Boy Meets Boy

( 298 )

Overview

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 ...

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Boy Meets Boy

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Overview

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

From Barnes & Noble
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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)

From the Publisher
The Horn Book, March 26, 2013:
"Using a diverse cast of queer characters, David Levithan’s semi-utopian Boy Meets Boy...affirm[s] that there is a whole rainbow of ways to be gay."

"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 review

"In a genre filled with darkness, torment, and anxiety, this is a shiningly affirmative and hopeful book. —The Bulletin, starred review

"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 review

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly
Levithan's groundbreaking novel-set in an idealized high school where kids are free to express themselves without repercussions or embarrassment-whisks listeners into a unique teen scene via the work of this cast of young actors. Though Robideau sometimes sounds melodramatic, and the brief characterization of "young Paul" in flashback is grating, these performers eventually gel into an effortless give-and-take rhythm. As Paul explores his feelings for new crush Noah, listeners meet a crew of memorable characters both gay and straight, wild and wallflower that include the football team's drag queen quarterback (played to comic effect by Joey Panek). Suffused with humor and heart, this recording is bound to get listeners thinking about what it means to just be yourself and truly embrace tolerance. In a bonus track, three of the actors and artistic director Daniel Bostick compare their own high school experience to the one in the book. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Levithan's novel is a lighthearted romp through the complications of high school relationships. After Paul meets Noah in a bookstore, Paul knows he is smitten when he refuses to divulge details to Joni-his closest female friend since before she assisted his successful campaign to become "the first openly gay class president in... Mrs. Farquar's third grade class." Paul, comfortable with his sexuality since labeled "definitely gay" in kindergarten, enjoys another chaste yet incredibly close friendship with Tony-who attends another school, has religious fundamentalist parents, and struggles with being gay. Tony and Paul are so in tune that they often complete one another's homework assignments for fun. With two best friends, Paul has support when Kyle, "the only straight boy [he] ever kissed," leaves and then reenters his life-complicating Paul's budding relationship with Noah. In a town that shunned Boy Scouts for the more inclusive Joy Scouts, being a gay teen is no more difficult than being straight. Boys walk hand-in-hand without repercussions. The high school's homecoming queen, Infinite Darlene, is also its star quarterback, and the school's rich-kid bookie, Rip, provides odds on nearly everything-including Paul's chances with each of the boys in his life. Hilarious, romantic, and optimistic, the story provides another view of what life could be like if the world were more accepting, showing how youth solidarity can overcome the fears of the most homophobic parents. This title is a keeper for public and secondary school libraries; purchase multiple copies if there is a Gay-Straight Alliance in town. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YAappeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Knopf, 208p,
— Cynthia Winfield
Children's Literature
Author Levithan's highly acclaimed debut novel is now available on six compact discs. This top-notch recording is narrated by the story's principal character, Paul. At age five, Paul proudly proclaims his homosexuality to his supportive parents. In addition, he confidently "comes out" to his classmates. In comparison, Paul's gay friend, Tony, must live a double life because his parents are extremely religious. At age fifteen, Paul meets the boy of his dreams, foolishly loses the boy of his dreams, and then wins back the boy of his dreams. This unabridged audio book takes a thoughtful look at the trials and tribulations of being a gay adolescent. It is a clean and classy presentation of a controversial subject. Irrespective of sexual orientation, the young adult listener will relate to the issues presented in this title—love, heartache, friendship, and courage. Original music and enthusiastic voice actors create a memorable listening experience. This story demonstrates that love is universal. 2005, Full Cast Audio, Ages 12 up.
—Mary Jo Edwards
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-David Levithan's novel (Knopf, 2003) about high school romance is brought to life by more than two dozen actors. Nicholas Robideau provides 15-year-old Paul's narrative voice as the story of friendship, sexual identity, school and family politics, and young love unfolds in mostly-but not completely-lighthearted scenes. The tale is set in a present-day ideal world where gays and cross dressers are accepted and there's no gay bashing, Paul has always known he is gay-and so are many of his friends. His best friend lives a largely closeted life, in fear of his parents' religious intolerance. The school quarterback is a wily transgender youth popularly known as Infinite Darlene. When Paul meets Noah, the attraction is mutual, but Paul's busy and sometimes ambitious social life, coupled with Noah's fear of getting hurt again, temporarily derail the course of true love. Eventually--and after the school bookie has provided all with the opportunity to wager on the outcome--Paul and Noah do get together, and even Joanie, Paul's oldest friend, with whom he's had a miserable falling out, is coming around. A well-conceived bonus at the end of the book's narration gives three of the actors the opportunity to compare their own high school experiences with Paul's.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Somewhere on the eastern coast of the US that's home to Francesca Lia Block's Los Angeles is a town where six-foot-five drag queens play high-school football, kindergarten teachers write comments like "Definitely gay and has a very good sense of self" on student report cards, quiz-bowl teams are as important as football teams, and cheerleaders ride Harleys. Paul and his friends go to high school in this town. Paul meets Noah, falls for him, does something dumb, and loses him. The last half of the story is about Paul working to get Noah back. Paul narrates his own story, and he talks and thinks like teens wish they did, much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her Scooby squad. Paul learns that love is still scary when boy meets boy even if it's as accepted as mom's apple pie. With wry humor, wickedly quirky and yet real characters, and real situations, this is a must for any library serving teens. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375832994
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/10/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 70,260
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Levithan
David Levithan is a children’s book editor in New York City.

