Monday, 7 January 2013
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans.
This was my first experience of both John Green and David Levithan - even though I own more books by both authors - and I have to say, it was a fantastic introduction to them both.
I fell in love with the book immediately. The first chapter is written by John Green (as I discovered from reading the conversation between the authors at the back of the book, which is worth reading as well as the novel), and the style is very distinct from David Levithan's in the following chapter. This really helped to distinguish one Will Grayson from the other, especially in the first few chapters, when I was just getting to know them.
I loved the styles that both authors wrote in, and even though they both went for fairly different approaches (particularly David Levithan, who wrote dialogue like it was from a stage script and used no capital letters), I felt as thought they worked really well together - they both had the same kind of atmosphere to them, and they were both really consistent and easy to become absorbed into.
As well as the style that each author wrote in being very distinct from one another, the characters were too. Even the Will Graysons, who shared a name, and whose stories eventually merged, were very distinct from each other. John Green's Will Grayson, who I've already mentioned opens the novel, is heterosexual, kind of socially awkward, opinionated (but doesn't want to voice these opinions; remember the rule about 'shutting up'), and has an enormous gay friend, ironically and hilariously named Tiny. The 'Other Will Grayson' (as he's referred to by the other Will Grayson - yes this is confusing, but it can also be quite funny), David Levithan's creation, is gay, but not yet 'out', has a history of mental health, is angry about things a lot, and doesn't have many friends - unless you count Maura, which I'm not sure that you technically can, with her being more of a 'non-friend' than a friend. Both Wills are really interesting characters and I enjoyed getting to know them both.
I also really liked the other characters that surrounded the Wills; most of all Tiny Cooper, the enormous gay teenager. He was definitely a unique, hilarious and entertaining character, and was pretty much the driving force behind the novel; he's the reason that the Wills stay in touch, the reason for a lot of the drama (and conflict, especially with John Green's Will), and the character who creates the musical that the novel is aiming towards and ends with. He was a really likeable character - definitely one of my favourites that I've encountered recently.
I also liked the two main female characters; Jane (John Green's Will's love interest), and Maura, 'Other Will Grayson's' non-friend. Jane was definitely a brilliantly feisty female - she had opinions that she wasn't afraid to voice, she was sometimes sarcastic (in pretty funny ways), but also very compassionate and caring, and I loved the relationship between her and Will - she bought the best out in him, and helped him to grow as a character.
Maura's character was not one that I liked because I liked her as a person - I actually didn't like her much at all. She wasn't a great friend to Will, and was just downright mean to him in places - but as a character, she really interested me, and she provided a conflict in her Will Grayson's life that kept his story moving until it met with the other Will's story. She added another dimension to Will's story, and it made him seem more real as a character, in some ways, as well.
I really, really enjoyed this novel. It made me laugh out loud more times than I can count, but it was also uplifting, moving and heartwarming, unique and powerful. It's one of the few books that I've read recently that I know I would want to re-read, and I've totally fallen in love with it!
Posted by Dani Cotton at 01:17