Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
This short YA romance is about several young gay men, their stories loosely linked. One broken-up couple is trying to break the world record for the longest kiss; another is an established couple; a third has just met and is beginning to date. There are two accidental coming-out scenes and some bullying, some accepting relatives, some willfully ignorant and some hostile ones, some support from friends and the internet, and some cultural backlash. The narration is first person plural, imagining a generation of AIDS victims looking down on the young men of today and watching their loves and struggles. I think that collective narrator was what made the book poignant for me because it put the young men’s problems in the context of the larger struggle for gay rights and recognition. I’m glad books like this are beginning to be included in the YA genre and hope it’s not just a trend.