One Year, 100 Books: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
John Green is one of Lonk's favorite writers, and she's about to take on another one of his books!—Sparkitors
Book #27: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Authors: John Green and David Levithan
Reason for Reading: I love John Green and Nerdfighteria and everything they stand for. He is also the one of the very few authors who has never let me down. DFTBA.
Quote: "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."
Copyright Date: 2010
Length: 310 pages
Genre: Teen Realistic Fiction
Rating (out of 10 stars): 10 stars
Summary: Will Grayson does not believe that a person can pick his own friends. Because, if they could, he would not have picked Tiny Cooper. To put it in Will’s own words: “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.” Will has no problem with his best friend's sexuality, it’s the fact that Tiny wants him to join the Gay-Straight Alliance that bothers him.
Will Grayson believes he has the worst life in the entire world. His dad is gone, he is constantly depressed, and his only friend seems to enjoy pulling him deeper into his depression. His secret, and the hope that tomorrow might be better, is the only thing that keeps him going.
When these two very different boys from very different walks of life meet in the most unlikely of ways, the only thing they have in common is their names. However, they soon end up fighting for the one they care about most.
Review: I’ve been sitting here for five minutes trying to figure out where to begin. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is by far the most unusual book I have ever read. These two authors wanted to write a book about two boys with the same name, so they came up with an extremely unorthodox way of writing it. The way I understand it, John Green would write a chapter as Will Grayson #1, send it to David Levithan, David would write the next chapter as Will Grayson #2, send it to John, and so on (feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong about this). It’s almost like a novel and its companion novel thrust into one book. And it’s amazing.
At first, I didn’t really like Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The biggest problem I had was with David Levithan’s chapters. They are written with no capitalization whatsoever—so the will grayson #2’s chapters look like this all the way through. Being one of those obnoxious people who texts and IMs with correct grammar and complete sentences, this, at first, literally hurt my eyes. However, as the book progressed, I got used to it and even grew to kind of like it. And after reading David Levithan’s explanation in the authors’ note, I positively loved it.
The book also blatantly attacks a lot of issues in the modern teenage world, and a lot of it is very harsh. At some points, it can be a bit… um… uncomfortable for the reader, but I really respect the authors’ willingness to speak the truth. These guys would definitely make excellent journalists (But, John and David, we don’t want that. We want for you to write more amazing novels. Preferably, right now.)
Recommendation: This is the third John Green book I have done for this blog, and his other book is on my favorites list, so I obviously love the guy. I urge the entire teenage population to read all of John’s books, not just Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I’ve never read any of David Levithan’s work before, but I know several people who absolutely love Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (which I just might have to check out). These guys know how to write teen novels that are worth reading and authors like that are truly excellent finds.
We are seriously ordering all of John Green's novels RIGHT. NOW. They sound too good to resist.
Related post: One Year, 100 Books