Estelle: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing by David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing by David Levithan ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 208
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: sexuality, breaking records, relationships, family
Format read: ARC paperback from TLA (Thank you!)

Summary: Two boys (exes) try to break the world’s record of longest kiss. Two other boys in a long term relationship go with the ebb and flow of their romance. Two boys meet at a gay prom. One boy’s secret comes out. Encompassing these three separate stories is the narration from those who lost their life to AIDs.

I have no idea how David Levithan does it.

None. Nada. Zip.

His work in Two Boys Kissing is like a performance arts piece. As I was reading it, super savoring each word, I kept thinking about how I would love to hear all of it spoken aloud to an audience. The words, so beautiful when strung together, are just that effective. I was smiling, I was tearing up, my heart felt heavy, my heart felt light. How he writes such poetry without being overly flowery and keeping these lives so grounded, I will never know.

What I do know is that Two Boys Kissing has moved my favorite David novel (Love is the Higher Law) down a slot and will reign as number one for a long, long time.

Harry and Craig are best friends, ex-boyfriends, who are vying for the ultimate world record of longest kiss. They plan on kissing for over 32 hours in front of their high school, friends, family, and strangers. At the same time, a town or two over, Avery and Ryan meet at a gay prom, hoping it’s the start of something. Peter and Neil have been in a relationship for a stretch of time and are working through what happens when things aren’t so new anymore. Cooper is only out to those he “hooks up with” online but when his parents discover his truth, he flees.

With narration provided by those who have succumbed to AIDs, readers learn about their hardships, their joys, and how far the world has come and how far it still has to go for acceptance. The four stories weave within one another detailing varying degrees of relationships, honesty, and support. For every time my heart would break a little bit for these characters and even their “ancestors”, there were equally wonderful moments to be had around the corner (i.e. the most romantic visit to a bookstore ever and evidence that you can tweet and kiss at the same time).

Levithan challenges his reader with use of the “Greek chorus” and while I think it might take a little getting used to for some, their presence makes Two Boys Kissing feel epic without losing its accessibility. It’s touching without being melodramatic. Their commentary and their observations really lend a ton of perspective to how society has evolved and struggled and continues to do both today. And the characters! I have no doubt that each of these characters truly represents a living and breathing person dealing with similar situations, and I think it’s a testament to David’s talent that he makes them feel that way (and not like caricatures) in 208 short pages.

Two Boys Kissing is honestly one of the most profound and powerful books I have ever read. It needs to make its way into as many hands, homes, and bookshelves as possible.

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weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Estelle + Magan: A Joint Shelve It from Texas!

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

These last few days, we’ve been together, reunited in Texas. Holy crap, you guys! It’s been amazing. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Estelle left yesterday afternoon to head back to NYC and Magan spent the remainder of the day crying. Every time we see each other, we wish we lived closer to one another.

We made a joint Shelve It our first evening together. Estelle brought a few books for Magan to read and over the last few weeks, Magan’s gotten a few new ones in the mail. Enjoy!

« »

Books Mentioned:

  • Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher — Release Date 11/12/13 — Goodreads | Amazon
  • Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin — Release Date 7/23/13 — Goodreads | Amazon
  • All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry — Release Date 9/26/13 — Goodreads | Amazon
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith — Release Date 2/20/14 — Goodreads | Amazon
  • OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu — Release Date 7/23/13 — Goodreads | Amazon | E’s Review
  • Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan — Release Date 8/29/13 — Goodreads | Amazon
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan — Release Date 8/27/13 — Goodreads | Amazon

« »

Huge THANK YOUS to Stasia Ward Kehoe for Runt and All the Truth That’s in Me
and Jess from Gone With the Words for Grasshopper Jungle!

And, of course, stay tuned for more Shelve Its from us because we couldn’t avoid going to a bookstore.
Kind of inevitable, right? Estelle went home with as many books as she brought to Texas!

Happy Wednesday, friends! Thanks for checking out our Shelve It post!

