we know that these characters have grown. Chapters alternate with each girl’s distinct voice.  The different perspectives help to show the unique ways in which we see and interpret the world.…

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Review: Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) by Gayle Forman

Where She Went by Gayle Forman is a sequel to the bestseller and heart-stopping, If I Stay. Throughout the story, Mia and Adam explore the three years after their breakup following Mia’s tragic accident. Told from Adam’s perspective, we learn more of his life’s struggles with substance abuse as well as both of their successes in the music industry.  Moving forward versus moving on is a topic Forman is not afraid to embrace. Library confession: Originally I thought that both of these titles lacked teen appeal until If I Stay hit theaters.  Soon after, teenage library patrons flooded in asking for copies of Forman’s titles. Although fairly slow-paced, Where She Went strums heartstrings for its love story and characters who have overcome pretty harsh odds. For teens, I appreciate Mia’s goal-oriented attitude and her ability to persevere over the loss of her parents; you can survive.  As we learned from If…

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