Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by John Green and David Levithan

Summary: Will Grayson has always lived in the shadow of his friend Tiny, "the world's largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large" (3).  Although they've been best friends for years, Will is increasingly annoyed at being dragged along by Tiny, his plans for his musical called Tiny Dancer, and his plans to hook Will up with a girl named Jane.  Meanwhile, across town, will grayson hates his life.  His only solace is his online relationship with a boy named Issac, the only person who knows will is gay.  When Will and will unexpectedly meet, their relationships become tied up together, and both Wills begin to be forced to actually make decisions in their lives.

Musings: Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a fun book that combines humor and adolescent angst in a way that feels real and poignant.  Each Will is a distinct character.  Will has gotten through life by staying in the shadows, and although he doesn't regret writing a letter to the school paper in defense of Tiny, he's determined to avoid any other changes in life by never committing or offering opinions.  will is full of stereotypical "emo" angst, but I mostly found his cynicism funny because I totally know students like that.  Musing on his mom's attempt to engage in morning conversation, will thinks:
i feel bad for her -- i do. a damn shame, really, that i had to have a mother. it can't be easy having me for a son. nothing can prepare someone for that kind of disappointment. (23)
Tiny is the world around which each boy revolves, and the reader can't help but adore Tiny.  He's so full of life and love for everyone, and despite the growth of the Wills in the novel, it's Tiny who's the standout character.

The issues of first love, high school relationships, and coming out are done well.  I liked that we see a range of gay characters with different personalities.  The depths and importance of male friendships are acknowledged in a way that I imagine few teenagers would be willing to admit, but they are very sweet.

***This book qualities for the GLBT Reading Challenge 2010 and the TwentyTen Reading Challenge ("Win! Win!" category).


  1. I've heard such good things about this one...must read it! Who knows when there'll be time or space in the queue, but eventually I'll get to it. Great review!

  2. I know the feeling! I had it sitting around for weeks (kept renewing from the library) and never seemed to actually read it. But I'm glad I did, and it was a pretty quick read (did most of it on an airplane).