Magan: Every Day by David Levithan

book cover for every day by david levithanEvery Day by David Levithan
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: sexuality, gender, love, relationships
Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: Every day, A wakes up in someone else’s body, but never before desired the permanence of being in the same body until meeting Rhiannon.


Is loving someone related to a person’s external appearance,
or is it about their innermost being?

David Levithan explores the complexities of love in his new book, Every Day, in which “A” changes bodies like clockwork each night, waking up in someone else’s life and navigating through their day. One day A wakes up in the body of a boy named Justin. Never before had A wanted to take up residence in someone else’s body indefinitely. Justin and Rhiannon’s relationship is complicated and messy; he doesn’t treat her nearly as well as she deserves to be loved. Usually A ensures that the routines of the person’s life remained in tact and he tries to be as unobtrusive as possible, but upon meeting Rhiannon, A wants to give her a day she will never forget, a day Justin never would have. A wishes for a way to stay with her.

A has never told anyone about how he/she changes bodies. A realizes that no one would ever have memories of him. He decides to be honest with Rhiannon, and uses someone else’s body to navigate his way back to her day after day. Understandably, it’s difficult for her to comprehend – Is he the only person like this? Is he just a creeper? 

A takes over the bodies of both boys and girls and has no sexual orientation, whether that be male or female. (As you can see above, I referred to A as a “he.” While I don’t feel like I specifically identified A with a gender while reading, I have found it difficult to explain the story without using pronouns.) Rhiannon finds it difficult to see beyond the bodies A inhabited each day to see the person inside. When A is a female, there is a definite struggle for Rhiannon; she knows the body was just a facade and that the soul inside is a remarkable person she connected with perfectly, but there are barriers she has to overcome.

Rhiannon questions how they would ever make it work as a couple. For someone so young, she finds it difficult to grasp what she and A’s long-term future would be like. This is where I feel Levithan shined the most in his writing; he poetically and beautifully describedswhat it is to fall in love with someone. There are complications that Rhiannon and A would face that we all take for granted:

How will they ever grow old together?
Will they ever be able to wake up in the morning together?
What if A wakes up in the body of someone thousands of miles away – how will they find their way back together? 

Levithan takes our every day lives and spins them on their sides. As I read, I became more and more thankful for the simplicity of knowing my husband would be by my side every morning. While I mostly identified with A and the strong desire to be in a relationship, I certainly embraced the drawbacks Rhiannon combated. Levithan left no stone unturned in exploring A’s life and circumstances.

We’re taken through a gamut of different characters as A inhabits different bodies: an obese boy, a bitchy girl, a severely depressed girl, a gay boy. This was one of my most favorite experiences of reading Every Day. Levithan touches on so many different types of people, exploring the contrasting ups and downs of life. The beauty and magnificence of A’s character is in his/her ability to find the uniqueness and goodness of each person (with a few exceptions).

My heart absolutely broke over the impermanence of A’s life — how fleeting it was. A’s life is isolated and lonely. Until Rhiannon, there is no one to move through life with. In a very original way, Levithan had me thanking my lucky stars for the friends I can count on every day — the ones that know the boring, mundane rituals of my life — and my parents whom I often take for granted because they’re my rocks, always here.

I’m not quite sure why I waited to pick up Every Day, but I definitely suggest you move it to the top of your reading pile soon. I need a hard copy on my bookshelves so I can glance through some of my favorite passages when the fancy strikes. In fact, I know some of you love reading quotes from books; I am never a huge highlighter while I read, but I felt compelled to highlight so much of this book. I created an Every Day favorite quotes page where you can scope out some of my favorite lines.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

Goodreads | Amazon

Estelle’s Shelve It: 9/16/2012

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

I’m starting to think I should get “I Love the Library” tattooed to my arm because  I love that place. The pile I talked about a few weeks ago has almost disappeared and I managed NOT to rack up any late fees this time. Cheer with me!

…so like an normal person, I requested 10 more books from my library. And got a few of them within a day or two.

Note to self: go pick up the rest of my books later today!

