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Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan 94 (Random House).

The small town where Paul, the protagonist of David Levithans young adult novel, lives is as American as apple pie, if a bit Mayberry-sleepy. And, Paul notes, there isnt really a gay scene or a straight scene. They got all mixed up a while back, which I think is for the best.

This coming-of-age story would be completely conventional if it werent set in a high school gaytopia where the star quarterback is also the homecoming queen, the cheerleaders eschew pom-poms for Harleys, and the school gathers enthusiastically for the Homecoming Pride Rally.

Paul has known he is gay since he was five (his kindergarten teacher: Paul is definitely gay and has a very good sense of self), but, in a new twist for young adult literature, this is not a problem; its just part of who Paul is. After all, this is a town that jettisoned the Boy Scouts in favor of the Joy Scouts.

In a book where gay culture is at least equal to mainstream straight culture, even the most hackneyed teen-romance plot becomes subversive. And in truth, nothing particularly dramatic happens in Boy Meets Boy: Paul meets Noah, the new kid in town, and falls head-over-heels. But Noah catches Paul sympathy-kissing an ex-boyfriend. So Paul loses Noah. To complicate things slightly, Pauls best friend Joni is dating a jerk whom everyone in their circle of friends despises.

Things work out well, of course. While planning a school dance, Paul and Noah are reunited, and the friends manage to make Joni aware of her boyfriends boorish and controlling behavior. No surprises, but I found myself growing a bit teary, especially at a scene in which the gang helps another gay friendone who lives in a less-tolerant townstand up to his ultrareligious parents.

What astonishes is that Levithan has created an utterly believable world in which life for a gay teen can be nurturing, honesteven fun. In its lyrical lightness, Boy Meets Boy brings into exquisite focus the soul-killing prejudice outside this gaytopia, in whats known as real life.

Marie Lee is the author of Finding My Voice.

Comments (1)
this book was amazing, the way he wrote it made me realise a few things in life. David your an awesome writer dont stop wrinting anytime soon.
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