Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

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I read this book, co-authored by John Green and David Levithan, a little while ago, and…

I really, really liked it.

The summary, from Goodreads:

Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine.

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.

The summary doesn’t tell you a ton about what’s going on, but I went into this confident it would be good because of who wrote it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

“I feel like my life is so scattered right now. Like it’s all the small pieces of paper and someone’s turned on the fan. But, talking to you makes me feel like the fan’s been turned off for a little bit. Like things could actually make sense. You completely unscatter me, and I appreciate that so much.”

John Green writes the chapters of Will Grayson #1, a straight, somewhat-detached guy with a larger-than-life best friend and issues when it comes to girls.

“You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot. ”

David Levithan writes the chapters of Will Grayson #2, a gay, shy kid with mental health problems who writes in lowercase letters and whose only real friend exists only online–at least at first.

“i am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me.”

I don’t want to spoil anything, so you should just really read this book. It’s funny, it’s moving, it’s filled with these poignant sentences that I’ve come to expect from John Green/David Levithan novels.

“When things break, it’s not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It’s because a little piece gets lost – the two remaining ends couldn’t fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed.”

I also think having more gay characters in books is really important. Will Grayson #2 is someone I could relate to so hard, and I am a straight, no-longer-teenaged woman.

My only quibble–the ending was somewhat unrealistically happily-ever-after-like. But given the number of times John Green has torn out my heart and ripped it to shreds, I guess I shouldn’t complain.

“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.”

I hover between 8 and 9 stars for this one. It’s not one of my favorites of ALL TIME, but I really, really enjoyed it and I think anyone who knows or remembers what it’s like to be an awkward teenager with no or few friends will love it, too.

Cool image found here

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

  1. Ok, THANK YOU! I recommended this book for a book club online and I’ve yet to live down how much everyone hated it. ha!

    I love me some John Green!! And I loved the ending. Because I was roaring with laughter. Once I settled down I realized what a beautiful message of unity it was. I liked this book allot as well.

    You say, this wasn’t your all time favorite. I’d love to hear what was.

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    1. Hated it?!?! What was wrong with the people in that book club?

      I liked The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska more–because I prefer sadness and realness to happy endings? Hahaha. Have you read those?

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      1. Seriously right!! Ha!! We read some fantastic books together, but this one was one that we just couldn’t find common ground on.

        I love Fault In Our Stars. Some of the most powerful dialogues ever. I loved that they actually made a fan world based on a fake book. That takes so much skill. I really wished that book was real so I could read it.

        I liked Looking for Alaska too. I liked that I was surprised. I didn’t forecast Alaska’s story. That’s rare for me, I read so much that most stories are easy to guess.

        Good authors these two. More a John Green fan tho.

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