…you must also know I lifted by book buying ban for the David Levithan event at NYC last week. I went with Rachel and Alexa to see David read, and then the three of us spent a lot of time figuring out what to buy afterwards. It was a lot of fun. (Thanks to my husband for getting sucked into a book about underground New York and not even noticing how long we went up and down the aisles.)

Anyway… here’s the rundown:


how they met & other stories by david levithan
looking for alibrandi by melina marchetta
drama by raina telgemier
every day by david levithan

these two are e-books:

simple irresistable by jill shalvis (thanks to jess from gone with the words for telling me about this deal!
breathe by abbi glines (brought to my attention by allison over at good books & good wine!)


the julian game by adele griffith
the realm of possibility by david levithan
paper covers rock by jenny hubbard
summer rental by mary kay andrews


friends, I am the luckiest girl in the world because I received a secret package from miley cyrus in the mail yesterday! i absolutely adore her, and i’m even starting to like her new SHOCKING haircut.

attachments by rainbow rowell (oh, a splendid review by elena at novel sounds)

on the blog

showing appreciation for your favorite bloggers
silhouette of a sparrow by molly beth griffin
and then things fall apart by arliana tibensky
the big kids’ table: exciting new adult releases for the fall!
like moonlight at low tide by nicole quigley

thanks for stopping in! xo

new young adult (YA) book releases coming out in august 2012

August 2012 Young Adult Book Releases

new young adult (YA) book releases coming out in august 2012

(Ferris wheel image from We Heart It)




Welcome back for another month full of amazing book releases. I’m sharing August 2012 Young Adult (YA) book releases below. If Estelle or I have read the book, I’m linking it up so you can see what we had to say about it. This will definitely be a month where any and all extra money goes straight to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Adios, paycheck!





august 01.

august 2012 book release - Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola KrausOver You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Goodreads | Amazon


After the grand explosion of her relationship, seventeen-year-old Max Scott developed what every girl in the history of the world has been waiting for: a way to get over being dumped. Now Max is the go-to guru for heartbroken high-school girls all over NYC. But when her ex unexpectedly shows up in her neighborhood, Max’s carefully controlled world starts to unravel. With her clients’ hearts hanging in the balance, Max will have to do the seemingly impossible: get over him once and for all.

Brilliant at bringing humor to the trials and tribulations of the lovestruck, #1 New York Times bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have crafted a tale that will resonate with any girl who has ever been in love or had her heart broken. It brims with smart observations, features a pitch-perfect teen voice, and will attract fans of Jenny Han, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Barnholdt. Readers are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp spin on breaking up, making up, and getting even.


 august 02.

Debutantes by Cora Harrisonaugust 2012 book release Debutantes by Cora Harrison
Goodreads | Amazon


It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away.

Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.

But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.


august 07.

august 2012 book release: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas ReviewThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads | Amazon
Magan’s Review


After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


august 2012 release Fingerprints of You by Krisen Paige MadoniaFingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia
Goodreads | Amazon


Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with.

On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.


Capital Girls by Ella MonroeCapital Girls by Ella Monroe
Goodreads | Amazon


CAPITAL GIRLS by Ella Monroe is the first book in a glitzy, fast-paced, fabulous new young adult series set against the backdrop of Washington, D.C. In it, we meet four young women, best friends forever, who must navigate life as the children of some of the most powerful people in the nation. With that life comes not only awesome vacations, beautiful clothes and A-list parties, but also scandal, heartache, danger and the ever-present paparazzi who seem to have a knack for catching them when they’re up to something bad!




book cover for wake by amanda hockingWake (Watersong #1) by Amanda Hocking
Goodreads | Amazon


Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.



book cover for The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney

The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney
Goodreads | Amazon


Where have all the boys gone?

Down-to-earth Kelly is always the friend and never the girlfriend. But as her junior year of high school starts, Kelly is determined to finally reveal her true feelings for her long-time crush and good friend Hunter – that is, until the Boy Recession hits.

