Monday, October 11, 2010

REVIEW: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

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.

I truly loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I read it ages ago and I've found it hard to review it. Does anyone else get that? Like review-fright for books that they loved so much? I do that all the time, and this is one of them. I haven't read many co-authored novels before, but I felt like this one worked quite well. John and David wrote the different Will Graysons and they're both interesting and different and the overlap between them was done in an interesting way. I think Tiny Cooper is one of the best written YA characters in the entire universe. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It's the story of two boys, both named Will Grayson as they tell their stories in alternating chapters. David's Will is a little mopey and depressed and you can tell the difference between this Will and John's Will because of the lack of capitalisation - some people found that annoying/distracting but I thought it felt right. David's Will doesn't feel like he can talk to anyone, not even his friend Maura. He's not willing to tell Maura anything, even whether or not he's gay. Only Isaac, his Internet friend really gets him. So he sets off to Chicago to meet up.

Whereas John's Will Grayson is Tiny Cooper's Friend. And Tiny Cooper completely the stole the show for me. There is a fab, fab quote describing Tiny Cooper...

'Tiny Cooper is not the world’s gayest person and he is not the world’s largest person, but I believe he may be the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.'

How can you not fall in love with that? I wanted to clap my hands every time Tiny Cooper was mentioned, by the way. So, John's Will is a little self-centred and kind of lives in this (hulking) shadow of his friend Tiny Cooper. Tiny is producing this wonderful gay musical and is trying to set up Will with Jane. So fast forward a little bit and we find the two Will Graysons meeting up in the most unlikely of places (also very hilarious!!) and it sets off the rest of the story as each of the Wills does a little growing up and realising things about themselves and the other people in their lives.

Being a massive John Green fan-girl, I thought I would love John's Will a lot more than David's Will, and it probably is easier to, as John's Will has a very John Green voice to him. John's Will's character is a little more endearing and very likeable. David's Will is neither of those things. He's a very depressed character and reading his story feels a little heavy at times, but it was David's Will who made my heart hurt. But the brilliance of Tiny Cooper balances a lot of that out.

A little word on the ending - it concludes in the most fabulous, cheeseball ending I've ever read and I couldn't love it any more if I tried. Seriously, all these months later and it STILL puts a massive grin on my face. Two thumbs up. Five stars. Highly recommended.


  1. I definitely get review-fright for books I really loved...I'm always afraid I'm not going to do them justice. This is a great review, though; I'm very impressed - and I also want to clap my hands any time I think about Tiny Cooper. So you're not the only one. :)

  2. I loved this too and I completely agree that Tiny Cooper is one of the greatest YA characters written.

    And I so get review-fright!

  3. I wondered how people co wrote books, but this sounds quite straight forward if they both wrote in a different voice.

  4. Books you absolutely loved are hardest to write reviews for I think! I definitely suffer review-fright. Anyway, you needn't be scared because it's a great review and I really want to read this book now!

  5. Oh, this sounds fantastic! And I definitely get review-fright for books I love, which is why I STILL haven't reviewed A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, but I so need to!

  6. Luisa - Glad it isn't just me :) Also, good luck with your review-fright book!

    Rhiana - Thank you for saying so, I do hope you read it, it's fantastic :)

    Vivienne - It is really good, and each author writes alternate chapters so it's not like the two are meshing their writing styles together. I never really thought about it before!

    Sophie - YAY for Tiny Cooper! Also, phew. Glad it isn't just me about review-fright :)

    Zara - thank you for saying so :) I wonder out of whose head came Tiny Cooper?


HI! Thank you for leaving a comment, you've just become my new best friend :)