“There are all these moments you dont think you will survive. And then you survive.” ― David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing

One constantly reads, keeps reading, and wants to read more and faster. But why do we do that? What is its purpose? Or what purpose do we give to our constant and obsessive craving for books?

It must be more than just filling out two hours to get home, more than just fighting insomnia that attacks because of jet lag, more than just our school/college assignments, and more than just following a trend of book hoarding and Instagram likes.

I like to find a lesson or learn something beyond vocabulary in every book that I read.

For this review, I want to be as “rational” as possible, but this book will do nothing to the reader if the reader does not have feelings, sympathy, or compassion for the rest of human beings. I am talking about leaving aside all of our prejudices, self-judgments, religious vicious blindness, fanaticism, heteronormative ideals, patriarchal morals, and set of default rules in our brains, and the idea that I know it all and the rest are wrong.

This book is not a chick flick or gay flick or any flick you can think of. It is not a soap opera of some sort of disgraceful man or woman whose life is destroyed by a random accident and love can surpass any difficulty – NO – For me, this book is way more than that. This book exposes creative none fiction events, the lives, and experiences of thousands of human beings… human beings that have been discriminated against, human beings that have been victims of violence that lately has been increasing without measure, human beings that are being constantly condemned by other human beings who preach love with one hand but with the other they hold a knife – symbolically speaking and in worst cases, real ones-

I mentioned at the beginning to leave everything behind and just hold to the terms of sympathy and tolerance because this book will show cases where human beings struggle with their identity. Struggle not to fit in but to survive a society based on a system that outcasts whatever and whomever that does not share its ideals. This patriarchal society is everything but functional. These human beings are in fear in some countries just because they are “different,” just because this patriarchal society dictates that what is different is dangerous, what is different must be put down as a vicious and sick animal, what is different and does not go with their non-functional system is a threat to their masculinity and atheir indifference. All those fears and problems are denounced in this book through the characters that shape this story.

We live in a non-inclusive society, but if you “fit” in this system, you may not be able to see it as clearly as many of us can. Nonetheless, it will give you the right to oppress and discriminate against the rest. David Levithan includes in this book multiple characters and gives a quick view of the superficial layer of the pains and difficulties that most of the members of this community had or have to cope with.

The topic of gender identity is taken to an unexplored level for some readers. Some people will find the transexual/transgender individuals or concepts hard to swallow. However, this is more common than one thinks. Most of the victimizers cannot cope with this. They are privileged to “fit” and privileged because their gender assigned at birth matches their identity. Levithan shows us a glimpse of these members of our community, of these human beings, and the constant harassment that they are victims of because they do not feel like a man or like a woman.

Harassment is a word that all members of this community are acquainted with. Ignorance is the source of so many problems. Ignorance to being unable to celebrate our differences as something to make us stronger but it is seen as something to be used to make you less, something that you can use to dehumanize someone. Ignorance is portrayed in this book in the animalistic reaction of the bystanders, the parents, of the classmates… Once I was a witness to one of the maximum expressions of ignorance. I once heard: “Bullying is good because it helps you to shape your character.”

In which society do we live to believe such nonsense? How can ignorance be perpetrated and passed around as the main representation of the patriarchal system? Bullying is well known to be one of the main reasons for suicidal incidents among teenagers who are part of this society. Such a common topic, such an expression of ignorance is denounced in this book, and it is impossible not to feel the pain, the humiliation, and the fear that this cause in a human being.

The famous and sometimes painful “coming out” process that people go through is present in this book. Painful due to the rejection that one is a victim of not only from society but from one’s family because people, again, are unable to cope with the term “different,” because people cannot celebrate nor embrace one’s uniqueness. This rejection is one of the culprits of all these suicidal events that Levithan shows to us. This happens when everything loses perspective, sense, reason, emotion, and purpose, when one’s live loses its north, when not even the brightest sun can illuminate one’s existence when sadness and disappointment fill your lungs until you choke with your thoughts, and more importantly when one’s family stops seeing you as a member of their in-group and kicks you out, and you become a regular person.

