Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction
Release Date: April 6th, 2010
Source: Personal Copy
After a somewhat lackluster finish to my reading last year, I needed to get a couple of books under my belt and revive my reading mojo. Sometimes only a quick read that can be finished in a day will work. Often times this is when I turn to a YA novel. In early 2011, I read and fell in love with The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan. In my review I wrote that "I absolutely adore when an author can get in my head and write something to which I can instantly relate." I've also read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, which he co-authored with Rachel Cohen, and thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the world they created. So when I was looking into other books he had written, I jumped on Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
This book uses an alternating chapter format to follow the lives of two boys both named Will Grayson whose lives intersect in a downtown Chicago porn store after some very fateful turns of events. Unfortunately, I didn't really see a huge difference between the two, so either I just lacked the sympathy I was supposed to feel towards both characters, or they were both too underdeveloped for my tastes. The first Will Grayson is quiet, nerdy, has few friends, and leads the typical angsty life of a teenage boy. Exhibit A:
I don't really understand the point of crying. Also, I feel that crying is almost...totally avoidable if you follow two very simple rules: 1. Don't care too much. 2. Shut up. Everything unfortunate that has ever happened to me has stemmed from failure to follow one of the rules.
she tries, and that's what makes it so pathetic. i just want to say 'i feel sorry for you, really i do.' but that might start a conversation, and a conversation might start a fight and then i'd feel so guilty i might have to move away to portland or something.Now, here's where the story left me a little stumped. How could a book titled Will Grayson, Will Grayson not center around either of the Will Graysons? After reading about a third of the book I realized that Tiny Cooper, best friend of one Will and love interest of the other, was the main focus. Tiny's character is narcissistic, loud, and selfish, and I wasn't very impressed. So often situations were manipulated by Tiny with the slighted character having to be the one to apologize. I like that he is openly gay and proud, but his other characteristics leave a lot to be desired.
Overall, the book was a fast read with some great secondary characters who redeemed the story a little. While I don't think this was the best of Levithan's works, it definitely hasn't soured me on the writer. I will admit that I am in the minority in my opinion of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. So many readers and bloggers absolutely love this one, so be sure to check out some of the reviews below if the story sounds interesting to you.