It wouldn’t be Banned Books Week without a review of a GLBT book, since so many would-be censors take umbrage with the fact that GLBT novels even exist. So, I am taking this opportunity to finally review a book one of my teens suggested I read during GLBT Pride Month. The basic premise of this story was that two [gay] boys were attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss. The strangest thing, though, was that they were not boyfriends. They were, in fact, ex-boyfriends. But, Harry and Craig were not kissing merely for the fun of kissing or even just to break the existing world record. In fact, kissing for 32 hours was a rather grueling experience, both physically and emotionally. But their 32-hour-long kiss was worth all of the difficulties it presented because it was a statement of support for their mutual friend, Tariq, who was the victim of a hate crime. Although the “Greek chorus” of narrators — men who had died of AIDS — seemed a bit clunky at times, I think that narration ultimately worked as a means by which to educate younger readers about [late 20th century] GLBT history, the progress the GLBT community has made thus far, and how far we still have to go. I really enjoyed this story, though I have to admit to shedding a tear or two. I highly recommend this for fans of other David Levithan books (like Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Every Day) and suspect that it will likely end up on many YA literature syllabi as required GLBT reading.
Happy Banned Books Week!