David Levithan’s “Two Boys Kissing” — long-listed for the National Book Award — kicks you in the gut from Page 1. His narrator, a Greek chorus of gay men who died during the AIDS epidemic, sets the tear-jerking tone in the book’s first sentences.
“You can’t know what it is like for us now — you will always be one step behind. Be thankful for that,” Levithan writes. “You can’t know what it was like for us then — you will always be one step ahead. Be thankful for that, too.”