We hold hands as we walk through town. If anybody notices, nobody cares. I know we all like to think of the heart as the center of the body, but at this moment every conscious part of me is in the hand that he holds. It is through that hand, that feeling, that I experience everything else. The only things around me are the good things—The mesmerizing tunes spilling out from the open door of the record store; the older man and the even older woman sitting on a park bench, sharing a blintz, the 7-year-old leaping from sidewalk square to sidewalk square, teetering and shifting to avoid stepping on a crack.

The night before, I unlock my closet of origami paper—over a thousand sheets of bright square color. I turn them all into flowers. Every single one. I do not sleep. I do not take breaks. Because I know that as well as giving him the flowers, I am giving him the time it takes to make them. With every fold, I am giving him seconds of my life.
With every flower, part of a minute.
I tie as many as I can to pipe-cleaner stems.
I arrange bouquets and lattices, some topped by cranes.
In the morning, I garland them throughout the halls, centerpiecing it all at his locker, so he’ll know that they’re all for him.
Every minute, every crease, is a message from me.

I can honestly say that it’s been a long time since I was blown away by a ya love story. Especially something with an LGBT theme, so this was a pleasant surprise. I first read Levithan’s work in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and then I saw his collection of stories about love entitled “How they met and other stories”, and that book was just SO good, that after reading the first story at a bookstore, I just had to have it. So I could savor it more thoroughly. But that’s another story.

This book reminds me of the feeling of being in love, of how it feels when you see your crush, or when you begin to develop an explicable kind of fondness for someone. It has a lot of heart, and the sensation I got while reading it was akin to reading a modern-day fairytale, where you root for the hero, and pray that he gets his deserved happy ending.
It’s predictably saccharinely sweet, but never cloying, for Levithan has this love affair with words, as well.
I read it expecting something like boy meets boy, boy falls in love, struggles with some identity issues, overcomes it, and loves boy back, proudly.
But it ISN’T like that.

Levithan knows how cliche and predictable that is and so he takes a slightly different path for his story, something I never would have expected in your typical lgbt ya novel. But he doesn’t stray too far away from being a nice love story, and I loved every word. I cried in some parts (but that might be the pms sniffling), and got so giddy about others that I just had to finish it in one sitting so I can immediately pimp it to my officemates. This is the kind of book meant to be shared right away, so everyone can just bask in the afterglow and then maybe burp rainbows, in that happy, goodvibes sort of way.





You know how they say that people like Dan Brown’s books because they make them feel intelligent?
Tana French can do that, but with prettier prose but with more sympathetic and flawed characters, more No-I-Can’t-Langdon-fly- humanity.

Rife with descriptions, no whambam surprises here. Rather she sneaks surprises in setting descriptions and subtly weaves metaphors within metaphors:

“He told me about old herb gardens: how carefully they were arranged to make sure that each plant had everything it needed to flourish, how perfectly they balanced sight and scent and use, practicality and beauty, without ever allowing one to be compromised for another’s sake. Hyssop to loosen chest colds or cure toothaches, he said camomile in a poultice to reduce inflammation or in a tea to prevent nightmares; lavender and lemon balm for strewing to make the house smell sweet, rue and burnet in salads. ‘We’ll have to try that sometime,’ he said, ‘a Shakesperean salad. Tansy tastes like pepper, did you know that? I thought it had died off long ago, it was brown and brittle, but when I cut right back to the roots, there it was: just a tinge of green. It’ll be all right now. It’s amazing, how stubbornly things survive against incredible odds; how irresistibly strong it is, the drive to live and grow…”

or this:

The rhythm of his voice washed over me, even and soothing as waves; I barely heard the words. “Time,’ I think he said somewhere behind me, or maybe it was ‘thyme’, I’ve never been sure. “Time works so hard for us, if only we can let it.”