Will Grayson, Will Grayson

John Green, David Levithan
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 them both legions of faithful fans.  

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-07-18
Laughed and smiled throughout the entire book :)
Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 12/6/15: This was actually a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be! I haven't really had success with either author (nothing BAD but I just haven't felt very invested) so I was super hesitant about this book... But when I saw that two of my favorite audiobook narrators performed it, I knew I had to give it a try!
It was actually quite an enjoyable listen. I guess I'm still not super invested in the characters (similar to my experience with other John Green books) and I really think that the narrators brought out a lot of personality. I think this is one of those times where it was very beneficial to listen on audio because I might not have enjoyed it as much if I hadn't. That being said, I really did like how the whole story played out! It was a love story and it wasn't. It was a break-up story and it wasn't. It was about friendship and finding happiness and how hard it is to even know where to start finding happiness because we don't always know what we're missing.
I actually really loved how both Wills ended up growing and evolving by the end of the book. The development was great and it was awesome to see how their friendships (although not really with each other) helped them get there. I wasn't totally hooked but I'll say a solid four stars!
(MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl forever <3)

Full review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 1/12/16: Full disclosure: I really only read this book because of the audiobook narrators. I’ve really struck out with both authors on multiple occasions (not terrible but enough to make me feel like I wasn’t anxious to pick up anything else by them) so I was super nervous to read WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON… But with two of my favorite audio narrators ever (Nick Podehl and MacLeod Andrews), I knew I had to give it a shot!

I was actually… pleasantly surprised! WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON was enjoyable from start to finish and it ended up being a really quick read/listen for me. I wasn’t totally in love with the book since Will Grayson #2 was a bit hard to like sometimes due to his generally surly demeanor and Will Grayson #1 was a bit more closed off… But it was also really interested to watch those characters change and grow throughout the book! I really did like the character development, seeing how their relationships changed, and how they really grew up and gained confidence along the way.

The story takes place in the suburbs of Chicago which is where I’m from so really I was dying for more specific locations so I could really put myself in the book! Will Grayson #2 is from Naperville which I’ve known all my life, I have relatives who live there, and that’s also where my husband used to live so I was trying to dissect which high school he went to but there really weren’t any clues given. I guess it’s probably better and more universal not to reference a specific high school or place when referencing a real town but I really wanted to pretend like I knew exactly where Will Grayson lived!

I think I was hoping for a quicker merge of the two Will Grayson story lines. Now that I’m looking back, I can’t remember exactly how long it took them to meet (halfway through the book? Not quite as far?) but I do remember wishing it had been just a bit sooner. I also was imagining their stories would be much more connected. They aren’t quite a part of each other’s lives but they do end up with mutual friends/acquaintances from their meeting.

Overall, the book was fun, quick, and I really did enjoy from start to finish. There were some small moments where I think I had expectations that didn’t quite pan out (in general, just my impression of what the book was going to be) so I wasn’t as invested as I possibly could have been. I also had the hang-up that I wasn’t a huge fan of either author before starting but it was kind of nice to have this book renew my faith a bit! I don’t know if I’m motivated to pick up more from either author but it was a very pleasant experience and a really nice read!
Reviewed: 2017-04-03
It's really only a personal issue that made me give this only 4 and not 5 stars: I cannot freaking stand it when people write in all lower-case. Barely tolerable in a text message, unacceptable in a book! It's proofread and edited and shit!

Ok, but the story was so good and the characters so real and, god help me, likeable, even the one who wrote in all lower-case, that I soldiered on and soon enough no power in the verse was going to stop me from finding out what happens to those people.

Hint: It's life. Not much of a hint on the surface but if you read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, it's almost like I'm profound or whatever.
Reviewed: 2016-07-08
The Fault in Our Stars is the first John Green novel I ever read. It is also the only John Green novel I ever enjoyed. After finishing it, I hunted down his other books and was soundly disappointed. They all had some variation of a dull male protagonist, his quirky unobtainable love interest, his far more interesting friends, and his oddly lenient parents. I couldn’t take it anymore after Paper Towns.

But that was a year ago, long enough for me to recover, and I am so happy I gave this book a chance. Together, John Green and David Levithan wrote a lovely story about relationships, both romantic and platonic, as well as overcoming the fear of intimacy.

First Green introduces Will Grayson, a standoffish guy whose two rules are “shut up” and “don’t care too much.” His main goal in high school is to attract as little attention as possible. However, going unnoticed is out of the question when your best friend is Tiny Cooper, “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.” Everything Will’s not, Tiny is currently working on an autobiographical musical called – wait for it – Tiny Dancer.

This book definitely would have fallen flat if Will Grayson was the main character, and Tiny could have sooo easily have ended up as the Sassy Gay Friend™. Thankfully, Will stays in a Nick-Carraway-type role, where he firmly belongs. The book also benefits from the voice of the second narrator, David Levithan’s will grayson.

will grayson is an angsty, abrasive guy who has a bone to pick with the world. “i am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me,” he says. will is on medication for depression; he’s gay but he hasn’t come out yet; and the only emotional connection he has is with isaac, a boy he met online. Despite coming from different worlds – well, Chicago suburbs anyway – Will Grayson and will grayson miraculously meet one night in the city. Romantic teenage shenanigans ensue… ?

These days, sincerity seems to be embarrassing. Showing that you care isn’t cool, and being a cynic is conflated with being a realist. And while I’m not any sort of teenage boy, I could easily identify with the narrators. In high school, I avoided forming close relationships – I still do, to some degree. Like Will Grayson, I tried really hard to be invisible. And like will grayson, I was angry and sarcastic. So I was touched to see both boys learn that connecting to another person – a friend, a parent, a partner – is okay. Yeah, you might get hurt or rejected, but if you want to find love and acceptance, you are going to have to take those risks. Tiny’s habit of falling in love could have been treated as a running gag – and it sorta is, in the beginning. But at the end, I realized that despite his previous disappointments, Tiny never stops opening himself up to other people, and that is a brave and wonderful thing.
Reviewed: 2015-05-03
I loved Will Grayson Will Grayson! It was funny and interesting, had a great plot and a great ending! I really felt like I was there feeling the emotions so beautifully portrayed. I loved the play and loved the ending. I wish it could be a weekly show. :)
Reviewed: 2015-04-07
Tiny has written a musical about love. Tiny's best friend, Will Grayson, would prefer not to be a featured character, would in fact prefer not to be noticed at all. The other Will Grayson is trying to get through the miserable morass that is his life. The story of Tiny and the two Wills is hilarious and very sweet, but too edgy to be cloying. The song lyrics are worth it, all on their own.
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