Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (4.5/5)

The back says: Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their worlds will collide and lives intertwine.

Inside dust jacket: It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theatre auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building towards respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.

I say: I somehow expected this to be some sort of science fiction, probably because of the name factor and an imagined alternative universe that would collide on this fateful night. But it was nothing of the sort. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, in fact;

I loved it.

We get to follow the two Will Graysons’ lives in alternating chapters and, according to Wikipedia, the way the authors set this up was that they each wrote the first three chapters separately and then got together and decided on how they would meet. I rarely mind novels that interchange between characters, as long as there is a reason for it.

I fell in love with the second will grayson – the one whose text had no capitalisation. There was so much about him that reminded me of myself, and when the betrayal emerged I was absolutely seething.

I sort of liked the first Will Grayson – the one who did capitalise – in the beginning; he was somewhat whiny and somewhat the archetypal nerd, and there was something about his life that was a bit meh. As the story progressed, and he grew as a person, I came to like him more and more.

I have to say this though, as stereotypical a flamboyantly homosexual as Tiny was, he won my heart over and over again. His character was definitely needed in the first Will Grayson’s life in order to bring some light heartedness and comedy to this novel. Otherwise we would have been stuck with two melancholy Will Graysons, which would have been a tad too much, even for me.

And yes, I have to type out their full name every time I mention them.

Weird.

This is a perfect coming of age novel and the reason why I keep returning to young adult fiction. It was laugh out loud funny at times, sad and heartbreaking at others, and then uplifting and just plain perfection at others. I never saw the end coming and I think I may have teared up a little lot.

It was a happy ending, which even cynics like me need every now and then.

I’ve never read anything by either author before, and I need to find out which one of them wrote which part, because I really want to read more from whoever wrote the second will grayson’s chapters, because some of it was pure perfection.

2 comments:

  1. This book cover always seems to stand out to me whenever I see it. This sounds like something I would like!

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  2. The cover is the very reason I picked it up - it was just begging to be read.

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