Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy

4.3 299
by David Levithan

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This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the

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This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

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Editorial Reviews
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Readers know they're in for something different when the "About the Author" blurb informs them the author was not born in France, did not go to Oxford, and did not write War and Peace or Babysitters Club #8. And "something different" certainly describes Boy Meets Boy, a hilarious and delightful story about one teenager's sophomore year.

The story's narrator is Paul, who, like most teenagers, is preoccupied with love and its attendant feelings. However, Paul is gay. He has "always known it," and his kindergarten teacher confirmed it on Paul's report card: "Paul is definitely gay and has very good sense of self." But in high school, things are a bit more complicated. No, it's not what you're thinking. The world in which Paul lives is utterly devoid of homophobia. It's Paul's love life that's complicated. See, Paul finds himself crazy about a new boy, Noah, but is leery of letting his ex-boyfriend, Kyle, know it. Then there's Paul's best friend, Joni, who is dating Chuck, whom everyone hates -- especially Infinite Darlene, the drag queen who serves as both homecoming queen and star quarterback at Paul's high school, which gives a whole new meaning to the term "progressive."

No, this is not your father's high school! Levithan has created a kind of utopia, where tolerance reigns and shame is banished. But in other ways, the school feels abundantly familiar. A typical day for Paul involves passing secret notes, a between-class rendezvous, clandestine kisses, friendly misunderstandings -- all the machinations of high school that seem much more important than plain old academics.

Boy Meets Boy is a marvelous fiction debut, a funny and inspiring novel, and a perfect choice for stimulating discussions about why the world we inhabit stands in such sharp contrast to that of Paul and his friends. (Fall 2003 Selection)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
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Random House
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Now away we go

9 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. So every week Tony feeds us bible stories, then on Saturday we show up at his doorstep well versed in parables and earnestness, dazzling his parents with our blinding purity. They slip him a twenty and tell him to enjoy our study group. We go spend the money on romantic comedies, dimestore toys, and diner jukeboxes. Our happiness is the closest we'll ever come to a generous God, so we figure Tony's parents would understand, if only they weren't set on misunderstanding so many things.

Tony has to be home by midnight, so we are on a Cinderella mission. With this in mind, we keep our eye on the ball.

There isn't really a gay scene or a straight scene in our town. They got all mixed up a while back, which I think is for the best. Back when I was in second grade, the older gay kids who didn't flee to the city for entertainment would have to make their own fun. Now it's all good. Most of the straight guys try to sneak into the Queer Beer bar. Boys who love boys flirt with girls who love girls. And whether your heart is strictly ballroom or bluegrass punk, the dance floors are open to whatever you have to offer.

This is my town. I've lived here all my life.

Tonight, our Gaystafarian bud Zeke is gigging at the local chain bookstore. Joni has a driver's license from the state where her grandmother lives, so she drives us around in the family sedan. We roll down the windows and crank the radio--we like the idea of our music spilling out over the whole neighborhood, becoming part of the air. Tony has a desperate look tonight, so we let him control the dial. He switches to a Mope Folk station, and we ask him what's going on.

"I can't say," he tells us, and we know what he means. That nameless empty.

We try to cheer him up by treating him to a blue Slurp-Slurp at the local 24-7. We each take sips, to see whose tongue can get the bluest. Once Tony's sticking his tongue out with the rest of us, we know he's going to be okay.

Zeke's already jamming by the time we get to the highway bookstore. He's put his stage in the European History section, and every now and then he'll throw names like Hadrian and Copernicus into his mojo rap. The place is crowded. A little girl in the children's section puts the Velveteen Rabbit on her shoulders for a better view. Her moms are standing behind her, holding hands and nodding to Zeke's tune. The Gaystafarian crowd has planted itself in the Gardening section, while the three straight members of the guys' lacrosse team are ogling a bookstore clerk from Literature. She doesn't seem to mind. Her glasses are the color of licorice.

I move through the crowd with ease, sharing nods and smiling hellos. I love this scene, this floating reality. I am a solo flier looking out over the land of Boyfriends and Girlfriends. I am three notes in the middle of a song.

Joni grabs me and Tony, pulling us into Self-Help. There are a few monkish types already there, some of them trying to ignore the music and learn the Thirteen Ways to Be an Effective Person. I know Joni's brought us here because sometimes you just have to dance like a madman in the Self-Help section of your local bookstore. So we dance. Tony hesitates--he isn't much of a dancer. But as I've told him a million times, when it comes to true dancing, it doesn't matter what you look like--it's all about the joy you feel.

Zeke's jive is infectious. People are crooning and swooning into one another. You can see the books on the shelves in kaleidoscope form--spinning rows of colors, the passing blur of words.

I sway. I sing. I elevate. My friends are by my side, and Zeke is working the Huguenots into his melody. I spin around and knock a few books off the shelves. When the song is through, I bend to pick them up.

I grasp on the ground and come face to face with a cool pair of sneakers.

"This yours?" a voice above the sneakers asks.

I look up. And there he is.

