Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green and David Levithan
This book revolves around two high school guys who share a name- Will Grayson – but have nothing else in common. The interesting thing about this book is that the authors (this is a collaboration) contributed alternate chapters, each writing from the point of view of one of the main characters. The not-so-interesting thing about this book is that it seems to lack a plotline.
Will Grayson is a typical John Green creation- smart, witty and slightly geeky. He claims that his rules for getting through life are 1) Don’t care too much, and 2) Shut up. He proceeds to break both rules repeatedly through the course of the book. will grayson (note the absence of capitalization) seems to have a bit more depth. He has a difficult home situation and struggles with depression. He’s also gay, and has doesn’t have many friends at school. They meet one day in an unlikely setting and this sets off a chain of events…
That are fairly predictable. There are four main characters in the book: A straight guy, a straight girl, and two gay guys. Do the math.
Despite its flaws, this book has some redeeming qualities: it handles the subjects of mental illness and teen homosexuality very well. It shows a society where people (or at least high schoolers) are quick to accept gay people without judgement. will’s depression is shown as an illness that is unfortunate but manageable with medication and support from his family. There’s also a ‘very large, very gay’ musical that provides a few laughs.
I would recommend this book only if you’re a big fan of John Green and/or the Young Adult genre. 2/5