One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens--both named Will Grayson--are about to cross paths. Read more...
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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 them both legions of faithful fans.A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
An ALA Stonewall Honor Book
"Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a complete romp. It is] so funny, rude and original that by the time flowers hit the stage, even the musical-averse will cheer." --The New York Times Book Review ★"Will have readers simultaneously laughing, crying and singing at the top of their lungs."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review "It is such a good book. Green and Levithan] are two of the best writers writing today." --NPR'sThe Roundtable
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 54.
- Review Date: 2010-03-01
- Reviewer: Staff
In alternating chapters, the authors track two teens, both named Will Grayson, who accidentally meet halfway through the novel, perhaps changing the trajectory of both of their lives. One Will is vintage Green: a smart nerd whose rules to live by include “don't care too much,” with a scene-stealing sidekick—Tiny Cooper, a large, flamboyantly gay classmate intent on staging an autobiographical musical. The other will (lowercase throughout) is angry and depressed; the one bright spot in his existence is an online friendship with “Isaac.” When will agrees to meet Isaac one night in Chicago, readers know nothing good will happen—and they will be wrong. A well-orchestrated big reveal takes the story in a new direction, one that gives (lowercase) will greater dimension. The ending is laudable but highly implausible. The journey to it is full of comic bits, mostly provided by the irrepressible Tiny, who needs his own novel. Frank sexual language—a shot at a bar “tastes like Satan's fire cock”—pushes this one to high school, where its message of embracing love in all its forms ought to find a receptive audience. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
An unusual love story
“Much depends on a best friend,” Will Grayson says. And when that best friend is Tiny Cooper, friendship is a big deal. Literally. Tiny is 6'6", so huge that when he sheds a tear, it could drown a kitten. So huge that one of his sobs measures on the Richter scale in Kansas (and he lives in Chicago). Will believes that Tiny may just be “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.” Tiny and Will have been friends since fifth grade, and Will stood up for Tiny when a school-board member argued against gays in the locker room. But recently Will has become too disengaged from life. He lives by two simple rules that have helped him to survive high school: “1. Don’t care too much. 2. Shut up.”
Will Grayson is not gay, but in one of many funny scenes in his first-person narrative, he meets another Will Grayson in a Chicago porn shop who is gay, and who begins a dramatic relationship with Tiny. This Will’s story forms the other half of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan, who each wrote one of the Wills.
As it turns out, the original Will still needs Tiny, too. Tiny is the one who does care, who always speaks his mind, who lives in larger-than-life drama and color. And when Tiny puts on a musical, it becomes the vehicle by which each character finds meaning and order in the universe. The musical is Tiny’s gift to the world, and his gift to the original Will Grayson is an appreciation of life and a repudiation of his anti-life rules.
Tiny will long live in readers’ imaginations—provided they have imaginations large enough to contain him. For an older young adult audience, this book about love, friends and what matters in life will be one of the best books of the year.