Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Monday, December 17, 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Date of Publication: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Speak

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It's been years when I first learned that this book exists and wanted to read it pretty badly. But meh, I was fresh from high school and my love for reading was killed by required novels that while I do like or love, can't appreciate that much because I have to take a test about them. I love reading but when I'm under the pretense of remembering every single action, every single motive, every single character had on the novel, it's a buzzkill.

Come my junior year in college and my love for reading was reignited. I also learned that Will Grayson, Will Grayson is actually available here in the Philippines because seriously, I thought it was some snob book that can only be found in non-third world countries. Mehehe, shows how much I know about books. When I had this gift check in this bookstore, I decided to buy Will Grayson, Will Grayson, commemorating my reintroduction to it (by this time I love David Levithan already) and our reunion.

It pretty much stayed in my shelf for a while because I can't freaking find a time to read it. Then I read Let It Snow and realized I do like John Green from the little bit of his that I read. I still haven't read the book until this fateful day, of having nothing to do but wait for my sister reply to me if we're going to a concert together or not, that I started reading the book. And actually continuing it. I started the book once, while waiting at the bank, but I didn't get to read that much so back it went to the shelf. But this day, I learned that my sister and I will be going to the concert separately and so I read it on my commute to the concert, on the bus and on the train. I read it after the concert was over, read it while waiting for my plane to board (because don't you know it, I was flying off to somewhere after that concert), read most of it on the flight, read while eating lunch and finally, finishing it while waiting for the shuttle. It was a rollercoaster of a reading ride, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. 

I've only ever read John Green's story in Let It Snow prior to reading this but I've read (and loved!) The Lover's Dictionary, How They Met and Other Stories and Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, all by David Levithan. I am already a huge David Levithan fan and I certainly liked Let It Snow (but more for Maureen Johnson's story). I do liked the voice of his Will Grayson. Color me surprised though when I realized that this is an LGBT book. I certainly had no idea, all these years. But I'm an advocate of gender emancipation and so, it was a nice and welcome surprise.

This story is as much the story of Tiny Cooper as it is the story of the two Will Graysons. Because it is Tiny Cooper that linked these two Will Graysons and made them interact. Surely, you might have read the book because you wondered what could happen when two persons with the same name meet. 

This book is told in alternating chapters of the two Will Graysons which I love because you know I love different POVs. Will Grayson is my kind of guy: nerdy, funny, listens to freakin' good music and is into smart, slightly pretentious girls. I don't know why, I just like nerdy characters in general, especially the bumbling ones. Will Grayson is easily understandable, likable, with all his pop culture references and humor. John Green had me laughing at the first paragraph of the book.

Which made me unprepared for the puzzle that is will grayson. will grayson is an "emo" (he legitimately suffers from depression) who thinks dark thoughts, really dark thoughts. I wasn't used to this. In fact, I was a bit uncomfortable reading his chapters at the start. Proves how David Levithan can use words to make you feel every bit of pain will feels, every bit of hate he feels, every bit of everything. I was a fan of David Levithan before I read this book and I don't know how I can love him more but I did. I still freakin' did. David Levithan, you are a genius. I didn't understand will grayson all the time but he felt real. I think he singlehandedly gave the book all its angst, the realistic fiction part. As much as I was invested in Will and Jane's story and I was rooting for him, for them, depression, identity crisis and betrayal trump i-like-you-should-i-make-a-move in the grand scheme of things. will grayson also sounds different than any of Levithan's previous characters. I can't say the same for John Green as Will Grayson sounded like Tobin (Let It Snow) and Colin (An Abundance of Katherines). 

I remember catching some words and sentences here and there from both authors where I just thought "good lawd, these writers are incredible, hands down". Because they freakin' use wordplay.  They phrase words into sentences that can make you cry, guffaw, cringe. I think I classify that as magic.

So I'm gonna say this, this book is rude but HILARIOUS. I was in the plane reading it and people were asleep but I laughed. Then I immediately covered my mouth and stifled my laughter into weird-sounding chuckles. It's vulgar, it's not a clean read but damn if I wasn't entertained and more importantly, moved by this novel. It's intellectual and emotional and it's great. It all boils down to it's great.

And Tiny... I love you! <3


  1. Will Grayson . Will Grayson is an emotional roller-coaster, it'll make you laugh and it'll make you cry.
    This book is one of those which either you get or you don't, Its all about how much you relate to the characters.

    1. Yeah, I guess I would have loved it all the more if I can relate to the characters on a deeper level than I did. But I agree, this book = <3. Thanks for dropping by, Neha!


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