Study Guide

Boy Meets Boy Summary

By David Levithan

Boy Meets Boy Summary

Paul, a very gay boy in a very gay town, is on his way with his two best friends, Tony (gay) and Joni (not gay) to see their friend DJ Zeke spin tunes at a local bookstore. Zeke gets his groove on in the history section, throwing in a couple of raps about Hadrian and Copernicus for good measure, and Paul starts dancing. He gets a little carried away by the blissful groove and manages to knock a few books off a shelf. This fortuitous flailing leads to a chance meeting with handsome newcomer Noah, who politely picks up the books and hands them to him.

Noah's just started attending Paul's school, but he's hard to find in the halls. After a few fruitless searches, Paul finally locates Noah at a pep rally and manages to speak to him. Noah flirts, Paul flirts back, and before long they're on their first date, during which they paint music and ride paddleboats shaped like ducks.

Things can't stay idyllic though, or we wouldn't have much of a plot. Don't worry—Paul's romantic life may be going smoothly for the moment, but there's plenty of conflict in his friendships. Joni, having broken up with her boyfriend Ted for the thirteenth time, has started dating a guy named Chuck, who's a total cretin. Plus Tony's parents disapprove of their son's homosexuality, and they think Paul is the devil's influence.

And as for Infinite Darlene, she's always bringing the drama. Her big thing at the moment? The fact that Chuck, Joni's new love, is only after Joni because he couldn't get Infinite Darlene. Would she like Paul to get involved and warn Joni about Chuck? Why yes, yes she would.

It might seem that Paul's love life is pretty boring compared to all that, but there's a complication there too: Kyle, his ex who broke his heart. See, Kyle's bi, but he's a bit confused about how boy-girl(-boy) stuff works. His reason for dumping Paul was that Paul "tricked" him into being gay, and his way of showing that he still liked girls was to make out with one immediately after the dumping.

So when Kyle comes back around after Paul and Noah get together, Paul's understandably confused. And as we all know, confusion can lead you to do some not-so-smart things, like kissing your ex when he apologizes to you, which Paul does.

The weekend after the kiss occurs, both Noah and Kyle go out of town with their families, and Paul takes the opportunity to go on a hike with Tony and talk it all out. Tony, of course, would give anything for one boyfriend with whom to have issues, let alone two, but for as long as he lives with his super-religious parents, that's never gonna happen. In an attempt to comfort his eternally dateless friend, Paul gives Tony a hug.

The problem with hugging someone in public, of course, is that someone might see you and misinterpret the gesture, which is exactly what happens. One of Tony's mom's religious friends just happens to be hiking the same mountain at the same time, and when she spots the boys embracing, she wastes no time telling Tony's mom that she caught Tony engaging in The Gay. Paul is, of course, banned from Tony's house faster than you can say choirboy.

Back at school, word's gotten around, but not the word Paul thinks. Noah slips a note into Paul's backpack asking, "Why did you kiss him?" Of course Paul thinks Noah's talking about Kyle, the guy he actually did kiss, but Noah means Tony. Ah, the rumor mill. When Paul inadvertently confesses to kissing Kyle, Noah breaks up with him. (We can't say we blame him.)

Paul is architecting the Dowager's Dance, a big yearly shindig at their school, which is to say he's in charge of planning it. He decides to get Noah back in time for the dance, so with seven days left, he plans a surprise for each day:

  • On the first day, he decorates the hallway leading up to Noah's locker with handmade origami flowers. 
  • On the second, he writes a list of one hundred beautiful and unusual words on a scroll and leaves the scroll in Noah's locker. 
  • On the third, he leaves a note in Noah's mailbox wishing him a nice day. 
  • On the fourth, it's a serenade from DJ Zeke beneath Noah's window. 
  • On the fifth, he enlists the help of his friends to give Noah one hundred rolls of film. 
  • On the sixth, it's another day of letters, and on the seventh, he finally asks the won-over Noah to the dance.

Fortunately Noah says yes, which is a good thing, because our insulin levels were getting dangerously high.

But wait—everything's not perfect yet. There's still the matter of Tony's parents and their iron fist. Paul decides the only way to rescue Tony is for all of his friends to show up at his house on the night of the Dowager's Dance and convince his parents to let him go.

Because Joni has always been the third member of their best-friend triumvirate, he tries to get her to help organize a crowd, but she's all up in the Chuck and is no help at all. Paul's severely bummed, but fortunately Joni comes to her senses and shows up at Tony's house the night of the dance. And even more fortunately, Tony's parents let him go.

Boy Meets Boy ends with a little pre-party party on the mountain where the fateful hug went down. As Paul watches his friends—including Tony, Kyle, Joni, and even Chuck—dancing together, he realizes there's nowhere he'd rather be than here in this moment with them. The fact that his hunka hunka burnin' boyfriend is smiling at him doesn't hurt either, of course.