My nearly 8 hour round trip to Cincinnati to see Carrie Ryan allowed me to finish listening to Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I am very happy that I finally got to this fun little gem of a story.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, 2010.
On a cold Chicago night two teens, both named Will Grayson meet under unusual circumstances. Their meeting sets in motion a series of events that will forever change the way the Wills think of themselves as they each have a romantic change of heart. One Will Grayson must choose between his self-imposed rules for living (1. Shut up 2. Don’t care) and a shot at a real relationship with Jane. Will’s flamboyant and enormous (and ironically named) friend Tiny Cooper, when not busy writing his musical, Tiny Dancer, plots ways to bring the two together, despite Will’s resistance. The other Will Grayson’s world is shattered the night of the random meeting of the Wills, but with the help of Tiny Cooper he begins to see his life in a new way. He works up the courage to tell his mother and friends he is gay, he meets new friends, and slowly lets go of some of the anger he has kept bottled up for so long.
There is a lot going on in this book! Ever wonder what goes on inside a teen guy’s head? Ask a Will Grayson. John Green and David Levithan are both giants in the YA literature world, and for good reason. They each have the ability to create characters who realistically embody the teenage experience. They are masters of teen angst without the cliché, and with the exception of Tiny Cooper, they once again succeed in presenting readers with an honest and complex portrayal of teens. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Tiny is not realistic. I know flamboyantly fabulous men are out there, but I thought Tiny’s character came dangerously close to being a caricature. For me, his saving grace was his heartbreaking honesty during his private moments with both Wills. Publically, he was a walking stereotype. That being said, the rest of the novel was fantastic. The audio was a special treat because I actually got to hear Tiny belt out musical numbers from his show (he’s not a very good singer, bless his heart). It took a while to get used to the different Wills, as the narrators sounded similar. But once I got to know the characters it was easy to tell them apart. This book is smart and sassy, heartbreaking and hopeful and a must read for romantics everywhere. Guys and girls alike will be able to relate to any number of characters and the struggles they face as they try to figure out who they really are. I loved this feel-good story! A word of warning, the teens in this book are realistically foul-mouthed (I now have a new favorite curse word, but I can’t say it here!).
Fans of John Green and David Levithan will not be disappointed. If you enjoyed this, you may also like Going Bovine by Libba Bray