Over the past summer, an overwhelming number of male students have left Kelly and Hunter’s small high school class. Some were sent to private school and others moved away. Whatever the case, the sudden population shift has left the already small Julius P. Heil High in desperate shape. The football coach is recruiting chess champs for his team, the principal’s importing male exchange students to balance out school dances,and Hunter is about to become an unexpected heartthrob.

Content with his role as the guitar-strumming, class-skipping slacker, Hunter is unprepared to be the center of attention. Desperate coaches are recruiting him for sports teams, and the drama teacher casts him in the lead role of the school musical. Even the Spandexers, powerful popular girls in tight pants, are noticing Hunter in a new light – with a little work, he could have potential. He might even be boyfriend material…

In order to stand out from the crowd and win Hunter’s heart, Kelly needs a “stimulus package” in the form of cougar lessons from a senior girl who dates hot freshman boys and advice on the male mind from her Cosmo-addicted best friend, Aviva. As if dating wasn’t hard enough without a four-to-one ratio!



book cover for Between You & Me by Marisa Calin

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin
Goodreads | Amazon
Estelle’s Review


Phyre knows there is something life-changing about her new drama teacher, Mia, from the moment they meet. As Phyre rehearses for the school play, she comes to realize that the unrequited feelings she has for Mia go deeper than she’s ever experienced. Especially with a teacher. Or a woman. All the while, Phyre’s best friend—addressed throughout the story in the second person, as “you”—stands by, ready to help Phyre make sense of her feelings. But just as Mia doesn’t understand what Phyre feels, Phyre can’t fathom the depth of her best friend’s feelings . . . until it’s almost too late for a happy ending. Characters come to life through the innovative screenplay format of this dazzling debut, and unanswered questions—is “you” male or female?—will have readers talking.



august 14.


book cover for Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso

Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso
Goodreads | Amazon
Magan’s Review


Three weeks ago I tried to run away from home. Now all I want is to go back.

When troubled Taylor Truwell is caught with a stolen car and lands in court for resisting arrest, her father convinces the judge of an alternative to punishment: treatment in a juvenile psychiatric correctional facility. Sunny Meadows is anything but the easy way out, and Taylor has to fight hard just to hold on to her sanity as she battles her parents, her therapist, and vicious fellow patients. But even as Taylor struggles to hold on to her stubborn former self, she finds herself relenting as she lets in two unlikely friends-Margo, a former child star and arsonist, and AJ, a mysterious boy who doesn’t speak. In this striking debut, Laura Lascarso weaves together a powerful story of anger and self-destruction, hope and love.


Intentions by Deborah Heiligman
Goodreads | Amazon
Estelle’s Review


Rachel thought she was grown up enough to accept that no one is perfect. Her parents argue, her grandmother has been acting strangely, and her best friend doesn’t want to talk to her. But none of that could have prepared her for what she overheard in her synagogue’s sanctuary.

Now Rachel’s trust in the people she loves is shattered, and her newfound cynicism leads to reckless rebellion. Her friends and family hardly recognize her, and worse, she can hardly recognize herself. But how can the adults in her life lecture her about acting with kevanah, intention, when they are constantly making such horribly wrong decisions themselves? This is a witty, honest account of navigating the daunting line between losing innocence and entering adulthood—all while figuring out who you really want to be.


book cover for Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela MingleKissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Goodreads | Amazon
Estelle’s Review


Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lose its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.


august 21.


book cover for Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates
Goodreads | Amazon


Joyce Carol Oates masterfully captures the unique experience of being a teenage girl in this provocative and poignant new novel in the vein of Wintergirls and Thirteen Reasons Why.

It wasn’t like she had not warned us.

It wasn’t like she had not prepared us.

We’d known that something was wrong those last several months.

But then, Tink hasn’t actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet—she is here somewhere, even if we can’t see her.

Tink? Are you—here?


book cover by Smashed by Lisa Luedeke

Smashed by Lisa Luedeke
Goodreads | Amazon


A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’sSpeak.

Stay out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must have been wrong about him.

