I was not as enamored with Boy Meets Boy as I was with Levithan’s other books. It was just as humorous as Will Grayson, Will Grayson but it wasn’t as beautiful as portions of it, nor as incredibly moving as Two Boys Kissing, but I am glad I read it.
From the cross dressing quarterback to the school’s bookie, Levithan definitely writes personable characters, but I just couldn’t get drawn in like I have with his other novels. I’m still debating on if it had to do with the “magical” aspects of “everything is perfect in Paul’s world” and all of his dramas seem self-created. But it could also have been that when I’ve loved Levithan in the past it has been when he wrote stories and characters that were so far above and beyond emotional comprehension.
However, Levithan continued to write humorous characters and situations, when Paul, Joni and Tony were in the bookstore,
“I know Joni’s brought us here because sometimes you just have to dance like a madman in the Self-Help section of your local bookstore. So we dance.” (3)
And that quote opening up the novel made me laugh and I’m sure the intended audience of the book, young adults, would have found it even more charming than I did.
Don’t get me wrong, the book wasn’t all bad. It dealt with heavy issues like first-love, unrequited love, coming out and conservative families.He handles all of these issues with respect in a way that you wouldn’t expect in both a humor novel and in a young adult novel.
Recommendation: There are other books by Levithan I’d recommend, but if this is the only one you can find it’s a good one to start with. There is humor, a broad character base and it includes the seriousness that teenagers need, but without over doing it (most of the time.
Opening LIne: “9 P.M. on a November Saturday. Joni, Tony, and I are out on the town.”
Closing Line: “And I think to myself, What a wonderful world.“ (Whited out.)
Additional Quotes from Boy Meets Boy
“Our plan for Saturday is to not have a plan for Saturday. This uneases me a little, since I’m a pretty big fan of plans. But for Noah, I’m willing to try a planless day out.” (60)
“We hold hands as we walk through town. If anybody notices nobody cares. I know we all like to think of the heart as the center of the body, but at this moment, every conscious part of me is in the hand that he holds. It is through that hand, that feeling, that I experience everything else. The only things I notice around me are the good things—the mesmerizing tunes spilling out from the open door of the record store; the older man and the even older woman sitting on a park bench, sharing a blintz; the seven-year-old leaping from sidewalk square to sidewalk square, teetering and shifting to avoid stepping on a crack.” (66-7)
“Sometimes the space between knowing what to do and actually doing it is a very short walk. Other times it is an impossible expanse. As I sit with my eyes closed, I try to gauge the distance between me and the words that I will have to say. It seems far. Very far.” (114)
“A note is an update or an entertainment. A letter is giving of a part of your life—an insight into your thoughts beyond mere observations.” (166)
“I know this is right. I know he’s not going to be amazing all the time, but there’s more amazingness in him than in anyone else I’ve known. He makes me want to be amazing, too.” (171)