John Green and David Levithan Penguin Books UK Published 10th July 2014 (this edition) Thank you to the publisher for providing this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the story of two Will Graysons who meet by chance one night in Chicago. Their lives collide in the most unexpected of ways and it leads to romantic turmoil, misunderstandings and one massive school musical. A collaboration between YA heavyweights John Green and David Leviathan, the two points of view alternate and are very easy to tell apart. But despite the title, this book is not about either of the two Will Graysons. It is about Tiny Cooper.
Everyone adores Tiny Cooper, the large, gay driver of this story. He is Will Grayson #1’s best friend (by default, it seems) and gets involved with Will Grayson #2 after that night they all meet, plus everyone else in the Gay Straight Alliance and pretty much the whole school seems to adore Tiny. And that’s not counting the long string of boys who love and leave Tiny, each time leaving him devastatingly heartbroken, no matter how short their relationship. When we meet Tiny, he is having a breakdown over the latest boy to dump him. This whole book then proceeds to centre around Tiny and how he impacts the lives of both Will Graysons. It would be fine if I liked Tiny. Probably would be better if I liked the Will Graysons more. But I didn’t.
It’s only been a few years since I was the age of the characters but I don’t remember being so over the top dramatic and I don’t think I was so invested in my love life that it overtook everything else in my life. Nobody I knew ever would have made a musical about their failed love life either – especially at seventeen and what’s more, everyone else would have called them out for their slutting around, no matter what gender or orientation. I wouldn’t want to see that musical!
As for the two Will Graysons…
WILL GRAYSON NUMBER ONE (John Green’s Will Grayson): This guy could not have put more emphasis on how large and gay Tiny Cooper was. With every mention of Tiny was a mention of his size and his gayness (which was apparently large too, in case you didn’t get that). I know I’m not a guy, but would even a guy think to himself every time he thought about Tiny “gay, fat”, as if he knows a bunch of other Tinys and has to differentiate between them? Or is he just an arse who continually mentions how gay and fat his friend is? And because I read this a couple of weeks ago before I could be bothered to write this review, I really don’t have much more to say about this Will Grayson. I know he didn’t annoy me as much as the other one but other than that he hasn’t left much of an impression.
WILL GRAYSON NUMBER TWO (David Leviathan’s Will Grayson): Sometimes self-deprecating is funny. Sometimes its relatable. Sometimes it makes someone seem like a turd who can’t get over themselves. This is that case. I don’t know a lot about depression so I feel like I could be saying the wrong things, but man this guy was annoying. The writing in lower caps really pissed me off and his character felt so dramatic and over the top, although in a different way to Tiny. I could not sympathise with this guy. He was awful to his mum and the only part I did enjoy was when he came out to her. Her response was beautiful and that was the one thing done right in this novel.
So why does this still get three stars from me?
One – it’s just scraping by for three stars.
Two – it’s the way they write, it’s so easy to read and I can’t put it down
Three – I teared up at the end even though I thought it was pretty stupid.
Still confused about why everyone loves Tiny and also why both Wills had to apologise to him and bow down and accept him as king of the universe (queen? Whatever). But I’m not sure if this is legit or I just can’t remember what happened.
A most definite ‘meh’ book.