Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan is about two teenage boys with the same name who meet randomly in a porn store.
The first Will that we are introduced to, written by John Green, is straight and emotionally stunted. He doesn’t date because he doesn’t want to take the chance that he might get hurt and his only real friend since childhood has been a gigantic gay football player named Tiny. Tiny, on the other hand, serial dates, falling in love and having his heart broken over and over again.
Will goes to see a band play with Tiny and Jane (the love interest) only to discover that his brand new fake ID says that he’s 20 not 21 and, therefore, he can’t get into the club. His friends ditch him to go to the show and he is forced to wait around outside for them. Because he wants to get any use out of the fake ID that he can, he ends up in the porn store.
The second Will, written by David Leviathan, is gay and clinically depressed. He’s actually okay with being gay but isn’t really open about it because he’s a very private person. The few friends that he does have don’t really know anything about him. Will is also really angry. Angry at the world, his life, and people in general. The only person that he opens up to is his online friend Isaac, who he has fallen for hard and has the potential of becoming his boyfriend. After a year of IMing each other, they finally decide to meet. So, Will takes a train into Chicago from the suburbs and, to his surprise, discovers that the place that they are supposed to meet is a porn store. He also discovers that Isaac has not shown up.
By chance, the Wills discover that they have the same name and, on a whim, first Will introduces second Will to Tiny and both of their lives change.
Oh, and Tiny is putting on musical based on his life called “Tiny Dancer” and everyone is surprisingly supportive of him doing it, except first Will.
Okay, first of all, the legal age for drinking in most states (all states?) is 21 but apparently you only have to be 18 to go into a porn store? That seems random. I’m not sure what that says about people’s priorities. Second, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I hadn’t read a John Green or a David Leviathan novel before and I was a little surprised by how much I liked it. I’m usually not into these “slice of teenage life” books but I loved how the characters were just quirky enough that they were interesting but not so quirky that they were totally unrealistic. My favourite parts were everything related to Tiny’s musical. I wasn’t expecting him to feature so prominently in the story but he ties it all together and is very important to both Wills. In fact, for a majority of the story, he is the only thing that connects the two narratives together because the Wills are only together at the beginning and the end of the story. Tiny seems like a very simple character at the beginning of the story but that changes as the Wills start to understand him better and, by the end, Tiny is the star of the book, just as he is the star of his musical. Plus, the musical seems like it would be hilarious and awesome. I would totally go see it.
Will this book win the Senior Division of YRCA? I think it has a good chance. I’m interested to see what the teens in my book club think of it because I’m not sure if this is the kind of book that teens like or the kind of book that adults think teens should like.
What I’m reading right now: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and The Hogfather audiobook by Terry Pratchett.