Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - a review

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
David Levithan, John Green
304 pages Publisher: 
Dutton Juvenile


There's an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Will Riker beams down to a planet he narrowly escaped from by being beamed out several years earlier. He discovers another Will Riker that was marooned on the planet; the transporter cut him in two, basically. Both lived parallel lives until that moment and the event changed each one for the better*

Meet Will Grayson. He's a high school student with girl problems. His best friend is a gay football player named Tiny. He has a list of rules that he lives by (rule one: no talking). His parents are doctors and he lives a nice middle class lifestyle in Chicago. He's an interesting character.

Meet Will Grayson. He's a high school student with boy problems. His best friend is a goth girl he can't stand. He has no rules to live by and is a closeted homosexual. His mother takes care of him and he works at CVS Pharmacy to help her with the bills. He's an interesting character.

I thought--like with the Will Riker TNG episode--that I would be confused at some point as to who was speaking, and that it might be confusing when the other characters referred to one as Will, or My Will, or Just Will. That wasn't the case. John Green and David Levithan both adopted a writing style and voice for each Will Grayson that was the polar opposite of the other.

John Green didn't get me this time either: I did not cry once while reading this book. If anything I did the complete opposite of crying like an 8-year-old with a skinned knee; this time I cackled like a 90-year-old woman who just found her false teeth.

Yeah, yeah, David Levithan is in there too but he's never gotten a real emotional response from me. Well, until the ending of this book, that is. But it was a good fuck yeah response. Not a how will I ever feel the same again I'm completely exhausted emotionally response.

I really credit David Levithan for making what could've been a quirky road trip novel (John Green's primary ingredient) and turning it into a back-and-forth between two characters with unrelated problems.

It's a feel good book. It's a comedy. It's a musical. There's even an element of romance and a goth girl that everyone loves to hate. John Green and David Levithan are like two Will Rikers working in tandem. Both of them put forth an effort to make a different Will Grayson. Both of them succeeded and didn't need a transporter malfunction to do so.

Full Disclosure: I purchased this from a local used bookstore (if I remember correctly).
* Until a DS9 episode where Marooned Will Riker turns evil.

15 comments:

  1. Your reviews makes me want to read a book I own even more than I did before! Haha. This one has been sitting on my shelf since late last year. Also, like seeing more of the written reviews. I like 'em both.

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    1. This one is really good. It was a great read, especially after finishing both Delirium and Pandemonium and Lola. It was a welcome break from the female main character and the dystopian setting.

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  2. really glad you liked this one. i listened to the audio, which was quite brilliant, especially the musical numbers.

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    1. I'm starting to get into the audio book thing because of work... I might have to give that one a spin.

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  3. I really liked this one as well. One of the things that I love about John Green is that he either makes you laugh hysterically or sob uncontrollably; sometimes in the same book.

    I haven't read any solo works by David Levithan yet. But I'm intrigued.

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    1. He has special powers. I don't know how else to explain it.

      I recommend Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. It's a holiday book, but it's good.

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  4. Oh yay!! I've seen a ton of stuff about John Green today which just makes me very happy. I could talk about this one for days. I loved both Will and will, and I really loved Tiny. I just need to read this again as soon as possible. And also Paper Towns, I need to reread that one too.

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    1. Paper Towns is excellent. I kept talking about John Green today at work. I'm going to take my Look for Alaska audio book to work so people can hear its awesomeness.

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  5. Thanks for the review, Adam! I really enjoy your blog. I'll have to pick this one up...sounds like a great read!

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    1. Thanks! It was really great and hilarious. Completely recommended.

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  6. You're so right - this book is so many things. All of the things are awesome.

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  7. Ha ha -- this is an awesome review! It's almost unfortunate if you read any John Green AFTER The Fault in Our Stars, since I don't think anything could really compare. This book is so unlike any of his others -- have you read the rest of his work?

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    1. Yep. After this I have no more John Green to read.

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    2. Me too. He needs to write faster.

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  8. http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/06/will-grayson-will-grayson-by-john-green.html you have an awesome review, have a nice day!

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