Will Grayson = John Green's Will
will grayson 2 = David Levithan's Will
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.
My Expectations: Originally, they were sky high, but after some lukewarm reviews they were about average. Expected kind of a let down.
Delivery: Exceeded lukewarm expectations :) Very enjoyable!
Put-down-ability: average, read in 3 sittings, 5/10
Okay, so like I mentioned before, I actually expected this to be a let down. I thought the angst and predictability would cause me to drown, and that the only bright spot would be the massively fabulous Tiny Cooper. Boy was I glad I was wrong.
Let me also mention that this style of book with a more depressing protagonist (in the case of will grayson 2) isn’t for everyone, but it worked for me. I was also expecting a Q/Colin/Miles like character from Will Grayson 1 and I sort of did but sort of didn’t. Let’s elaborate.
Some books are strong in plot, and some in characters. This one definitely shines in the latter, I felt both authors captured the voices of these emotionally confused teens spectacularly. It was bloody brilliant, each voice so distinct and ringing with that grain of truth that can’t be forced. I could feel the feeling behind the words on the page, and that is definitely a high compliment. Even will grayson 2 and his I-hate-life attitude worked for me, it never really felt forced, just felt… sad. I was also glad that Levithan made sure his sexuality didn’t define him, it was a part of him that made him real and added just a level of depth.
If I had to choose a favourite, honestly, I would probably go with will grayson 2. Other people might just find him too depressed, but I thought the way he wrote, his voice, his conversations were incredibly realistic and a joy to read. Not all teens can be smart and witty like Jane and Will Grayson :p --And side note: omg Schrodingers cat was on The Big Bang Theory and when Sheldon talked about it I was all like "oh my god, thats from WGWG!!!"
Wastepaper Prose blog had a fantastic post about what literary devices authors like in YA books, and a lot of them chose an engaging voice. I strongly agree with this and it is really a relief that I finally found a book with not only one, but two distinctive ones. And Tiny Cooper? Win. Nothing more than that, he is the world’s awesome-est supporting character.
The plot itself was incredibly cool and original, I loved the idea of two Will Graysons the whole thing surrounding Tiny Cooper’s musical, and the two meeting one night in a porn shop only to have their lives twist because of that one moment that must be fate. It felt just ridiculous enough to tug the strings at reality, but I don’t think this is a story about Tiny Cooper’s life being gay and large.
It’s a story of love that is so intricately woven into every moment of self-loathing, friend hating, insecurity, and kiss, about how we need to keep trying and every try-and-error eventually becomes it. (Yes, I stole that from the book, sue me.) Another part I loved about the novel is how will grayson learns that it can be okay to depend on others, it’s a lesson that I do take to the heart and really spoke to me.
Lastly, I think we all know that when two talented authors such as John Green and David Levithan collaborate, the writing is undoubtedly flawless. It is. I’m a sucker for uniquely-well-written novels (like Speak, Wintergirls) and Levithan’s will grayson joins that exclusive group.
Parting Thoughts: I’m just so happy I finally read this. I would shove this in anybody’s face, but beware of: frequent cursing, angst, cute-ness, and unexpected-expected insight to life.
Also, I'm expecting Tiny Cooper's own novel...now... :P
Rating in HP terms (OWLs): Exceeds Expectations
9/10 – because I really, really loved the characters, writing and the story. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there might be something missing (weird ol’ me) that prevented me from giving this an “Outstanding” OWL. Perhaps it was the ending which I thought was just a little bit movie-cheesy. The Will Graysons were incredibly well written and fleshed out (despite emo will and pining Will), along with Tiny Cooper stealing scene after scene with his boisterous lovability. A
Want an emotionally touching, original story about two boys’ journey for self-discovery and love? Pick this one up, you won’t regret it. (recommended to an older YA audience though)