Ryan and Avery

Knopf. Sept. 2023. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399553097.
Gr 7 Up–Levithan’s latest revisits Ryan and Avery, characters from Two Boys Kissing, as they go on their first 10 dates. The story is told out of chronological order, and readers experience the excitement and nerves of Ryan and Avery as they begin their relationship. Avery, a trans boy, comes from a supportive family who embraces Ryan as his boyfriend. Ryan’s parents are strict and distant, so he relies on his aunt and friends for support of his budding relationship with Avery. As in most relationships, some dates go better than others. A magical snow day gives the pair an opportunity to connect as if the world around them doesn’t exist, while a trip to an abandoned mini golf course leads to a run-in with bigoted classmates. A memorable date to a drive-in showing a LGBTQIA+ movie offers the couple the opportunity to be themselves among other queer youth and adults. Levithan’s descriptions of Ryan and Avery’s thoughts and moods and the magic that surrounds first love heighten the narrative and will draw readers in.
VERDICT A swoon-worthy LGBTQIA+ romance with a lot of heart, this one is a first purchase for all library collections.

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