Good lord David Levithan writes beautifully. Seriously, the man knows how to string words together in a way that pierces your soul. Whenever I read books I tend to jot down thoughts and quotes as I go along (the prettiest of which end up as book reaction pages) but I had to just give up on doing that as I read this otherwise I probably would have just written the entire book out. It was just so freaking good guys! So much so that it’s taken me ages to be able to write this review.
Sometimes I read books like The Shock of the Fall and I find it hard to write a review because my voice just doesn’t seem relevant or qualified for the discussion. This time it’s a bit different. It’s not that I feel unqualified to talk about the subject matter or anything, it’s just in the face of such a wonderfully written book my own words seem extra clumsy. I don’t pretend to be a writer anyway, I can bash out a good academic essay and I like to ramble on blog posts but I could never hope to write anything even half as wonderful as this book is.
The book is narrated by the spirity ghost thingys of the generation who lost their lives to AIDS and follows multiple storylines, hinging around two boys (Harry and Craig) who are attempting to beat the longest recorded kiss. All of the threads of this book were just so well done. I loved Ryan and Avery’s story. They were just so sweet (the imaginary golf course oh my gosh) and I’m really glad they got back on track by the end of it. “It’s not as simple as Ryan looking at Avery and feeling like they’ve known each other forever. In fact, it doesn’t feel like that at all. Ryan feels like he’s just getting to know Avery, and that getting to know Avery isn’t going to be like getting to know anyone else he’s ever gotten to know”. Absolute cuties. I spent pretty much the whole book worried for Cooper and wanting to give him a hug. (I should start a support group for all of the characters that I need to give hugs to, honestly). The dynamic between Harry and Craig was really interesting to explore, not together any more but still loving each other and supporting each other through this thing they wanted to achieve. I mean, all of the different plots were brilliant, as was the narration. There is just such a wide spectrum of emotion in this. There’s stuff like coming out to parents and the mildly terrifying feeling of meeting up with someone you like that I could connect with, and then there was a whole ton of stuff that I’ve never experienced but the narration just makes you able to connect with it anyway. It’s a well-established fact that I cry over fictional things very easily but god I wept over this book when I finished it.
I feel like I have run out of words so I will end by saying that I absolutely recommend you read this book!