Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

two boys kissingdavid levithan’s (2013) two boys kissing had been on my mental reading list for a while, and i am excited i finally read it. writers should especially be interested in the way levithan’s book shares different gay male high school students’ parallel stories – each story taking place during Peter and Neil’s attempt to break the record for longest kiss. the varying story lines, which do not intersect, contribute to the book’s pace. it’s a fast, exhilarating read! writing groups or literature circles might discuss how the time period of the kiss impacted the pace at which levithan has to tell the other characters’ stories – and the strengths and drawbacks of having a finite time period in which to narrate a story. another aspect writers might find unique is how levithan employs a group narrative, selecting to have gay males from previous decades “talk” to their contemporary counterparts.  writers might discuss the strengths and disadvantages of having those who have lived through certain pains in the past narrate their contemporaries’ struggles.  yet another aspect of levithan’s writing is how he fictionalizes real events. writing groups may use this strategy in a writing exercise in order to see what happens when fact and fiction merge in short stories or novels. a compelling and thought-provoking read, two boys kissing is an exemplar for writers who want to include multiple story lines, a blending of fact and fiction, and different narration techniques in their own pieces.

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