I love a good YA novel, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Lately, it’s been a lot easier to find YA than it has been in previous years—when I heard about a particular sequel coming soon, I knew I needed to read the original book before going any further.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the tale of two guys with the same name (minus the middle name) and the way they interact with a guy named Tiny Cooper. The first Will is Tiny’s best friend—while Tiny is as big as a house and well known, he is also out—and his Chicago suburb school (while supportive) does not give him the appreciation a friend (like Will) can give. The second Will is in another Chicago suburb (a little poorer), talking to a guy on the internet he has never met, but seems to be the only person in the world that understands him. One night in Chicago proper, events set forth that bring the two Will Graysons together and no one shall emerge the same. And, no part of the autobiographical musical Tiny Cooper has created, will ever been the same either.
I really enjoyed the book, especially considering each writer takes turns with their part of the collaboration. Both Green and Levithan turned and interesting concept into a fresh and contemporary story that compels the reader to delve deeply into the book, and into themselves.
The characters in this were surprisingly honest. Because it was so well written, it was hard to find a favorite character. Storywise, it is a toss up between Jane and the first Will Grayson to know Tiny. Of course, it is also really difficult to dismiss Tiny Cooper—I LOVE TINY COOPER!!!! It is hard not to love someone with his passion.
I read the lion’s share of this book on the plane ride to and from Hawaii. I wanted to earmark this so that I could focus on the story and while I might have been disappointed at the end, it was something necessary for the story to end up that way. It was honest, and I could not fault it for that. I commend the writers for sticking to their guns, rather than just take the easy way out by pandering to what the audience wanted.
Overall, I can honestly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a well-written YA novel. It is available in a multitude of formats at your favorite retailer—I picked mine up in paperback and it travels very well!
Have you read this? Do you read YA? Why or Why not?