Monday, July 12, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

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.
- from Goodreads

I want to start off this review by saying that I heart John Green. He is so funny, and witty, and his books really make you think. I haven't read anything by David Levithan until now so unfortunately I can't really profess my love for him but I will definitely be seeking out some of his books now that I've read Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

So it's with total love and admiration that I say I have mixed reactions about this book. I labeled the genre realistic fiction, but I'm not entirely sure how realistic it is. And the most unrealistic part of the book had nothing to do with two Will Graysons meeting through happenstance. No, what I found the most unrealistic was that a high school in a town in middle America would put on a musical that revolved around the life of a gay high school student and no one would balk about it. I realize that controversy over a gay teen musical wasn't the point of the book, but it still struck me as strange that no parents or students around the perimeter of the plot had anything intolerant or homophobic to say about it. Yes, there were a couple homophobic things said by football players about Tiny being on the team, but the actual approval of the musical went off without a hitch and I found that quite strange. There were no protests or parents speaking out at school board meetings. Given how often books are protested in schools today, I find it strange that the musical written and directed by Tiny Cooper wasn't.

Then again, perhaps the scenario of no one balking is Green and Levithan's vision of what an American high school in middle America can be like one of these days.

In terms of the characters, I found myself not really empathizing much with the Will Graysons. Both of them were rather grating. Instead, I found the secondary (Jane and Tiny) and even tertiary characters (gay Will Grayson's mom and straight Will Grayson's mom and dad) much more likable.

Despite my mixed reactions, it was an enjoyable, thought-provoking read.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 

Published: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 310
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Realistic Fiction

1 comment:

  1. about the part you found unrealistic, their (Tiny Cooper and Will Grayson's) town was meant to be somewhat fictional. A fantasy town where everyone is accepted. The town is very much like the , also fictional, town in "Boy Meets Boy". The towns are meant to encourage how the author think high school life should be.