Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Author: John Green & David Levithan
I am a huge YA fan; and I have been incredibly ecstatic to see the new books that are being published in this genre. Every once in a while, I’ll come across one that makes me feel a myriad of emotions – some good/some bad – that I try to wrap my head around as the author’s story unfolds. This is one of those books.
Will Grayson is a young man living in the Chicago area who organizes his life by adhering to two very important rules: 1) Don’t get emotional (don’t care); and, 2) basically, keep his mouth shut. Will likes to be quiet and fade into the background. His closest friends are Gary, Jane, and Tiny Cooper. Jane is a young woman who is straightforward, smart, funny, and literal in almost every sense of the word. Will likes Jane, a lot (well, as with all guys, he likes her when she’s dating someone else) but, I digress. The friendship that Will has with Tiny is what takes center stage in the book. Tiny Cooper is one of those extraordinary characters that you remember for the rest of your days. He’s six foot six, large – to say the least – incredibly rich (he lives in the coach house of his parents’ mansion) and, most of all, Tiny is loud, funny, dramatic to a fault, and everyone seems to love and dislike him at the same time. For Will, Tiny is the best friend he’s ever had – but also the one that drives him the most crazy. Tiny is embarrassing with his loud sighs, sobbing fits in the hallway, and very vocal announcements of his gay status – which quite often embarrasses Will.
In another small suburb of Chicago we have yet another Will Grayson. This young man borders on suicidal depression, even taking pills to get him through the day. Unfortunately, for me, this Will’s sarcasm was simply not funny. He seems to despise every part of life in general – even his mom who is working her behind off to take care of him and raise him by herself. Teenage drama is, of course, prevalent in all teens, but Will has a way of being one of those jerks that you wish could get drafted into the armed services so he’d see what real pain and anguish is all about. Also, Will is falling in love with a young man by the name of Isaac over the internet. He’s battled a great deal trying to figure out what makes him “different” and why he’s been so angry all his life – and Isaac makes him feel better about himself.
Soon, because of an excess of strange occurrences, Will Grayson and Will Grayson literally “bump” into each other in the weirdest of places. Tiny actually falls for Will Grayson (not his best friend, but the other one), and the relationship that ensues is one of humor, pain, anger, sadness, and a part of growing up.
Following the separate lives of the Will Grayson’s was an interesting premise. They are both so different, that the outlooks they have on life ranged wide on the spectrum of love, faith, and friendship. Unfortunately, there were parts of the book that seemed a bit overly ridiculous to me, but my favorite character – Tiny Cooper – was able to keep me interested throughout the story. For any teenager who is “stuck” and can’t seem to push ahead through the muck and mire that surrounds those strange early years, this is a great book. It will not only teach tolerance, but also the high value that should be placed on a good, solid friendship.