How is it possible that so many people, so many kids, so many teenagers are kicked out and forced to go through this process alone? Where is all this love that is being preached? Why is it only written on thin sheets of paper but it is not being put into practice? How is it possible that a mother can reject her son or daughter? How is it possible that a sister or brother can reject a sibling like that?

Where is the love? How is it so difficult to see that we are all human beings and that we all have diverse love, comprehension, respect, and basic rights?

Beyond all these topics that David Levithan exposes the reader with, I think he did an outstanding job with this book. The narrator in first person plural, these uncles, this group of the long gone sweethearts that watch us from afar, those who were the pioneers of the roads that we walk on today, the pilgrims, they all narrate this story and share their experiences which make this book even more heartbreaking and impossible not to sob, sigh, or connect personally with.

“Two Boys Kissing” allows the reader to understand a bit more about the LGBTQ community. It shows a side that not all people are acquainted with or that most people ignored due to their prejudice and closed minds. Being part of this community is more than just partying, drinking, and hooking up, and this book shows that side. This book demonstrates how human beings are just trying to live their lives as the rest of human beings. I think that this book tries to call our emotions through sweet and simple characters to demonstrate that they all can have feelings like the rest of us.

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  1. A reader Avatar
    A reader

    Loved this review, you captured with words not only the essence of the book, but a reality itself, a destroying part of humanity: ignorance that comes into fear and then hate. Thanks for the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Satou Johns Avatar
      Satou Johns

      Great to hear that you loved it! I think that when you read a marvelous book, you cannot just get over it. I think there is no way of reading this book and not reacting to it. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment! Hope you come by next time/book 🙂


  2. Series for 2018 (Start and/or Finish) – INKISH KINGDOMS Avatar

    […] I bought these two books together on a sale (Bookoutlet)… I bought a lot on sales… I am a sale hunter! If that was a skill, I would be the best! Hire me! haha, so I decided to read these ones for two reasons: 1: David Levithan and 2: the movie is coming!! So I want to get reading for either disappointment or the love coming from either the movie or the books! I have hopes in Levithan (I’m one judging and author for one title… yes I have read only one of his books…. here check it out! it is super intense!) […]


  3. Somya Sahni Avatar

    Heyyy. Woow. You write so well . You have tried putting in writing all your emotions and all your thoughts that came across you while reading. I really like the way you name your blog post. Its pretty cool. And I saw your first post where you have mentioned every day , and then I came to know that a sequel exists too. So I knew nothing about this author but a few week back I saw the trailer of every day and then I knew I had to read him. And I loved reading your blog , and going through your point of view.!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Satou Johns Avatar

      Awww thank you Somya! This book moved me to the core! I really liked it for me was a one time experience! I think my blog started being a lot of ideas without head or feet but now, I think I made it XD Every Day seems to be a trilogy according to what I saw in Goodreads! but I have heard that some people are not too very in love with the book!

      Thank you very much for you kind words! I try really hard to make it good and appealing! I will be totally checking out yours! :3

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 5 books to celebrate Prime Month while in a budget! – INKISH KINGDOMS Avatar

    […] Know Me Well” by David Levithan, author of Two Boys Kissing, and Nina LaCourt, co-wrote the powerful story of Mark and Kate. They have been sitting next to […]


  5. Fill my library Mr. Levithan with this 6 audiobooks! – INKISH KINGDOMS Avatar

    […] Another of my all time favorites! Two Boys Kissing tells the story of different gay teenagers and their struggles. How they come to fight society, how they come to accept who they are, how they find again their path after diverging into a desperate road of self-destruction. This story moved me to core not only for their struggles but also because the narrator is an omniscient collective voice of those brothers that died in the 80’s HIV epidemic. (Full Review Here) […]


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