Friday, August 20, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson [Review]

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
What They Say:   
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.
What I Say:
Okay. So I'm not gonna lie and say I'm a totally unbiased reviewer. John Green is kind of my hero, so I was psyched to hear he was working with David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List) on his next project. That said...

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Plot: ooh
So, the Will #1 (for the purposes of this review) story: boy lives near Chicago, has ultragay best friend (Tiny Cooper), and a crush/non-crush on his only friend-girl (Jane). Throughout, Tiny is putting on the world's most awesome school play ever, the friend-girl is back with her ex-boyfriend ("Douchepants McWater Polo"), and nobody has time for poor Will #1, especially after a chance meeting with his name-twin one night. The Will #2 story: emo boy lives in suburb, has clingy-friend-by-default (Maura), and a crush on his secret internet friend-boy. While his meeting with Will #1 isn't what he expects, big surprise it turns out okay!

So okay, while this wasn't the most unpredictable story I ever read, I could still OD on the awesome  enjoy this one. I never got bored, didn't have to suspend my belief (as I sometimes have to when it comes to crazy coincidences), and I was impressed with how the two stories came together.

Characters: wow
I was easily impressed by Green's Will Grayson, despite the similarities I saw with the protags of his other works. Will #1 was meek, indecisive, and a bit whiny, but he was also clever, determined, and (one of my favorite characteristics) full of snark. He lives in the shadow of Tiny Cooper, and yet he holds his own and eventually learns to stand his ground. Sure, we've heard this story before, but Green's talent for writing genuine characters like Will was definitely a highlight.

I haven't read as many of Levithan's other books, but I've caught on his knack for collaborations and the alternating-point-of-view thing. His Will Grayson drowned in his own depression and was probably putting Fall Out Boy's kids through college, but was a pretty resilient, non-whiny kid, thank god. While I knew where the Will #1 story was going, I was always unsure on what Will #2 was going to do next, which kept me interested. (I probably would have set the book down and come back later if it had just been the Will-and-Jane story, haha).

Oh, Tiny Cooper. I would go for a bearhug here, but I might get crushed. Full of pizzazz and around just enough that he didn't get annoying to the reader (though Will #1 would say otherwise). I felt, though, that his character was only there for the others' development. Like, need a revelation about friendship? Here's Tiny with the word! Need a static character to rid you of your nihilistic world-view? Here's Tiny on a swingset! Though, I have to say, I would have paid big bucks to see Tiny Dancer on stage. My god, it even rivaled A Very Potter Musical in awesome. And that is saying something. 

Relationships: ooh
Now, I feel like saying who's-with-who doesn't count as spoilering, unless there's some kind of crazy twist at end. So.

Will #1 and Jane - I liked their snarky banter, their science-related conversations, and their Ten Minutes of Truth. It kind of bored me how they didn't get together until 2/3 through the book, and even then their relationship doesn't change at all. Maybe they hold hands somewhere in there, but that's it.

Will #2 and "Isaac" - Now children, what have we learned about meeting random guys we meet on the internet in Chicago porn stores? Oh boy. Big surprise that didn't work out. Plus, Will was kind of obsessed with him, which is probably unhealthy.

Will #2 and Tiny - I liked this one better (obviously), though it was a little cheesy at times, like they were both suddenly four years younger and a lot whinier when they got together. The ending, though, was pretty squee-worthy, thanks to these two.

Special features: WHOA
If you don't already know. My favorite One of my favorite things in the world is snark. (Which I don't think works as a noun, but suck it, Merriam-Wesbter). Fast-talking, at-times-bitchy, zinger-loaded characters? That's where it's at. For the most part, if I'm thinking it and he just said it, I am sold. Should we get married now or later? I'll buy the flowers and the hotel room. I was glad that in this book, the snark was evenly spread, making every character awesome rather than just the sidekicks (which sometimes happens). There was Will-snark, Tiny-snark, Jane-snark (or, smart-snark), and Will #2-snark. Which brings us to our last section:

Parting Quote(s):
"Being gay is not an excuse for being a dick."
This, my friends, is a fundamental truth. Oh my god, if I could paste this on certain people's foreheads. I would.

[The problem with finding awesome quotes to quote is that there are SO MANY that I'm flipping back through the book entirely unable to choose just one more]


  1. Hey, I found you on the hop and I'm now following! Welcome to blogging! :) I've heard of this but hadn't read a review and I'm glad you liked it! John Green is one of my favorite authors too.


  2. Cute new blog, and awesome review!

    I must say, Levithan and Green definitely are amazing. :]

    Also, I'll be stopping by again. I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts.

  3. I want to read this one so bad! I've heard a lot of great things about it! I just read Looking for Alaska and loved it, but haven't read anything by Levithian, although I plan to. This one just looks awesome!