Sunday, September 12, 2010
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Published: April 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Audio Copy provided by: Overdrive courtesy of library
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 legions of faithful fans.
I had read quite a bit about this title in various blogs and found it quite intriguing, so when the opportunity arose for me to listen to it, I jumped at the chance. What an experience it has been. The story is narrated by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl, who provide the two different voices of both Will Graysons. They are absolutely superb at projecting the differences between the two characters and even burst into song when the occasion demands it. I was completely enthralled by the story, and I can't actually imagine just reading it now.
This was a wonderful story about discovering who you really are and allowing yourself to be ok with that. The cast of supporting characters are perfect, with Tiny Cooper taking the prize for best overtly gay teen ever - think of the character Damian in the movie 'Mean Girls' x10 and you've got the picture. His is so much larger than life that you can''t help but love him. The two supporting female friends are fleshed out nicely and are allowed to make mistakes that they learn from. The parents of both boys are a very real presence without being too obtrusive and I liked that.
The story is about finding love, falling in love, being in love, coping with love and all the consequences that arise from that. Perhaps I should add, surviving love. I thoroughly enjoyed Will Grayson, Will Grayson. It made me laugh out loud and cry too - which gets you strange looks when you're driving the car in traffic! - and I would highly recommend it for boys and girls. It might even work for an ISU as a portrait of contemporary coming of age.
Note, perhaps this isn't for younger teens, there is a fair bit of language and sexual suggestion throughout the book, but I honestly can't imagine the book having such a strong impact if it wasn't there. If you don't like language or non-heterosexual relationships it won't appeal to you, but otherwise, give it a try.