- Boy Meets Boy (novel)
name = Boy Meets Boy
language = English
Young adult novel
publisher = Knopf Books for Young Readers
release_date = September 2003
media_type = Print (
pages = 192pp
isbn = ISBN 0-375-82400-6
"Boy Meets Boy" is a young adult novel by
David Levithan, published in 2003. It is set in a gay-friendlysmall town in America, and describes a few weeks in the lives of a group of high school students. As the title suggests, the central story follows the standard romantic plotline usually known as "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl" except that the main characters are both boys, the narrator Paul and newcomer Noah. The novel won a Lambda Literary Award.
Paul lives in a small town in America (although this is set in an alternate reality, too) where there isn't really a gay scene or straight scene, everyone's equal, if you were straight, or gay. His 2 best friends are Joni, whom he "came out" first, and Tony, whom he found out they "weren't meant to be", and decided to stay as very good friends.
When Paul meets Noah while dancing in the library, Paul is in love. He had thought that Noah is the one his heart was made for. So he starts having a crush on him, and they start to spend time with each other for the next few days of the story.
Meanwhile Joni has started dating Chuck, much to the dismay of Ted, who had hoped to get back with her, Paul, who has a low opinion of Chuck, and Infinite Darlene, who has an even lower opinion of him. Chuck starts to monopolize Joni's time, and her friendship with Paul starts to break.
Kyle (Paul's ex-boyfriend), affected by his aunt's death, finally apologizes to Paul for their break-up. Paul thought that Kyle really needed to be comforted, so he tries his best. The first attempt leads to a very friendly hug, although Paul kisses Kyle on the second attempt. Noah learns about this, so he breaks up with Paul. Kyle wants to be Paul's boyfriend again, but Paul said it would be better to stay friends.
Tony is grounded by his strict parents (who despise Paul), so Paul encouraged him that he had the strength to come out to them. On Tony's advice, Paul takes the time to show Noah how much he loves him, and is finally forgiven after the 7th day. The novel ends with all the friends dancing together on "the hill".
*Paul: Paul is the narrator, a high school sophomore who is gay. He has known he was gay since kindergarten and is happy about it, as are his parents and schoolmates. His friends turn to him for comfort whenever they are "freaking out".
*Noah: Noah is a newcomer in town. There is a spark of attraction between him and Paul from their first meeting, but his last relationship went badly and he is wary of being hurt again. He is interested in photography and painting.
*Joni: Joni has been Paul's best friend since first grade. She has been dating Ted off and on since the fifth grade, but starts going out with Chuck.
*Tony: Tony is Paul's other best friend, who lives in a nearby town. Tony's loving but very religious parents are hoping he will get over being gay. He hopes to persuade them to give him more freedom.
*Kyle: Kyle is Paul's ex-boyfriend. He has since dated girls and avoided Paul, but now he wants to resume their relationship.
*Chuck: Chuck, a football player, is Joni's new boyfriend. He used to have an unrequited crush on Infinite Darlene.
*Claudia: Claudia is Noah's protective younger sister.
*Jay: Jay is Paul's occasionally supportive straight older brother.
*Infinite Darlene: Infinite Darlene, a
drag queen, is both the star quarterback and the homecoming queen. She has a larger than life personality, is intense in both friendship and enmity.
*Ted: Ted is Joni's former boyfriend. He is extremely annoyed at Chuck for dating Joni.
References to other works
"Boy Meets Boy" refers to
David Leavitt's books " The Lost Language of Cranes", "Equal Affections" and "A Place I’ve Never Been" and, in the context of school work, to Oscar Wilde, the Brontë sistersand " Of Mice and Men". Paul is involved with school drama and there is reference to a production of " Mame".
A copy of "
The Advocate" magazine is mentioned as being found by Tony's mother in his room, thus revealing his secret.
The Breakfast Club" is referred to as a significant film in both Paul and Noah's previous relationships. Other films mentioned are " Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Boys Don't Cry", both with gay-related themes, and "Say Anything", a popular romantic movie. " The Sound of Music" was the previous year's school dance theme, and "The Wizard of Oz" is suggested for this year's. "Gone with the Wind" is alluded to when Paul describes Infinite Darlene as sounding like Scarlett O'Haraas played by Clark Gable.
Songs mentioned include "
I Will Survive" and " Bizarre Love Triangle", which Paul remembers being played at the elementary school assembly; "It's Always You" (the Chet Bakerversion) which is playing in Noah's attic during their first date; "Always" which Paul plays when he "goes Elsewhere"; and " If I Had a Hammer" which Tony sings to defuse a fight at the diner. The school bandplays " All Along the Watchtower", " Typical Situation", "One Day More" from "Les Misérables", " We Are the Champions" and " Personal Jesus". The pinball machinethey prefer to use plays different Elvissongs depending on the score.
References to real life
The exclusion of people who are openly gay from the
Boy Scouts of Americais mentioned to highlight the gay-friendly nature of Paul's hometown, which decided in response to exclude the organization; instead they have "Joy Scouts".
"Boy Meets Boy" won the 2003 Lambda Literary Award in the Children/Young Adult section. [http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/previous_winners/paw_2000_2003.html]
* [http://www.davidlevithan.com/ David Levithan's Webpage]
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