Saturday Read: ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson,’ by John Green & David Levithan

I am a HUGE fan of John Green! I’ve previously reviewed two of his books (Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska), so when I saw that he would be writing with another YA heavy-hitter, David Levithan, I knew I had to get my hands on it. After begging publishers for an advanced reader of “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” (unsuccessfully, might I add), I surrendered and bought myself a brand new hardcover the very day it was released.

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” tells the story of two teenage boys living in the Chicago area, both named Will Grayson. Other than their name, they have little in common, but a chance meeting one night sets into motion a series of events that changes both of their lives. The first Will Grayson that we meet is a smart, normal teenager. His best friend is a massive, gay football player ironically named Tiny, who has decided to write a musical chronicling his life being gay. Will isn’t too thrilled about this musical, especially about the character who is supposed to represent him, Gil Wrayson.

The other Will Grayson is a bit sadder; he’s living with his single mother, is on anti-depressants and is all together quite lost. All of his happiness comes from an online boyfriend, Isaac, so one night when Isaac suggests that they meet, Will Grayson is thrilled. On the same night, Tiny, the first Will Grayson and their other friend, Jane, decide to go to Chicago for a concert. However, neither of the Will Grayson’s nights go according to plan and they end up meeting.

And that’s all I’ll tell you.

This whole plot may sound a bit cheesy or even depressing, but trust me, Green and Levithan are absolute masters of wit so all this drama comes off as fairly light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek. Yes, they like to feature gay characters, but even though a good chunk of the characters in this book are in fact gay, the book isn’t about the struggles of a gay teen or anything like that. This is just a story and the same story could be told with straight characters, too.

The reason I love YA and especially John Green books is because they are so real and truly make me feel something. The writing in this book is so beyond awesome and I find myself grabbing a notepad before I crack it open so I can make sure I don’t forget the really moving quotes. Green and Levithan really write from their hearts and lay it all out there for their readers. They always give me new insight into life and love and I really appreciate that. “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” is so honest and just SUCH a good read. It’s not pretentious or wordy, but it’s just as wise as an adult novel. Green and Levithan really give voice to teenagers and show that you can learn a lot from people who are younger than you.

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