His hair points in ten different directions. His eyes are a little close together, but man, are they green. There's a little birthmark on his neck, the shape of a comma.

I think he's wonderful.

He's holding a book out to me. Migraines Are Only in Your Mind.

I am aware of my breathing. I am aware of my heartbeat. I am aware that my shirt is half untucked. I take the book from him and say thanks. I put it back on the shelf. There's no way that Self-Help can help me now.

"Do you know Zeke?" I ask, nodding to the stand.

"No," the boy answers. "I just came for a book."

"I'm Paul."

"I'm Noah."

He shakes my hand. I am touching his hand.

I can feel Joni and Tony keeping their curious distance.

"Do you know Zeke?" Noah asks. "His tunes are magnificent."

I roll the word in my head--magnificent. It's like a gift to hear.

"Yeah, we go to school together," I say casually.

"The high school?"

"That's the one." I'm looking down. He has perfect hands.

"I go there, too."

"You do?" I can't believe I've never seen him before. If I'd seen him before, it would have damn well registered.

"Two weeks now. Are you a senior?"

I look down at my Keds. "I'm a sophomore."


Now I fear he's humoring me. There's nothing cool about being a sophomore. Even a new kid would know that.

From the Hardcover edition.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“In its blithe acceptance and celebration of human differences, this is arguably the most important gay novel since Annie on My Mind and seems to represent a revolution in the publishing of gay-themed books for adolescents.”—Booklist, Starred

“In a genre filled with darkness, torment, and anxiety, this is a shiningly affirmative and hopeful book.”—The Bulletin, Starred

“Levithan’s prophecy of a hate-free world in which everyone loves without persecution makes this a provocative and important read for all young adults, gay or straight.”—School Library Journal, Starred

