Meet Will Grayson. Nerdy, lovable, an over-thinker and over cautious.
Meet will grayson. Closed off, manic depressive and introverted…
…wait, what? Two Will Grayson’s? This is about to get complex.
Will Grayson or what I like to call uppercase Will, is a typical high school student, navigating life with his larger-than-life gay best friend Tiny Cooper, dealing with girls and his love of obscure bands.
Lower case will grayson doesn't care for much, other than conversing with his only real friend, Isaac, over the Internet. He’s a complex character, is snarky and sarcastic, with a dull and pessimistic outlook on life.
The novel alternates between the two boys stories and perspectives – don't worry you'll be able to tell the difference between the two straight away – with each playing out almost like separate short stories both in style and even typeface. That is until one cold night on the street corner in Chicago, when the two Graysons paths cross and their lives are turned upside down.
So what’s my verdict?
I'm no stranger Green or Levithan, so I knew reading their two writing styles colliding together – much like the Wills themselves – would create something a little special.
First up, upper-case Will Grayson, who leads the novel and is Green’s typical nerd boy who’s a little unlucky in love, but a likeable character. Lower-case will grayson is a whole other story. Much more complex, a little emo but saddening-ly lonely, his character is the most interesting to me.
The book is so character focused there isn't much of a plotline but that doesn't really matter too much in this context. The switch in scenes and locations are simply a backdrop to a YA story about friendship, relationships (of the hetrosexual and LGBT kind) and muddling through the minefield of being teenager.
Despite the book being called Will Grayson/Will Grayson, I feel the ‘/’ should represent a not so little character called Tiny Cooper. As upper-case Will’s best friend, he’s just as much of a main character as both of the Graysons themselves. His over the top personality and close to ridiculous antics prove to be the glue that holds the story together once two Wills meet.
The book can get heavy at times, particularly on lower-case will grayson’s chapters, but the humour is also there in sarcastic and silly doses (Green’s typical humour is particularly prevalent during his chapters). I'm also impressed with how well the LGBT aspects of the novel are handled by the two authors, the issues aren't preached by two adults but spoken and dealt with realistically through the voices of their characters.
I have a funny feeling this will be a Marmite type of novel. As I said before there’s not much of a plot to drive the stories, though in my opinion the character development alone is to keep a reader turning pages.
Loser: Beck; Aftermath: Adam Lambert; Falling Apart: The All-American Rejects; When I Come Around: Green Day; Are We All We Are: Pink; Just Keep Breathing: We The Kings
For lovers of…Green & Levithan’s novels – An Abundance of Katherines & Boy Meets Boys in particular and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This book was reviewed by regular reviewer Ria, get to know more about her here!
*cover image via GoodReads