It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.
Immediate Reaction Post-read: Oh. My. God.
Ok, so Will Grayson, Will Grayson is written by two YA masters, John Green and David Levithan. While I have never read any Green before this, I have heard he is awesome – and so he is. Green wrote one of the Will Graysons (straight WG) and Levithan wrote the other (gay WG), and the chapters alternate between their points of view. Green’s WG has this best friend named Tiny Cooper who, really, the whole story revolves around. Tiny is a massive, gay, football lineman/theater auteur – and he is absolutely fabulous. Will is fairly lonerish, but he’s got some core friends and he’s pretty happy. Levithan’s WG, on the other hand, is quite depressed, alone and the highlight of his day is to talk to this guy Issac online. Through some spectacular twist of fate, both Will Graysons end up meeting in the most unlikely of places. After some heartache (on both their ends), Tiny becomes the linking factor between both Wills and they both find their lives changing – for the better, really. Oh, and an epic high school musical is the enderlying plot of the entire thing.
I was a bit slow to start this one, since it was a bit slow to start. Yes, I enjoyed getting to know both Will Graysons, but some plot movement couldn’t come fast enough. As soon as they all met, I was hooked. The middle section of the book sucked me in and by the end I was floored. I’m not sure which Will Grayson I ended up prefering – they were both incredibly unique. They had their own flaws, their own drama, their own endearing qualities. Green’s Will Grayson is struggling with whether or not he really likes new friend Jane, or if he only likes her because she might already have a boyfriend. Levithan’s Will Grayson is struggling with his own identity (he’s still closeted), a major heartbreak and finding Tiny Cooper suddenly in his life. At the beginning, I think I enjoyed Green’s WG a bit more, but in the end it was all Levithan’s WG – I was so incredibly involved in his triumphs and life changes. But Tiny is the character that really made me love this book. He is SUCH an individual, his personality leapt off the pages and you just wanted to hug him.
Even though the book has two writers, the chapters flowed seemlessly together. The writing styles were different enough that I could tell there were two distinct voices, but it worked. In order to know which Will Grayson you were seeing, Levithan’s WG uses no captial letters of any kind. The distinction was nice, but honestly, they were each so well written I wouldn’t have needed it – I could tell immediately which WG I was reading about. There were a few times I questioned the over use of describing Tiny as massive/fat/etc. and I sometimes wanted to slap some sense into Levithan’s WG (and Green’s WG, actually), but overall Will Grayson, Will Grayson blew me away with it’s humour, wit and feel-good end.