Friday, August 27, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Hardcover, 310 pages

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 legions of faithful fans. - Summary from Goodreads

I am a big fan of John Green. In all his books, he somehow manages to incorporate normal teenagers at the start and then they always tend to end up with their lives changed forever by the end. David Levithan on the other hand, I will admit that I have never read any of his books. But after reading this, I will make sure that changes. I could tell that the two of them have different styles of writing, as a little into the book it started to elucidate which author wrote which chapters. After finishing the book and looking online, it turns out my guesses were correct: Green wrote as Will1, and Levithan as Will2.

Will1 was my favorite character. I was attached from when he said "you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends nose." That is a classic favorite saying of mine every since my friends dad said that in front of our whole 3rd grade class, and it was awesome hearing it again, but this time from a book! I also got a laugh out of Will1's two rules of life: 1. Don't care too much 2. Shut up. I do agree with these rules, for at certain times these are great rules to live by. Tiny Cooper, Will1's best friend, a unnaturally large massive person with a million boyfriends who he is in and out of love with everyday, was a fantastic character. He made me crack up in the way Green always manages to make his readers do. As Will1's best friend and eventually Will2's boyfriend, Tiny is like the puzzle piece that goes between them. He is the middle link in the chain. Tiny brought Will1 to a concert in Chicago, and the two Will's met at a store near the bar of the concert. If they didn't meet, they never would have found themselves, known who they really were, and they never would have changed forever. Without Tiny, the Will's certainly would never have met. He is a high school boy yearning for love, he's optimistic, genuine, caring, and especially unaware of the damage relationships can make on him. Even though he's been through it 17 times.

When we first meet Will2, he's clearly an emo boy. He's depressed, never smiling, and takes medication for his "problem". He has no respect for his single mother who does the best she can to care for him. He is in an online dating relationship with a boy named Isaac. Yes, like Tiny Cooper, he is gay. When Will2 meets Will1 that fateful night in Chicago, their worlds turn in ways they never had before. Remember Will 1's rules of not caring too much and shutting up? Yeah, well, those are no longer an option for him. When Tiny Cooper decides to write and direct a musical about himself with the Gay-Straight-Alliance club, Will2 is the reason why he re-writes the script and turns the theme into love. Then, the two of them fall head over heels for each other and start a relationship. Yes, a gay relationship between a depressed, emo boy and a gigantically overweight one. They are together for the longest time any of them have ever been in a relationship, only to end it because Will2 tells tiny he doesn't need anyone. That shatters Tiny's heart into a million pieces, leaving him devastated. This is when Will2 realizes what a mess he's made, and spends days planning a stunt which involves Tiny's play that is so diabolical, it may just change Tiny's life forever. And just because of this one high school musical, Will1 drops everything he stands for so he can make a difference in the life of the person he loves most. Will2 is the one who comes up with the idea, and he's also the one who makes it happen. He is so struck by what he did to Tiny that day, he feels that he needs to do this to show that he still cares about and loves Tiny deeply. This one night changes the life of 3 boys. Again.

I'm not a Will Grayson, but I love you, Tiny Cooper.

The cover at first glance just seems like an attractive, shiny and cool double dose of the title and the colors. Little did I notice that the background is not just some shiny, luminescent lights. Why in fact, they are stage lights, glinting and dazzling from the picture. And only then did I realize that it actually did have quite a lot to do with the book. I would rate this cover a 5/5, even though I don't do cover ratings.

The only issue I had with this book was the, well, lack of meaning in some parts. I would warn you that this book is definitely not for the younger audience. It includes online relationships, violently crude humor, a porn store, and the excessive use of, well, teenage language. B**chsquealer and motherf***er are used frequently throughout the book. Thus with all the explicit content, I disappointingly had to decrease the value of the rating.

4 Beasts


Melissa said...

Despite the vulgarity, I'm glad you liked it so much! I really enjoyed it, too :)

Anonymous said...

Here for the Hop! Love the whimsy background. Have a great weekend.

Okapi said...


Angelatarantula said...

no okapi i didn't win your contest so you won't win miiinnneee *cackles evilly* hahahahaha

Okapi said...

NOOOOOOOOO ANGELATARANTULA THATS SO CRUEL *whimpers* you won't have to pay for shipping... (suggestive trail off)

Okapi said...

oh and thanks for bringing me Firelight!!!!

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for this review!

Bill ;-)
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and forthcoming "The Homeplace Revisited" Spring 2011

readerbuzz said...

I found your blog via the Hop.

I am trying to come up with my own rating system. I personally like to use 0-10. Wish I could come up with a good system.

I am a new follower!

I hope you can visit my blog at

Rica Eat World said...

thanks for the review man! ape. and i lost it

Emily said...

Okay, I fully admit that I had no idea what this book was about until I read your review and now that I have, it's definitely on my TBR list. Thanks for calling my attention to it!

Angelatarantula said...

aw Emily I'm glad you liked the review!

Susan said...

Hopping by via the Blog Hop. Enjoying your reviews!

Okapi said...

angela if you're on and have finished Mockingjay go on skypee! I need to talk to you!!

Anne Bennett said...

I agree with your explanation of the explicit nature of this books, but I still loved it. The end was so perfect.

I'm hopping by on the Friday Night Hop.-Anne

Bev Hankins said...

Stopping by on the Hop! Happy Weekend!