I haven’t read as much LBGT literature as I would have liked, but I’ve recently been trying to mend that- the last three books I read fall into this category. I’ve known about David Levithan for a while, but it wasn’t until someone recommended Boy Meets Boy, that I finally picked up one of his books
Boy Meets Boy follows Paul, an openly Gay high-schooler in an extremely progressive American town. He has a tight-knit group of friends, some gay, some straight with whom he gets into al sorts of shenanigans with (do people still say shenanigans? I hope yes, because A. I just did, and B. I like the sound of it) Anyway, as the title suggests, Paul meets Noah, a guy who just transferred to their school and he is immediately attracted to him. As with many love stories, their relationship is put through many tests and it takes a while before both Paul and Noah can make sure if they belong together.
So I had some trouble visualizing this all-too-accepting, way too-good-to-be-true small town, in which football players are openly gay and accepted by most of society. However that’s also part of its charm; the next town over is much more realistic, personified by the parents of one of Paul’s good friends who is also gay, but it reprimanded for it by his overly religious parents and others in his town. The contrast of what is and what can be is an interesting one, and it makes the point that there is so much more that has to be done in the way of equal rights, before we can ever get to a mindset similar to that of Paul’s town. Levithan is also able to incorporate several different types of gay people, illustrating that the stereotypical flamboyant gay person is not a thing, and that gay people are just like everybody else. Levithan's characters are definitely
his strong suit. From Paul and Noah, the down-to-earth gays, to Infinite Darlene, who steals the show. While the story is at some points a bit too convenient for my taste- I may have needed to read this book much sooner than I did (when I was much less cynical of the world) to appreciate it more- It is a great Young Adult novel and certainly a good stepping stone into LBGT literature.
You can buy Boy Meets Boy (as well as all of David Levithan’s other works) here