Genre: Young Adult
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“LOVE MEETS LOVE, CONFUSION MEETS CLARITY”
Firstly, I am a huge fan of David Levithan’s books, and it was because of this one that I started reading the rest. This was also one of the first Young Adult books I discovered, but I admit I wasn’t drawn in from the very first line.
Most love stories are between a boy and a girl. When you see or hear about a film where the story-line is focused around this kind of love story it is sometimes referred to as a classic example of a ‘boy meets girl’ story. When I came across this book I immediately noticed the title being a variation on this, and, being a fan of LGBT writing (an interest which was cemented thanks to this book in particular) I had to buy it. If I bought a David Levithan book today, I would read it straight away, but as I wasn’t familiar with his writing when I got this, it stayed in a bedside cabinet for a while with other books I had yet to read, but one day I thought I would give it a go.
“NOW AWAY WE GO
9.00 p.m. on a November Saturday. Joni, Tony and I are out on the town. Tony is from the next town over and he needs to get out. His parents are extremely religious. It doesn’t even matter which religion – they’re all the same at a certain point and few of them want a gay boy cruising around with his friends on a Saturday night.”
I think I read the first few pages, wasn’t grabbed and then put it down and didn’t pick it up again until one Sunday afternoon maybe a year later. This turned out to be the exact moment when I should have read the book. I read the whole thing that afternoon and I loved every word. Where it hadn’t connected with me straight away before, it did. Okay, I would still say the beginning is my least favourite bit, but that doesn’t matter because the rest is well worth reading.
Reading this turned into a catalyst for reading more books, especially Young Adult. I visited David Levithan’s website to see what else he had written and was pleased to discover just how many books there were of his to read. If anyone out there loves Young Adult and hasn’t immersed themselves in his books yet then please do! He comes highly recommended by me (although my opinion is not so highly regarded).
The story and the message that comes with it is one I have never forgotten. I love the idea of meeting someone for the first time and really coming to like and care for them, and showing them how much love you have for them, no matter how hopeless it might seem. There’s that classic saying of ‘if you love someone, let them know’ and with this book I think the message would be, show them. Whether they are your friend or something more, sometimes people need to know how you feel about them, because it might be what they need to take the next step to showing themselves that they care about who they are, and that they’re proud to be them.
I have many favourite quotes from this book:
“I want Tony to be happy. We found out a long time ago that we weren’t meant to fall in love with each other. But a part of me still felt in hope with him. I want a fair world. And in a fair world, Tony would shine.”
“There was something in our two minutes together that felt like it could last for years.”
“Then it occurred to me that she wasn’t the imaginary friend at all. I figured I was the imaginary friend and she was the one who was real.”
“I vowed then and there that I would never hesitate to speak up to the people I loved. They deserved to know they gave meaning to my life. They deserved to know I thought the world of them.”
“Part of love is letting a person be who they want to be.”
“A letter is giving of a part of your life – an insight into your thoughts beyond mere observations.”
Link to the book on Goodreads: