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

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One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson marks my last book in John Green’s collection – whoop whoop!

I have to say I did like this book – but I didn’t love it. It didn’t overwhelm me or amaze me. It just felt a bit…flat.

Let’s start by talking about the whole name thing. Ugh, this just gets to me. It’s so unrealistic – and it gave a nod to the whole 19 Katherine’s from An Abundance of Katherines, which annoyed me even more. It’s also confusing, and honestly didn’t add much to the story in my opinion. I mean Will and Will hardly even communicated with each other!

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go.”

I have to also say the teenagers in this novel are kind of…assholes. Not all the time, but all of them kind of screw up and come across really badly. One of these guys is Tiny, who is basically the centre of this novel for reasons I don’t really see? In my honest opinion, he can come across pretty big headed even though he’s trying to do all of these great things.

“It’s gonna hurt.”

So what did I like about this book? Well, the ending was great! It didn’t give perfect closure, but it did give a good message for the reader to leave with. The ending was pretty heartwarming. I also guess I liked some of the characters and some of the quotes/situations/narrative, and I found some of it incredibly lovely and sweet. I love that they included LGBTQIA+ characters and coming out. I love that it tackled homophobia in a way some teens do have to cope with.

Another important part of this story is definitely depression. One of the Will Grayson’s suffers with depression and I like the way that’s included in his story but not completely focused upon. I can’t really say whether his thoughts are accurate or not – but depression comes in all shapes, sizes and feelings. I just hope some readers can relate to him. Even though I can’t say I related to his depression, I am impressed that the authors included it.

“It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”

Oh and back to complaining. One of the Will Grayson’s (I honestly can’t be arsed at this point to remember or explain which) wrote in all lowercase letters. and i mean. like this. like the author (i think david levithan) couldn’t lift his fingers to the damn shift key. and this really, really got on my nerves.

Wow, writing about this book is getting me even more annoyed about it. So what else? We’ve already discussed the unlikeliness of names – what about the unlikeliness of them meeting randomly in – of all places – a porn shop? I mean, Will Grayson is not even a common name. Come on.

Overall, it’s slow. It’s flat, but I guess it filled a gap. I’m glad I didn’t DNF this book, and I did speed through it pretty quickly. I guess I liked it, in an okay kind of way, but I certainly didn’t feel anything more than that.

★★

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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3 thoughts on “Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

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