I'll be honest here, I'm starting to get slightly obsessed with my 100 book challenge. I did the same challenge last year, but got sidetracked around May by reading Pillars of the Earth, a damn fine book, but so long I literally thought I'd die of old age before I managed to finish it. I still blame Pillars of the Earth for the fact that I didn't go out on New Year's Eve. (I spent nearly whole of the 31st December 2014 curled up on my sofa, reading feverishly, desperate to meet my book quota. Am I proud of myself? Why, yes, I am.)
So anyway, when Boy Meets Boy came up on my radar I decided to give it a go. It was £2.99 on Kindle which is more than I usually tend to pay for a book, especially one which only exists as a set of binary code, but the lure of being ahead of the game on my reading challenge proved too much.
The plot is centered around a boy called Paul, a gay teenager who meets an entrancing boy called Noah. Noah captivates him totally and the rest of the book deals with how Paul, Noah and their diverse bunch of friends navigate the world and their own love lives. It kind of helps that they live in a town that sounds a lot like Brighton; lesbian, gay, bi, straight, transgender - everyone lives together in perfect harmony.
There's a brilliant cast of characters from the star quarterback, a six-foot-four crossdresser called Infinite Darlene, to the Joy Scouts (used to be the Boy Scouts, but Boy Scouts wouldn't let gays join) and Boy Meets Boy is a lovely book. David Levithan captures perfectly the heart-wrenching feelings of falling freshly in love with someone and what it means to have beautiful, supportive friends.
If I have a criticism, it's that the book is slightly too saccharine-sweet for me. It left me thinking of that old Coke ad from the 70s. The dark, twisted cynic in me would have preferred some more heartaches, dilemmas and so on to keep things interesting, but perhaps that says as much about me as it does about David Levithan. Don't get me wrong - the book deals with issues (confusion over sexuality, parents who find homosexuality morally repugnant), but everything seems to get wrapped up neatly by the end of the book in a big sparkly bow.
Having said this, Levithan is a complete master writer, so he still gets a respectable...