Monday, 22 October 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levithan

This book has been collecting dust on my bookshelf for a while now and I decided that now was the time to read this after hearing some lovely reviews from both bloggers and friends. One of my friends even mentioned it was 'the best John Green novel they had read' which is recommendation enough, hey?
I am a big fan of both John Green and David Levithan in their own rights, both of which have written books which are some of my favourites so I was anticipating something amazing in this book. Something extraordinary with two such talented authors.

Synopsis: One night in Chicago, on a unusual corner, Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. The two teens are completely different apart from sharing the same name. As their worlds collide, the two Will's start doing new things, moving in different directions discovering romance and themselves all leading up to the biggest, most epic musical of all time.

Review: This book was neither OHMYGODSOGOOD or I hate this book. It was one of those middle books. Nothing too shabby, nothing terrible. I think part of my conclusion for this book is all down to timing.
The last books I have read by these authors were serious stuff. John Green, it was The Fault in Our Stars (the BEST book ever) and for David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary. For those that have read both or at least one of these books, you'll see what I mean by seriousness.
So then I am presented with this book. A book full of light hearted humour, a lot of gay references and just overall, quite entertaining. This isn't a book with deep psychological meaning, no way. But it is a book that made me think, laugh, smile and be sad, all in one 200-odd page book.

The two Will Grayson's are narrated in alternating chapters. It's clear from the start which one is which author. I have to say I much preferred John Green's Will Grayson. I found him sarcastic, funny and altogether charming, the kind of person and character I like and as usual reminded me of the whole cast of John Green characters. I just felt he was easier to get into.
David Levithan's Will Grayson. Well. I have nothing against this character. But I found him a little too moody, rude and just a little annoying. I felt for him at many times, I really did. But I always anticipated John Green's chapters over David Levithan's. And David? The whole lower-case thing? So infuriating for someone who does English Literature! I liked why you did it (there was an interview between you and John at the back of the book explaining your reasoning) but seriously, there should be a warning on the front 'inappropriate grammar used'. Whoa.

The thing that confused me a little about this book was that is what the synopsis and title implies - the book doesn't do or live up to it. It implies this will be all about the two Will Grayson's. The two Will's and how they interact, maybe like they do something to ruin each other's lives or whatever. Maybe this is just my own synopsis but yeah, that doesn't happen.
The main character for me of this book is Tiny Cooper. Yep. THAT is his name. Tiny is an, erm, unique character. He is rather tall, large and incredibly strong (yeah haha, called Tiny...) but he is also incredibly...gay. Tiny for me did gel the book together, make this book much more entertaining than if it was just the two Grayson's. The book charters the lead up to the staging of Tiny's musical, Tiny Dancer about, you've guessed it, him! Tiny is QUITE a character and someone who had me smiling throughout reading.
This books is all about Tiny, truly. But I think this is because he is the common link between the Will Grayson - he links them together therefore, he features in both sides of narration.

Moving away from the characters, this book works with the blend of David Levithan and John Green's styles, which I have to admit I think are quite similar. This book is not only for entertainment value. It is also about relationships, people - how to deal with both. The issue of people being gay and the different reactions to that. The book deals with lots of different things within the subject of friendships and relationships; I have to admit I did take some things away from the book.

This book was purely entertainment for me. There are some lovely messages that you could get from the end but ultimately, I enjoyed this because of the humour and the antics of the characters within the book. It was very different from what I expected and due to having read serious books by these authors, I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I could of. This book was okay, nothing terrible, nothing amazing.
Tiny Cooper makes this book (even though he was a little annoying at times). And John Green's Will Grayson. And Jane. (ohwillgraysonandjanearethebestcouple!). Basically, the characters make this book unique and interesting. Very good and clever idea, David and John.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5

Authors Website: http://johngreenbooks.com/ and http://www.davidlevithan.com/
Pages: 304
Publisher: Dutton
Challenges: None

Related Posts:
Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Review: The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan

Review: The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Review: Looking for Alaska - John Green
Review: Paper Towns - John Green

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