Friday, April 18, 2014

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

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Authors: John Green and David Levithan
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Audible
Content Alert: Lots of cursing and talking about sex

Will Grayson is a high school junior living with his parents in Evanston, an affluent suburb north of Chicago. Everything about his life is normal and boring, except for Tiny Cooper, his larger-than-life (literally), flamboyantly gay, show tunes loving, offensive lineman of a best friend.

Will Grayson is also a high school junior living with his single mother in Naperville, a slightly less affluent suburb west of Chicago. Everything about his life is total crap, except for Isaac, the boy with whom he's been having an intense online relationship for the last year.

Will Grayson meets Will Grayson one night downtown when Will #1's (John Green's Will Grayson) fake ID fails to gain him access to a club and his friends ditch him for the concert. He decides to bide his time in a, well, a porn shop, where he runs into Will #2 (David Levithan's Will Grayson), who's discovering that his Isaac doesn't actually exist, and whose life appears to actually BE total crap, until both Will Graysons meet up with Tiny Cooper and their lives become intertwined by more than just a common name.

David Levithan is the master of co-writing novels, and John Green is the master of YA novels, so it's no surprise that this one seems to work so well. I didn't like Levithan's Will Grayson very much for the first half of the novel, but he grew on me, and Tiny Cooper's character is hilarious, stereotypical, totally over the top, and the glue that brings the whole thing together. The ending is totally cheesy, but it really worked for me. It's worth a read just to see the experiment unfold between the two authors, but I found the product pretty rewarding as a reader as well.

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