A first-person plural omniscient narrator tells the story not only of Craig and Harry, who set out to break the world record for the longest kiss (32 hours, 12 minutes, 10 seconds) but also those of Tariq (a recent victim of gay bashing), Cooper (whose parents accidentally discovered he was gay) , Avery and Ryan (about to go on their first date), and Peter and Neil (boyfriends together for a year).
Ryan has a favorite aunt (Caitlin) who "after years of trying to rise in the world of corporate insurance...quit and is now going for her library degree". Caitlin's "love for Ryan is the most unconditional love he will ever feel", and so Ryan knows that her home is a safe place for him to bring Avery, a trans boy for whom he is falling.
Peter and Neil spend some time in a bookstore where Neil puts together a pile of books, the titles of which he uses to send a message to Peter
I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This
You're the One that I Want
So Much Closer
The Difference Between You and Me
You Are Here
Where I Belong
I'll Be There
Along for the Ride
The Future of Us
Real Live Boyfriends
Keep Holding On
Peter responds with his own short stack of books
Take a Bow
A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You
Keep Holding On
While this scene took place in a bookstore rather than I library it is certainly worthy of inclusion here. I also like to notice when a book I've blogged about shows up in another book. In this case it is Jacqueline Woodson's I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This.
Later in the book there is also a sneaky reference to Stephen Chbosky's The Perk's of Being a Wallflower
Our narrators provide some insight into their identity. In one of the early hints they tell us
If you are a teenager now, it is unlikely that you knew us well. We are your shadow uncles, your angel godfathers, your mother's or your grandmother's best friend from college, the author of that book you found in the gay section of the library. We are characters in a Tony Kushner play, or names on a quilt that rarely gets taken out anymore. We are the ghosts of the remaining older generation. You know some of our songs.If you are a Gen Xer, or young Baby Boomer now (as is this blogger), you did know them well.