Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Four stars, read in September 2011.

Despite the fact that this book was not at all what I thought it was going to be, I really liked it. From the cover and the title, I think I had the impression that some kind of alternate-universing or sci-fi-ing was going to be taking place; it didn’t. The Will Graysons are two kids from regular old Chicago, and there is no sci-fi involved.

The first Will Grayson is emotionally repressed—like most teenagers, I think, except that this Will goes so far as to have rules: 1. Don’t care too much, and 2. Shut up. The second Will Grayson is gay and self-loathing, and although I listened to this on audio, I read in a review that his chapters are done all in lowercase. Frankly, that would have been pretty annoying to me, so I’m glad I went the audio route—although that way had its downsides too. The narrators were fantastic and I really liked the way they read the characters… but I could maybe have done without the singing. (One of the major plotlines is the planning of a school musical being written by Will Grayson #1’s best friend, Tiny Cooper, and any time lyrics were included, the narrators sang them. They both sing surprisingly well, but… you know. Still.) The language level is fairly mature for YA, so if that bothers you, I always think reading is easier than listening.

I’m not going to lie—there were some fairly cheesy parts, like the contrived ending, and all the scenes involving Tiny Cooper. But I liked those things in spite of their cheesiness, and I thought it was a really lovely story.

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