Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. 978-0375832994
Synopsis: Paul has a great life, great friends, and everything is about to get better now that he’s met Noah. Noah is the most perfect boy and he makes Paul feel like he can walk on air. Then things start to fall apart: his best friend Joni stops talking to him, his ex-boyfriend Kyle won’t leave him alone, his friend Tony has been banned from talking to him, and the school bookie isn’t giving his relationship with Paul good odds. Paul needs to find a way to show Noah he loves him before things get worse and he risks losing Noah forever.
Why I picked it up: It’s been on my ‘to read’ list for a while and it came highly recommended to me by my library school classmates.
Why I finished it: I love, love, love the simplicity of this love story and the complexity of the characters. There is a sense of perfection in that everyone in the book is openly accepting of homosexuality, and yet there is a struggle between the characters to know who they are and what they want. The relationships are realistic and it reminds the reader of how they felt about their first real love: the nervousness, the desire just to be close to them, and know everything about them comes across very well. Levithan has created a set of characters to whom the reader can relate, whether they are straight or gay. I also loved the quirkiness of the community: the cheerleaders riding Harleys, the DJ nights in a local bookstore, the Dowager Dance in which a high school senior must dance with the portrait of a dead woman. It’s a story that makes you remember your first love, the awkwardness of high school, and just makes you smile.
Other related materials: How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan; The Lover’s Dictionary: A Novel by David Levithan; The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan; Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan; Every You, Every Me by David Levithan; Hero by Perry Moore; Geography Club by Brent Hartinger; Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez; Rainbow High by Alex Sanchez; Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez; So Hard to Say by Alex Sanchez; Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block