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Boy Meets Boy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 299 reviews.
SuzieCullen More than 1 year ago
As much as you hate "homosexuality thrown at children" i hate people shoving their beliefs down other peoples throats. i dont care how you feel or what your religous background is...dont read these books if it offends your prude self. this book was amazing i wish everyone was as accepting as most of the characters in this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never felt compelled to post a review until now. I discovered this wonderful story while reading two articles in the 2/09 issue of School Library Journal - David Levithan was quoted in "A Dirty Little Secret", an article about self-censorship (where books are being quietly kept from their target audience because of issues that others - parents, teachers, librarians, even booksellers - deem inappropriate for whatever reason ... although as a parent and a middle school library volunteer, I feel that Boy Meets Boy is totally appropriate for middle school+ libraries, and I will be purchasing an extra copy for our library.) It was also mentioned in another article featuring an author's ten favorite romantic YA novel moments as the book with the "Headiest Falling In (and out of) Love Scenes". Okay, so it's mentioned twice in the same magazine, so I had to read it! Love it, love it, love it! Boy Meets Boy is a coming of age love story first and foremost (and let me emphasize love - it is remarkably chaste, in my official parental opinion). More importantly, it is brilliantly written and filled with some important messages about self discovery, tolerance, what love should be and what it should not be. It made me think, and that's one of the top reasons why I read. Will it offend some? Of course - it already has, just read some of the one star reviews here, but their main complaint is that it features gay characters. This is a book for any open minded person, male or female, gay or straight, teen or adult. Thank you, David Levithan - you are a truly gifted storyteller!
MiniAussie More than 1 year ago
I bought the book on my Nook and was very disappointed by the quality of it. Many grammatical errors though out the book. Exclamation marks replaced with "I", end quotes replaced with letters, and spelling errors, ex: whateveV. Book is good, not the translation to the Nook. Whoever published this for Nook, should re-check their work.
meggie3939 More than 1 year ago
what are you talking about "homosexual agenda is being thrown at children???!!!" 1.No one is throwing this book (or gays for that matter) at anybody and 2. Why do gays need to go "talk to a pastor" if they feel that way?! You have rights to your beliefs on religion but so do gays they dont need it molded out of them!!!! Isnt America supposed to be "the melting pot" and "the land of the free"? it doesnt sound like you want them free!!
Megann More than 1 year ago
However, i LOVED this book.
I'm 15, if you wanted to know about what older age range it was in.
It's about a kid's choices and how he deals with everything in his life.
and in this book its not a lot of.... FAG GAY type slander being thrown around. They are somewhat excepted. :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book in my local library and thought I'd give it a try. A day later I was at Barnes and Noble buying it. It was the most fantastic book that I have ever read. It was real for me. I felt like I understood what gays have to go through with homophobics and that they feel the same way about the person they are attracted to that I do, only it's for the same gender. It was very well written, the characters were awesome, and it just seemed so real. I highly recommend it. It isn't inappropriate at all and it truly can open one's mind. I really think more people should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When i first saw this book, i thought that it was a good idea and a good eye-opener for teens to accept same-sex relationships. i loved it. it described exactly what i was going through!
Naquille Curtis More than 1 year ago
first of all, im straight. this book was seriously one of the best books ive read in a really long time. i fell in love with the idea of love from reading this. this book shows how no matter who your attracted to, the love shared is still one of a kind.
The_Lady_Vermillion More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I sincerely believe that I was the sole gay teenager in the country who hadn't read it yet. So, even though I hate with a passion the glossy-covered forgettable wad that is mass-printed teen-targeted pulp fiction, I relented and bought it. The book itself completely skips the awkward, sappy clichés that gay teen literature goes over again and again and again. Because of this, (however much I despise the unoriginality of gay lit.) there was nothing I could relate to. The protagonist, Paul, comes out at a very young age and grows up in an unrealistically tolerant hometown, meets the boy of his dreams, does something stupid and looses him, and then through sheer will-power and help from friends, wins him back. I too came out at a very young age (I was never really "in"), but to an unbelievable homophobic town in the Midwest. I do not have the luxury of dating or winning then loosing then re-winning my dream guy. Instead I face physical harm outside my home every time I leave it. And I am one of the lucky ones- my parents accept me and I have friends who do as well. How anyone in my position or in a worse-than one could find anything but an escape in this I do not know. On a more positive note, the writing was stellar, and some of the characters were truly unforgettable. And I genuinely laughed a few times as I read it. And honestly, every other gay boy I know absolutely adores this book, so it must have something about it I do not realize. Perhaps it offers people real, hard-to-come-by comfort, in which case the author should be given extraordinary praise; it's not easy being gay in this country. Maybe in time Paul's world will become our world. On another note, a guy I'm talking to said that the "Rainbow Boys" was also very good, and dealt with the real problems that LGBT teens across the world while avoiding the schmuck that so many other books provide. I suppose then that I'd recommend it, although my two favorite gay literature classics will always be "De Profundis" by Oscar Wilde and "The Naked Civil Servant" by Quentin Crisp. Please take my review with a grain of salt, though- if you're looking at this book odds are you will like it. I just hope I can meet a real-life Noah one day...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Boy Meets Boy kept me wanting to read more.The title is what caught me in the beginning. I never thought i would read a book like this, but i actually enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
omg! this was one of the BEST books i have ever read! i loved it! i could not put it down, i read for like 6 hours in one day! its a must read
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great! I ran across it just by chance and bought it because I had never read a book written in a gay persons point of view. As I was reading it I couldnt help but wish that people in real life could be so accepting. A truly great novel
HeresJay_Kesslinger More than 1 year ago
This is a fun teenage romance, set in a perfect world, but the feelings are portrayed well, the characters fun to get to know, and the story well-written. (I read mine on my nookCOLOR, and I didn't find any of the problems mentioned in a previous post.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, after I read this book I was speechless. It was so enticing I could always bearly stop at the end of a chapter and go to bed. I recommend this book to anybody, no matter who are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed reading about gay men and one day a friend of mine brought 'boy meets boy' into math class. I asked her if I could read it after her. Obviously she said yes. I began to read the book and thought, 'okay. this is pretty good' but by the time you're done with this book you're thinking, 'wow' and you're speechless. Or at least I was. I found it an adorable story and ended up reading it again. I also ended up memborizing part of the book and suggesting it to all my friends. I even had a friend who isn't gay tell me he thought it was a great book and would like to borrow it again. This story was truly remarkable, spectacular, and what ever other words that can go with that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book gives you an insight to a world we all wish we could have, a world full of love. it will change your point of view on different. it was amzing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couln't put it down!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The events recorded were highly unrealistic, and the writing was amateurish, but it was a good easy read, ideal for a Sunday afternoon. My only beef would be that the author seemed to be going out of his way to come up with situations that are unusual and extraordinary. It distracted from the actual storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Boy Meets Boy" is a tale for individuals of all backgrounds. The characters are vibrant and loveable. (Infinite Darlene is a trip!) The story is simple, yet it resonates with us all so deeply. This book is uplifting and inspiring. I am so pleased I spent a few dollars on this work of art.
Meg Aylward More than 1 year ago
ok so this book is a great book for any teen to say the least. it just shows that true love can happen for ANYONE. sure the bible says thats not right but do you really think g,God discrimnates against anyone? if anyone ever finds out id love to hear your answer
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was an absolutely amaxing thing to read and i completely enjoyed it. besides the fact that it deals with same sex relationships,it deals with hardships like parents, adulthood, even the hardship of school life. I've currently been on a search for my soul (cheesy huh?) and with this book,it made me realize that some things are really worth fighting for!like, love and friendship, and respect- total props to the author for writing a comepletly life changing novel that i know everyone will love reading. READ IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was soo cute. Really touched me. I read it in one sitting. I couldnt put it down. I cried at certain points and was so happy witht he way it ended. Definelty a story that can make u laugh and cry all in one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This wasnt the first gay book ive read and i am a straight 14 yr. old grl. I like to read new things.. the only other gay book i have read besides this one was Philadelphia.. Boy Meets Boy was an excellent way of describing that not one person is the same as another, that we hall have differences, like being a heterosexual,homosexual, bisexual,or even a drag..but the point im making is i LOVED thisbook u should read it..
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
I have never read anything by this author that I have not loved. What a joy! Thank you for sharing your stories with us, David. ~*~LEB~*~