Date Started: December 12, 2009
Date Finished: December 19, 2009
Summary: Paul is a homosexual boy living in a town where things like heterosexual/heterosexual/transsexual do not matter. He is getting over a rough break up with his ex-boyfriend Kyle, who is confused about his sexuality. Paul is also falling in love with the new boy in town, Noah, an artist and photographer. After a misunderstanding, Paul has to find a way to make things right with his friends, his ex-boyfriend, and his new found love, Noah.
Likes: I liked the characters the most. They felt believable and flawed, but entertaining to read about as well. I liked this little slice of Heaven that Levithan created with his story. It's not really necessary to write a story about a boy coming out to his parents, that's a different story for a different time and I'm glad that the author didn't focus too much on this aspect. I like that author doesn't make Christian people crazy and intolerant as most books tend to do. He made them believable. The author recognizes how hard it is for someone to go against their belief system while embracing something that deviates from it. The author didn't vilify Tony's parents, as the character himself points out, that his parents still love him and are trying to rectify between a set of beliefs and their son. The author makes no judgments on the parents nor does he make any judgments on anyone else in the story. He doesn't get preachy about it, though he does get a bit sentimental about it, he just states that as it is. Levithan's novel is about love, in all its forms.
Dislikes: It took me some time to get used to Levithan's writing style (even though I had read it in his previous books(Nick and Norah and Naomi and Ely) with Rachel Cohn). In my mind, I kept thinking that "No teenager I know talks like that", but once the plot started to kick in, those thoughts became less and less and my main concerns were with the characters. There wasn't much that I disliked with this novel. It's not even that I disliked Levithan's writing style, because it's very poetic, it just takes some getting used to. The ending was a bit too cheesy in my opinion, fitting, clever, cute, but still cheesy.
Overall: The saddest thing about this book is that it's fiction. Can you imagine a world where people were just people, there were no labels? If we could choose our own labels as Paul states. That's one thing I love about Levithan's books is that it doesn't rely on those labels and when it does, it breaks those labels and puts something new on it. When I read this story, I didn't feel like the characters were made gay just for the sake of telling a story about gay boy love. I imagined that it could be a boy and boy, a girl and a boy, and a girl and a girl. This story was about love, losing it, gaining it, and accepting it in all its many forms.