Good To Know

In our interview with Levithan, he shared some fun factoids with us:

"This book started out as a Valentine story I sent to friends; I've done that for the past 15 years, and this one happened to turn into a novel."

"Since January 1, 2001, I've taken a photograph every day, part of a New Year's resolution that shows no signs of stopping."

"My friend Kristin and I decorate each other's offices for our birthdays, and as a result I am surrounded by a year's worth of small celebrations, from mobiles to woodcuts of the Eiffel Tower to (this year's decoration) photos from my childhood.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hoboken, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      1972
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brown University, 1994

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."

"Cool."

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 298 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(193)

4 Star

(57)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(21)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 298 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    ew at the person below me.

    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.

    49 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Poor Translation

    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.

    30 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars!

    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!

    24 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2008

    go person below me, boo person 2 below me

    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!!

    21 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    I'm not gay.

    However, i LOVED this book.<BR/>I'm 15, if you wanted to know about what older age range it was in.<BR/>It's about a kid's choices and how he deals with everything in his life.<BR/>and in this book its not a lot of.... FAG GAY type slander being thrown around. They are somewhat excepted. :D

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    Inspiring!

    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!

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

    Absolutely Mind Opening and Fantastic

    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.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2008

    AMAZING!

    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

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    Best book I've read this year!

    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.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    i read it twice.

    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.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Conflicted Response

    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 clich&#233;s 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...

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2005

    Very unrealistic portrayal of characters

    This book was terrible, but was cliche and unrealistic. No matter where you live some kids at school are going are going to be completely against homosexuality. This book also was very homophobic. Two guys will always go farther than a peck on the lips. A straight author shouldn't write about gays. This guy had no idea what gays think or how they act or feel.

    5 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    I have something to say

    Anyone who wants to say ANYTHING negitive about gay people, wait one moment an i will gladly fight u in the parking lot. Im not gay, but if thats what the bible says, well lets just say God didnt write the bible. Some guy a long time ago decided to write the un-offical worship guide lines. I hav gay friends and relitives and i take great offence to gay jokes and comments.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2007

    A Gay Boy

    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.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2007

    Kayla, A proud Bi teen

    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

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    The Random Library Book

    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.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    changing

    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

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    .....

    Excuse me, but if everyone who is wrting terrible homophobic things stop now!? This book is about acceptance, not about prejudice! I personally loved this book. So, please stop!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    Verry good book, I love it!

    Boy Meets Boy is interesting book that everyone can read. It¿s a story about a crazy town were it seems that almost every one is gay, lesbian or bi-sexual and almost no one is straight. The main character Paul has a great life and good friends but everything just starts changing for the worse. The only good this in his life is Noah a really great guy he likes but will mess up the relationship soon after it starts. I really like the way Paul interacts with his friends and also the way he always keeps thoughts inside because he doesn¿t want to loose anyone as a friend. Your sexuality doesn¿t really matter when you¿re reading this book because it seems that that isn¿t the main focus of the story. Teenagers can really get lost in this story because it talks about most situations that teenagers can go through in their lives I enjoy the drama and intensity that is in the story. I think that anyone who really loves reading these kinds of books should read Boy Meets Boy.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Hey--Hey you. Yea im talking to u

    For the girls: Gay guys r the BEST to go shopping with and they understand u unlike straight guys do!!! I have a gay guy friend and hes a sweetheart and For the haters: people for real! Quit bringing the bible into this. Have some positive to say or just shut the f*ck up

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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