Originally the plan, upon the completion of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares was to read a solo book by David Levithan, a solo book by Rachel Cohn and then finish off the week by reading the 2nd book that they wrote together, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. However, this just simply did not happen. I read David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy and enjoyed it just fine, then I read You Know Where To Find Me by Rachel Cohn...let's just say my reaction wasn't pretty.
I'm going to save my honest and thoughtful review on Rachel Cohn's novel for goodreads. I'd hate to bore my blog readers with it. I simply found this novel to be unsettling. So much so that I couldn't bring myself to read Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. I had such a bad taste in my mouth towards Cohn upon finishing YKWTFM that I feared it would taint my enjoyment of Naomi and Ely, so I will put that book off for now.
I was also going to include my review of all these books in one post but as I started to write this out, I'm noticing it is getting kind of long. So I'm going to save Dash and Lily and write that one on Wednesday or Thursday. Below, you will find my brief explanation for You Know Where To Find Me followed by my review for Boy Meets Boy.
All I will say about YKWTFM is that it is a book about a young girl, not yet 18, named Miles. Miles has a close relationship with her cousin, Laura, and is sent on a downward spiral after Laura commits suicide. Although the actual writing of the book is not completely lacking of skill. The character development is amateurish leaving the main character hard to relate to and frankly unlikable. Add that with the constant drug use and lectures on D.C. politics and you have a book that is boring as much as it is infuriating.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan was far more enjoyable in comparison. There really wasn't much to the story in Boy Meets Boy, the title pretty much sums it up. Boy meets boy, boy looses boy, boy must go through a period of self-awareness and self-discovery in order to get boy back. The magic of this book does not come from the plot but from the landscape. The town that our main character, Paul, lives in is idealistic. A place where all citizens are welcomed and accepted. All forms of self-expression are not only allowed but encouraged. Levithan does a wonderful job of showing that even in a society where people are simply accepted for who they are, loving someone is still hard.
The town itself it made up by a wonderfully colorful group of supporting characters. My favorites in the town were the guy who runs the video store, refusing to stock anything but VHS and who chooses to organize the movies based on his own preference and offers no assistance to customers looking for something specific. I also loved the "I Scream Parlor", which is the ice cream parlor that shows scary movies while you wait for your dessert. I hate scary movies, but that idea is adorable!
The thing I liked best about how Levithan presented this town, was that he did not choose to makes this book about a complete world. It wasn't like everyone across the country, every big city and small town, accepted people for who they were. It was just this one town. But the people of this town did not go every day feeling like they were the ones moving forward, instead they just saw it as the rest of the world was moving backwards. They weren't the ones being revolutionary, they were just being who they were, everyone else, for reasons unknown, is just living in denial.
Every now and then the reader is given a glimpse of the rest of the world through Paul's best friend Tony. Tony lives with the knowledge that his family and his friends at school (a different school then the one Paul attends) do not support who he is. And the hope that resonates at the end of the story is not found with the main character Paul, but with the strength and courage displayed in Tony.
In conclusion, David Levithan and I will carry on, I look forward to reading more from him in the future, Will Grayson Will Grayson in-particular. However, I feel it is time for Rachel Cohn and I to go our separate ways. I will read Naomi and Ely (because I already bought it) but other then that...I mean Rachel what can I say...It's not you, it's me...I'm going through a selfish phase right now where I need more "me" time, and I would rather spend my "me" time with books I enjoy...as far as remaining friends...well, i just don't think that is best...for either of us.