Books · REVIEWS

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

“It’s hard to believe in coincidence, but it’s even harder to believe in anything else.”

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.

Winner of the Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Honor, 2011.

Personal Thoughts:

It’s day three of John Green Week and I’ll be reviewing one of John Green‘s book, Will Grayson, Will Grayson. This book is actually co-written by John Green with David Levithan. Two great authors in one awesome book.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is about two different individual who share the same name. They are totally opposite, one is gay the other one is straight. The only common denominator with these two other than their name is not something but a person, Tiny Cooper.

“Tiny Cooper is not the world’s gayest person, and he is not the world’s largest person, but I believe he may be the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.”

Tiny Cooper is best friend of the staight Will (which I’ll be referring in this review as the “first Will Grayson”) and romantic interest to the gay Will Grayson (w/c I’ll be referring here as the “other will grayson”). Tiny reminds me of a gay friend I had when I was still in highschool. He is also tall and big though the similarity ends there. Tiny in this book is so much more than gay. Inspite of the whole gay theme that he brings, Tiny is an amusing character. He is a flamboyant gay who not one bit shy about his sexuality. He isn’t perfect sometimes he is a bit insensitive, irritating and too loud but what I like about him is his optimism and kindness. He loves solving other people problems and with his pure heart it is impossible not to like him. He is also very talented, heartwarming and funny person. I like his friendships with the first Will Grayson. It simply realistic and touching especially on how they become best friend in the first place.

Now let’s talk about the two Will Grayson. The first Will Grayson written by John Green is the straight one. He’s distant, confused and not good handling his emotions. He is trying to live his life without being noticed, so he set two rules for himself: Rule #1 – Don’t care too much. Rule#2- Shut up. But being friends with someone like Tiny, who is the loudest and biggest gay in their school it is quite impossible for him to be unnotice.

The other will grayson (his name is written in lowercase all throughout the book, in fact all his point of view is written in lowercase) written by David Levithan is the gay one. He is an only child living with his single mom. A loner who deal with his depression with the help of medication and his online friend Isaac. He constantly chat with Isaac as he thought Isaac fully understand him. Until the day that they are supposed to finally meet.

Between the two Will Grayson I like the first one, the one written by John Green. He is the typical John Green character, typical in a unique way if that makes sense. It is easy to distinguish his voice from the other will grayson and even to other characters. Though liking the first Will Grayson doesn’t mean that I hate or didn’t like the other one. It just that it is easier for me to relate to the first than the other will grayson. Sometimes I find the other will grayson too annoying because of his pessimistic character but when Tiny enters to his life I finally understand him. Tiny’s optimism covered all the negatives aura around the other will grayson.

The writing is top notch given that we have two great authors doing the job. The lines are hilarious, sarcastic and sometimes wise and profound. Though I have to warn you the book also includes strong languages but they are not offensive in any way. If anything else it just makes the characters more realistic and genuine. A close to real representation of teenagers dealing with their own problems and inner issues.

With believable and diverse characters, thoughtful plot and top notch writing this book shows the complexity of relationships in a humorous way. A fun read with its own moment of sadness, heartbreak and happiness. Because at its core Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a story of friendships, love and acceptance. An enjoyable and insightful story perfectly delivered by two talented writers.

And since it’s John Green’s Week let me end this review with his words (together with David Levithan words) by quoting some of the lovely lines from the book:

“When things break, it’s not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It’s because a little piece gets lost – the two remaining ends couldn’t fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed.”

“This is why we call people exes, I guess – because the paths that cross in the middle end up separating at the end. It’s too easy to see an X as a cross-out. It’s not, because there’s no way to cross out something like that. The X is a diagram of two paths.”

“Sometimes it’s okay to cheat on things – but don’t ever cheat on people. because once you start, it’s very hard to stop. you find out how easy it is to do.”

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.

“Maybe tonight you’re scared of falling, and maybe there’s somebody here or somewhere else you’re thinking about, worrying over, fretting over, trying to figure out if you want to fall, or how and when you’re gonna land, and I gotta tell you, Friends, to stop thinking about the landing, because it’s all about falling.”

I do not say ‘good-bye.’ I believe that’s one of the bullshittiest words ever invented. It’s not like you’re given the choice to say ‘bad-bye’ or ‘awful-bye’ or ‘couldn’t-care-less-about-you-bye.’ Every time you leave, it’s supposed to be a good one. Well, I don’t believe in that. I believe against that.”

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5 thoughts on “Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

  1. Hi Maricar, I’ve heard a lot about this book. In fact it was mentioned during the NAGC conference I attended in New Orleans November of last year. It’s also a Stonewall Honor book for 2011 – The Stonewall Award supposedly honor books “with exceptional merit relating to the GLBT experience.”

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