Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

4/5 Stars
Published by Dutton Juvenile 
Published April 6, 2010

Synopsis: 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, they each find their lives going in new and unexpected directions. Their lives build up to unforeseen romances and internal struggles; teenage identity crises and the questioning of friend loyalties. 

What a brilliant collaboration between John Green and David Levithan! Reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. The writing was edgy, raw, and offensive, but never crossing the line. Throughout the book I could not decide whether I should be cheering with glee or shrinking away in fear of the accuracy of everyday struggles. 

This book perfectly portrays the thoughts of two angsty teenage boys, who happen to both be named Will Grayson. They are ultimately trying to find themselves but instead find each other in the most unlikely - and rather quite awkward - place. I was constantly doubling over with laughter, but I could also feel my heartstrings contract due to the occasional sympathetic moments. This book was able to shine a bright light on modern day issues of homosexuality, depression, love and loss, friendship, and the ever painful self-realization. 

Will Grayson #1, or rather, John Green's Will Grayson, was definitely more relatable to me. He was the stereotypical, self-deprecating, hilarious character that John Green is infamous for, whose life motto was one, don't care and two, shut up. He had moments where he relished in valuable lessons and began to question whether his own life motto was the right one to follow. Some of my favorites include his game of ' Ten Minutes of Truth' where he just straight out defies all rules of his life to question his relationship with this girl. His best friend, Tiny Cooper, who is a 300+ pound, gay athlete who constantly challenges Will Grayson and his mindset, had me wrapped around his finger. Boy oh boy, his flamboyant and rather out there personality had me loving every moment Tiny was placed under the spotlight. He seemed to be self-absorbed and only cared for what was good for him, but he truly began to understand the meaning of friendship as the book carried along. He started to realize that his entire being was to help other people and make them feel anything other than distress.

It took me a little while to warm up to Will Grayson #2, who was written by David Levithan, but when I did I was a full fledged fan of his character. Will Grayson #2 was snarky and quick to snap if he needed to. He really made a turning point for me when he revealed the pressing details that made up his life: depression, the loss of his father, money issues, and homosexuality. It was sad to see that the poor little guy just wanted a simple break from the harsh life that he was living, so you ultimately hope that he gets it. He had a humor that was more negative, degrading, and sarcastic than WG #1, but that was the amusing part of the story. The contrasts between the two Will Graysons made it enjoyable. We watched as these two totally different boys had their lives thrown upside down as they collided that one night in Chicago. From there on the rest was history.

Overall I thought the book was brilliant. The writing was quirky and easy to fall into sync with. At times I felt as though I was living the story with them. I would begin to relate little details back to my life and that is how I began to grow a connection with these characters. This novel is remarkable for both its compassion and polished wit. Kudos to you, John Green and David Levithan.

John Green
David Levithan