[Review] Ryan and Avery by David Levithan *Review Copy*

When a blue-haired boy (Ryan) meets a pink-haired boy (Avery) at a dance–a queer prom–both feel an inexplicable but powerful connection. Follow them through their first ten dates as they bridge their initial shyness and fall in love–through snowstorms, groundings, meeting parents (Avery’s) and not (Ryan’s), cast parties, heartbreak, and every day and date in between.

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An Adolescent Emotional Rollercoaster

This book is an emotional rollercoaster. Not because David Levithan puts unnecessary drama into the story, but because he digs deep into adolescent emotions. I have never read a book by this author before, although I’ve heard plenty of good reviews on them. I even gifted a friend with his book “Two Boys Kissing” in High School. Myself, I never read a single page written by David Levithan until now. Ryan and Avery did convince me that much though that it won’t stay my last experience with him.


10 Dates told a-chronologically

We get to meet Ryan and Avery on their fifth date, basically in the middle of the story. The author nonetheless chose this point of time as it is the catalyst of many conflicts to come. Then, we follow the development of their relationship forwards but also back to their very first meeting. We are allowed to witness both their individual lives and their internal conflicts while they get to know each other in the endearing way of first love. And we are taken on their struggles with the outside world. It was nonetheless very refreshing to find not their sexual orientation or Avery’s transness to be the reason for their conflicts with others. Instead, these two characters just happen to be queer. Their queerness does not present their whole being and acting.


“Now, it’s a date,” Ryan says.
Avery shakes his head and says, “It’s always been a date.”
Date. From the Latin, traced to the word dare, which means to give, to grant, to offer. When it goes right, this is what Ryan and Avery do. They give, they grant, they offer. They do this when they show up for the hard parts. They do this when they drive off to the destination. […] They do this when they kiss. They do this when they sing along to the radio as they’re doing now. They do this when they share their thoughts., their ölives, their bodies, their hopes. They give, they grant, they offer. And they receive.


First Love

Between conflicts and romantic and intimate moments, these two characters find themselves and each other. They make important decisions on their way of becoming adults. It appeared especially original to me that the protagonists were not in the same school or even town. This way, every one of their meetups needed to be planned and intended. They made some beautiful effort to be with each other and gave each other the support they needed whenever they needed it. We witness their first ten dates, but we are sure that this supportive and close relationship will go on for many more. Nonetheless, this book does not end in a full happy ending but in a realistic openness that perfectly represents adolescence and growing-up.


In conclusion

10 Dates, told achronologically, building warmth and proximity. My first book of the author already convinced me of his intimate and emotional style and his komplex characters. Avery and Ryan moved me immensely. Their story speaks of their coming of age and intergenerational conflicts as much as standing up for oneself.



Written by

David Levithan was not born in France, Milwaukee or Olympia, Washington. He did not go to Eton, Harvard Law School or Oxford University. He is not the author of War and Peace, Hollywood Wives: The New Generation or The Baby-sitters Club #8: Boy-crazy Stacey. He has not won the Newbery Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, the Bausch & Lomb Science Award or the race for eleventh-grade vice president. He currently does not live in Manhatten. Source

Read by Jamie K. Brown

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