Friday, April 23, 2010

Will Grayson Will Grayson

Will Grayson Will Grayson
by John Green and David Levithan

It's not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old - including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire - Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most awesome high school musical.

To be totally and completely honest, I have never read anything before by John Green. I have read both Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, though. I also saw David Levithan speak at Book Expo America last year and he is dynamic, funny, and interesting! I mention these facts only because I was so blown away by this book and I wasn't really expecting it, and I think that's because I hadn't read anything solely by these authors previously...combining them, apparently, is pure magic!

To start with, besides the fact that the premise is unexpected and funny, the characters are so authentic and fully formed in this book, it astounds me. Each Will was completely different and in many ways complimented the other. Their friends, or lack thereof, was fitting and made their life stories compelling. I loved how they became dependent on the existence of each other...but, I'm trying not to give spoilers! Sorry!

On to Tiny Cooper...I think he is my new favorite book character. Not only is he fabulous, he is funny, honest, open, lovable, awe-inspiring, and gut-wrenchingly true to himself. I cannot state how much I loved Tiny and the way he affected others around him.

Okay, okay...enough gushing...anyway, if you haven't picked this book up yet... GO NOW! You will not regret it.

PS - I listened to this as an audiobook and it is fantastic. The narrators, MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl, are amazing. You never doubt who is speaking and they can both sing, as well! Funny and touching.

Full disclosure: Audiobook version reviewed for SLJ.

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