Will Grayson, Will Grayson

by John Green and David Levithan
First sentence: “When I was little, my dad used to tell me, ‘Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.'”
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Content: There’s a lot of swearing in this one. A. Lot. So, it’s in the Teen section (grades 9+) of the bookstore.

I think the last time I read this, four years ago, I cheated on the review. It’s like I had nothing original to say. And perhaps, because I read it when everyone else was reading it, I didn’t.

So, I decided it deserves a proper review.

Will Grayson (1) is one of those people who just kind of goes with the flow. His best friend, for better or worse, is Tiny Cooper — who is anything but tiny — and he is the sort of person who creates drama. In fact, he’s written a musical, aptly title Tiny Dancer, about his life and is staging  it.

Will Grayson (2) is on medication for clinical depression, and by any account is less than enjoyable to be with. He has exactly three friends (sort of) but is harboring a crush on his on-line friend, Isaac. So when Isaac suggests that they meet up in Chicago, WG2 jumps at the chance

Except, Isaac isn’t real. And, WG2 meets WG1 (and Tiny) instead. And, lives were changed. Mostly for the better.

A lot of what there is to be said about this book is about the format. Green wrote WG1 and Levithan wrote WG2, and at the beginning, you can tell. It’s jarring traveling back and forth between the Will Graysons, but after they meet things become easier. And more fluid. I love how Tiny goes back and forth between the Wills but still ends up being Tiny. I also love the inclusiveness of this novel. That being gay is not an Event. It’s more who you are. And that’s okay. I also love that there’s a terrific example of non-romantic love. (Watch this video for what I mean.) While it’s not my favorite John Green book, I found myself touched by the end, by Tiny’s inclusiveness, and by his friends’ ultimate desire to help him realize that he matters. And by extension, that we all matter.

I’m glad I had an opportunity to reread it.

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