Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan
Published by Penguin

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, teenager Will Grayson crosses paths with ... Will Grayson! Two teens with the same name who run in two very different circles suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions. Culminating in epic turns-of-heart on both of their parts, they team up to produce the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage.
 I've had this on my Kindle for a while, but having seen Jo's (Once Upon a Bookcase's) great blog post on Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I thought I'd leap on her coattails a little and mark the end of LGBT month. The book discusses homosexuality in a way that some teens may be able to relate to.

The story is told from the perspectives of both Will Graysons, with alternating chapters. The first is written by John Green, and Will is a somewhat awkward teen, dealing with life by deciding not to care. I loved John Green's The Fault in our Stars, and his writing voice was really clear in his version of Will Grayson. David Levithan writes the second Will. I haven't read David Levithan before, so I couldn't compare his chapters to anything else. I originally found his chapters a little disconcerting though - they were written without capital letters. The plots that unfold in his chapters about Isaac, however, were really imaginative and I found them really interesting.

The two Wills are linked by a character called Tiny, who is the first Will's best friend. His name is ironic, and he's described to be really large, in all senses of the word. He's extremely flamboyant, and is said to go through love interests really quickly. Throughout the book he organises a play called Tiny Dancer, which is performed at the end of the book. There were vulnerabilities and flaws about Tiny that made the book more realistic for me - who doesn't have a friend that forgets about you a bit when they have a new love?! Even though he's portrayed as totally over the top, he's still likeable.

It was a really interesting plot, and the two writers worked really well together. I think Will Grayson, Will Grayson managed to mix the obviously fictional/over-the-top with the subtly realistic, the effect of which I really liked. There was only one thing I wasn't a fan of, though, which was how the second Will Grayson describes Tiny when he's supposed to 'like' him. To be honest, it's probably just me being a little too sensitive about weight issues, but likening your boyfriend to the size of a state of America is not something I appreciated, even if it is supposed to be true. The second Will isn't the nicest of characters, which is why I don't rate it higher.

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