I was at the airport in Jakarta, killing time before my flight back to the Netherlands, when I entered a bookshop and found John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The book I had brought on the trip had been seized by my friend, who had forgotten to bring reading material. Thus I bought Will Grayson, Will Grayson so I would have something to read as well. I laughed in that terminal at some points and shook my head in anger at others. But enough about my crippling sanity, back to the book.
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. I’ve made it no secret that I may be the only person on the planet who’s read The Fault in our Stars and disliked it. For a while I was afraid it was John Green’s writing that I didn’t like, but this novel turned that notion around. It is refreshing to read a book written by two different people, yet which chapters are so in sync with one another that you hardly notice it. Green’s Will is a student who likes to remain just outside the spotlight, which is difficult given that his best friend is a flamboyantly gay football player named Tiny Cooper. Levithan’s Will, who like tiny is gay too, is a moody teen dealing with depression. While at first the two Will Graysons seem like complete 180s of each other, as the novel progresses it becomes clear that they are actually very similar. They are unsure of themselves to the point where they would rather be invisible than deal with emotions and problems which are right in front of them. They hold their friends in high regards, and know how important they are for one another. There is no real anti-gay sentiment in the novel, but it’s alright, because that’s not what the story is about. The story is about love- all kinds- While I would have liked to have seen more interaction between the two Wills, I enjoyed Green and Levithan’s approach how each Will impacted the other’s lives. Thanks to this novel I’m not that hesitant of John Green works anymore. And I’ve already mentioned my enjoyment of Levithan- read my review of Boy Meets Boy- This novel is funny at the right moments- enraging at others, and emotional all the way.
You can get Will Grayson, Will Grayson here