Except that she wasn’t. On a rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and redemption.



book cover for Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
Goodreads | Amazon


Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they’ve lived with since their parents passed away, can’t tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress. So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong—especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself? Master storyteller Jessica Warman will keep readers guessing when everything they see—and everything they are told—suddenly becomes unreliable in this page-turning literary thriller.


book cover for Pizza Love and Other Stuff by Kathryn Williams

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Goodreads | Amazon
Estelle’s Review


Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame.

Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering–fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.

august 28.

book cover for Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Goodreads | Amazon


Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.


book cover for If I Lie by Corrine JacksonIf I Lie by Corrine Jackson
Goodreads | Amazon


A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.


book cover for every day by david levithan

Every Day by David Levithan
Goodreads | Amazon


Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.


The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmelbook cover for The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Goodreads | Amazon


She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn’t hurt, because she’s not real anymore.

Sethie Weiss is hungry, a mean, angry kind of hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly. She’s managed to get down to 111 pounds and knows that with a little more hard work—a few more meals skipped, a few more snacks vomited away—she can force the number on the scale even lower. She will work on her body the same way she worked to get her perfect grades, to finish her college applications early, to get her first kiss from Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend.

Sethie will not allow herself one slip, not one bad day, not one break in concentration. Her body is there for her to work on when everything and everyone else—her best friend, her schoolwork, and Shaw—are gone.


What young adult book releases are you looking most forward this August? Let us know if we should add something to our August 2012 Young Adult Book Releases list!

Here’s what you may have missed the last couple of months:

> July 2012 Young Adult Book Releases
> June 2012 Young Adult Book Releases
> May 2012 Young Adult Book Releases

book cover for the lover's dictionary by david levithan, book covers with hearts and words

Magan: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

book cover for the lover's dictionary by david levithan, book covers with hearts and words

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Pages: 211
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Target Audience: Adult Fiction
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library.
How I heard about it: I’m working my way through all of Levithan’s work.

: Love is messy, intoxicating, and jumbled, all of which is especially true for this couple. Levithan reveals the chaos of their love story in a dictionary-like format in The Lover’s Dictionary, all entries alphabetized by a defining word.

anonymous, adjective
The couple is anonymous. There are no names provided, but the gender of the narrator is male.

concept, noun
Written as a series of entries in a dictionary, The Lover’s Dictionary is completely original.

depiction, noun
A nameless couple’s entire relationship is represented in its entirety throughout the novel. Sometimes the entries are a few words, and other times you’ll find yourself getting a larger glimpse into their lives via a longer story.

discouraging, verb
The truth is that this couple’s relationship wasn’t easy, perfect, or simple. It was multi-faceted and complicated. The reality was much more like a real-life relationship. Sometimes books can overly romanticize relationships, but this one was raw, gritty, and truthful.

disorderly, adjective
Because the story is alphabetized by the words Levithan chose, the story is sometimes confusing because the events are not in sequential order.

gloomy, adjective
This is how I felt after I finished the book. See: discouraging. As things weren’t perfect, I wasn’t sure how things actually would have progressed with this couple. I felt the weight of the imperfections.

intervals, noun
The story is told in small snippets and isn’t a continuous, chronological story. Often there would be bits of the story that would fit a specific word, and later we’d see the continuation of the story much later on in the The Lover’s Dictionary.

point of view, noun
The entire story is told from the male’s perspective in the relationship. He constantly fights the battle waging in his mind of whether he’s truly happy with this girl or if he’s settling. He wonders if she’s too good for him. I wished at times that I would have known both sides of the story, especially when a few key events unraveled.

resolution, noun
There was a hint as to what happens to these two lovers at the end of the book, but I didn’t feel like I walked away with as much as I wanted. I didn’t know if their story would continue.

summation, noun
While I was certainly glad to have read The Lover’s Dictionary, I think I expected it to be much more light-hearted. I admire Levithan’s brilliance at putting so much effort into how he told the couple’s story. Just from writing this post, I can see how much effort and work it would have taken to write a succinct story.

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