Completed: January 5, 2014
Length: 208 Pages
Synopsis from Goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.I always pre-order David Levithan. He is quickly becoming one of my favourite young adult authors. I have started working on getting his back-list as well. This doesn't mean I love everything I have read by him, but he is a solid author and an almost guarantee that I will love what he has written. But, 2013 was a bad reading year and his book just sat on my shelves. Then I started seeing it on 'Best of 2013' lists and kicking myself for not getting around to it. On Sunday I decided to drop everything else planned and finally get around to it and, yep, read it in one sitting.
Fiction or non-fiction? Genre?: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction.
What Lead You to Pick Up This Book?: I pre-ordered it because it was David Levithan, but hearing lots of good things about it at the end of 2013 made me read it now instead of waiting even longer.
Summarize the Plot: The story is narrated by a 'Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDs'. They follow around young adult gay men and watch what is happening and then tell it to us. They have their opinions, but they are silent observers other than from a book-narrating point of view. The focus of the story is two guy men, Harry and Craig, who have a bit over 32 hours marathon of kissing. This is to set a new Guinness World Record and takes place on the front lawn of their high school. This very public location leads to both support and outrage, but the boys decide they can overcome. While the book is not visiting with them it focuses on other gay boys who are dealing with typical teenage problems mixed in with the sometimes trauma of being gay. There are many emotional scenes for all of them.
What Did you Like Most About the Book?: The Greek Chorus. I really think they added an element to the story that made it just that much more compelling. While the 'modern' story was going on, they were also sharing their history. It made the story more through-provoking because it showed what it was like before and the progress that had been made. It also showed that yes, being a teenager is hard, but we died in a very painful manner and envy your experiences. I really liked them as part of the story.
What Did You Like Least?: Man, I don't even really think anything bothered me about this book. It was done really well.
What Did You Think of The Writing Style? I loved it! David Levithan wrote a very powerful book and it was only just over 200 pages. The emotion and style that he portrays in every word packs such a punch and amazes you that he can cover so much in so few pages.
What Did You Think of the Main Character? hm... I am not even sure who to say the main character is. The Greek Chorus? Harry and Craig? They were all important in their own way. Then there is couple Peter and Neil. They both have their story to tell. There is Avery and Ryan who have just met, but all ready have a story to tell. And then there is Cooper who is having a hard time dealing with who he is. All of these characters are important and all of them have an important story to tell that relates to the overall book. I think they all make the story and enjoyed learning more about them all.
What Did You Think of the Ending? Well, without really giving anything away, I think the ending really wrapped things up nicely. I will let you read it to see just how everything played out.
I Strongly Recommend this book!
This book counts for Long-Awaited Reads Month and What's in a Name for the category: A Number Written in Letters.