2015 Book Reviews David Levithan John Green Penguin UK
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Authors: John Green and David Levithan
Published: July 10th 2014 by Penguin Books UK
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, teenager Will Grayson crosses paths with..."Will Grayson"! Two teens with the same name who run in two very different circles suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions. Culminating in epic turns-of-heart on both of their parts, they team up to produce the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage.
Told in alternating voices from two award-winning, popular names in young-adult fiction - John Green (author of "The Fault in Our Stars") and David Levithan (author of "Boy Meets Boy") - this unique collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humour that has won both authors legions of fans. John Green has a huge online presence through his 1.1 million Twitter followers and YouTube channel Vlogbrothers, which has been viewed over 200 million times and has 660,000 subscribers, making it one of the most successful online channels in history. This is a Penguin logo edition.
Review: Since reading and loving The Fault in Our Stars, I have been wanting to read more books by John Green so when I spotted this title, I was really curious as it was co-written by two big names of the YA world. I have actually not read anything by David Levithan but I had heard great things about his work so I had great expectations about this book. I'm glad to say that it lived up to my expectations. I wasn't blown away with the story and the characters like in TFIOS but it certainly is a great book written by two extremely talented authors and full of lessons about growing up, love and finding your place in the world.
When we start reading, the two Will Grayson don't know each other. By alternate chapters we get to know each one of them: John Green's Will Grayson appears to be quite a regular teenager, he doesn't like being in the spotlight, he doesn't want to care about anything and with a loving healthy family; David Levithan's Will Grayson is a darker character, diagnosed with depression, his life is a lot more difficult, he lives modestly with his mum and he is gay. As the story progresses, we start "getting" them more, and seeing that they actually have quite a lot of things in common, especially the feeling of not belonging. And when they meet by coincidence in Chicago they get one more thing in common: Tiny. He is the huge gay best friend of JG's Will Grayson who instantly becomes interested in the other Will Grayson. Tiny is key to both stories. He is rehearsing his own musical about love and he is like a huge care bear ready to give all his love. But he is not capable to find the right person to give it to.
One thing that I'd like to comment is how well David Levithan handles depression in his chapters. I haven't read many books that talk about how the life of a teenager with depression in, and even less when the teenager has already been diagnosed, is conscious of his situation and has to live with it. The first thing that caught my attention while reading his chapters is that his Will Grayson always writes in lowercase, maybe because he sees himself as not an important person or also because he lives great part of his life through chats and sms. Reading this style is quite shocking at the beginning but as the story unfolds you don't even see anymore, it's just the way he is.
After reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I am going to check David Levithan's books. I really liked his style and how well he expressed the emotions and troubles of his character. Also, a small mention to Schrödinger's cat who also has a role in this story and I think fitted in very well.