Will Grayson, Will Grayson - Review

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Read by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl

Publication date: 6 April 2010 by Brilliance Audio

ISBN 10/13: 1441842608 | 9781441842602

Category: Young Adult Realistic Fiction

Keyword: Young adult, realistic, musicals

Format: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

From Goodreads:

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.

Thuy's Review:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the epic tale of two very different young men named Will Grayson, the ironically named and infinitely fabulous Tiny Cooper, one very gay high school musical, and what happens when they all collide. At times funny and poignant and always honest, this book made me want to laugh, cry, and break out in song.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is told from the point of view of, you guessed it, Will Grayson(s). OWG (Original Will Grayson) lives in Evanston where he goes through life trying his best to 1) Shut Up and B) Not Care. Will’s afraid of what might happen to him if he starts caring about things and has decided not to risk it and hides behind a wall of apathy. 

I admit that I was somewhat frustrated by Will at first. He never wanted to seize the moment or say what was on his mind and he ends up missing out on life. As the story goes on, though, he starts to get some backbone and I really started to like Will. He has a deep seated loyalty to Tiny and cares much more about things than he first lets on. 

The Other Will Grayson is an angry and depressed teen who is struggling to come to terms with himself. This Will Grayson goes through the most growth in the book and, through the miracle that is Tiny Cooper, learns to open himself up to the possibility of love, or at least, really, really like.

And what review of of Will Grayson, Will Grayson would be complete without mentioning Tiny Cooper? Tiny is a big, fabulous force of nature. Like a tornado or a tsunami, he just can’t be stopped. Outrageous and often completely self-absorbed, Tiny is infuriating but also extremely kind, generous and lovable. He manages to see the best in people and finds joy in everyday life.

Obviously I didn’t read the print version of this book but I think I can confidently recommend the audiobook over print. MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl are both fantastic readers. They truly brought all of the characters to life and gave a distinct voice to each one (not literally though they did do some actual “voices” for the characters). There's singing of the music theater variety in this book. A lot of it. Normally I would find this cheesy but it's totally appropriate and awesome in this case. I can't imagine that reading the lyrics to the Tiny Dancer musical can compare to hearing the songs sung out loud at full volume. Andrews and Podehl put their hearts into it and belt out those songs. This is one of those audiobooks that actually made me want to sit in my car in park or drive around the block one more time so I could keep listening.

A story about friendship, love and taking chances, Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a must read.

Visit the authors online at johngreenbooks.com and davidlevithan.com. You can follow John on Twitter @realjohngreen and on Tumblr at fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com. David doesn't tweet, but he's on Facebook.

You can find this book on audible.com, on AudioBookstand, and at your local library.