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Old 5th Feb 2014, 11:20   #1
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Join Date: 30 Apr 2003
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Default David Levithan & John Green: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

You may think this book is about Will Grayson but this is only partly true and it is partly true twice over!

You may think it is a book about identity and learning how to be and the difficulties of dating and friendship – and on the surface it is.

You may think this is a quirky LBGT novel with hunks of hysterical dialogue and fast-moving high-school teen angst scenarios – and this might be true but it would be a clichéd distortion of a book that made me laugh out loud more than any other book in the last year.

I had two tries at reading this – I’ve read David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy and Are We There Yet? But somehow I got stuck on this one at a time when I wasn’t in the mood for either a book with a gimmick or with louder and larger-than-life characters bounding out from every other chapter.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is written by the two authors in alternating chapters: Levithan’s is lower-case ‘will’ who is drifting slowly downwards with depression and isolation in a school where his only social contact is a Goth girl Maura, intent on forcing will to make her his confessor and best friend. When his growing bond for an online intimate goes pear-shaped in a really painful way, will grayson unexpectedly finds his life connecting up with that of Will Grayson, the rather fed-up foil and straight-guy (in all senses) to Tiny Cooper, "the world's largest person who is really, really gay" and "the world's gayest person who is really, really large".

Although the chapters are narrated by each Will/will, where they meet and their bridge is Tiny and he shines out of this book like a humungous diamond-carbuncle of a character. The reader is caught up in the demands of friendship and girl/boyfriendship of the titular characters but the glue and the light and the sinews of what helps them move through their next bit of living, is Tiny, complete with his own staged high-school musical which completes the novel.

It’s a bit rushed towards the end but is overall a real read.
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