Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a terrific collaboration between John Green (Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars) and David Levithan (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Every Day).   In this comedic and touching coming-of-age story, Green's Will Grayson is smart and funny, but not so popular in school, mainly because his rules to live by are 1. Don't care too much, and 2. Shut up.   Will is not too thrilled with his gargantuan best friend, Tiny Cooper (irony, Tiny tells us), who is gay and cares very much and does not shut up at all.   Levithan's will grayson is depressed and moody, also has friends he doesn't really like, and is embroiled in an online romance with a boy named Isaac, the only aspect of his life that makes him happy.  Unlike Tiny, will is not "out" and prefers to keep his business to himself.

They are strangers with the same name who are destined to save each other from themselves.  Will might need a little less saving than will, but if you ask Jane, she might disagree.  The "minor" characters (I hate thinking of them that way) are also well-wrought; Jane is drawn deeply enough that I truly like her and am cheering for her, but Green doesn't let her story (which would be awesome) take over the novel.  Sometimes I wish I could read the same book from each character's perspective (shades of Rebecca Wells Little Altars Everywhere). 

will grayson's mom is another such character.  She is enough of a presence in his life and on the page that we cheer for her as well, that she'll get happier, and "get a life" as she jokes sadly to will.

What ensues over the course of the novel is Will and will meet, haphazardly, and between laughter, tears, and some cringing, we are treated to the best high school musical imaginable.  There are songs, and they are good!  And funny.  I believe John Green might have a bit of a lyricist in him.  In Looking for Alaska there are even a few raps.

Green and Levithan both still have one foot in adolescence, and truly bring out the teen thought process regarding dating, friendship, and how to survive high school without surrendering to a loveless lie.

Because love and truth make each other possible.


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