Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson 
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Released: April 2010

Summary: 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. - Goodreads

My Review: We all know that being a teenager can suck. There are probably a hundred reasons why it sucks to be a teenager but here’s just one: Unless you are home schooled or live in a tribal community on the fringes of society you have to go to high school. Navigating the shark-infested waters of high school is no easy task, and for Will Grayson the only way he knows how to survive is by living by his motto, “1) Don’t care too much and 2) Shut up”. Another Will Grayson survives high school by wearing black and imagining ways he and the people around him could die. In this tale of two Will Grayson’s – one dorky and awkward with a gay best friend ironically named Tiny, and the other poor, suffering from depression and in love with Isaac, a guy that he met online – the reader is taken in to the inner psyche of the teenage boy (a very scary place, indeed!). The story unfolds with alternating chapters from the point of view of the two distinct Will Grayson’s and their voices couldn’t be any more different. John Green’s Will Grayson is everything you expect from a John Green male protagonist: nerdy, self conscious, tangled up in knots over an unattainable girl, and with an amazing and unusual best friend. David Levithan’s will grayson is differentiated by his use of short sentences and small caps, his morose thoughts, and is the more compelling of the two Will Grayson’s. However the real show stopper of the story is the larger than life secondary character Tiny Cooper. Tiny is the force that connects these two divergent stories of Will Grayson and enables the transformation and coming of age that occurs in both Wills’. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is sometimes laughing out loud funny, sometimes heart wrenchingly sad and sometimes outrageously over the top (just like Tiny). It is about all the things that encompass what being a teenager is all about: friendship, heartbreak, love, fitting in, figuring out who you are, and who you want to be.

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