I picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan earlier this year, while on a trip to Sydney, in the wonderful Kinokuniya bookstore. It sat and sat on my TBR pile for over six months, which is a shame! But, as it turns out the timing could not have been better; it is a perfect antidote to 13 R3asons.
What if you were somewhere you never expected to be and met someone with your name? What if the girl you didn't think you were interested in started being interested in you? What if your best friend started writing a musical about your life... and it made you look lame?
What if you are depressed? What if you are in love with someone you have never met? And what is the story with the guy walking around with your name?
Told from the perspective of each of the Wills, this is a book about love- finding it, falling in it, falling out of it, love between friends, and parental love. Tying the two Wills together is larger than life Tiny Cooper.
Tiny Cooper is not the world's gayest person, and he is not the world's largest person, but I believe he may be the world's largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large.
Tiny is writing a musical about himself, featuring his many ex-boyfriends and his best friends. His character really made the book for me, he is witty and wise.
While some of the characters are depressed, this is in no way a depressing book. It treats 'issues' and problems that teens face with sensitivity and is a gentle reminder that there are people out there who care and who are going through the same stuff as you. I liked the writing of the adults too, unlike 13 R3asons, they were moderate and sensitive. in particular, the parental reactions to these teen boys coming out were reasonable and caring.
Even though I am in no way the demographic for this book, it was so engaging. I really liked the dual narration. The authors used punctuation to define the voices for the readers which worked well. The lyrics for the musical were so funny, and the instant messaging also helped characterisation and narrative whiz along. It really is beautifully written:
Tiny Cooper has brought me to a Gay-Straight Alliance meeting to hook me up with a girl. Which is of course idiotic in the kind of profound and multivalent way that only an English teacher could fully elucidate.
Loved, loved, loved the uplifting ending.
Highly recommended, pop it in a Christmas stocking!
4 hoots out of five!