review of _Will Grayson, Will Grayson_

by John Green and David Levithan, 2010, Dutton Juvenile Books

“The first book starring gay characters ever to appear on the [New York Times Bestsellers’] list,” according to co-author John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson tells the story of two guys, one gay, one straight, who meet by accident and have their lives change forever.  Green and Levithan present dual narrators with utterly believable voices — I’m always amazed at authors who can collaborate and create such a seamless narrative (another great example of this is How to Be Bad, by E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, and Sarah Mylnowski).  Both Wills are easily differentiated by voice, character, and typography (Gay Will does not use caps). Straight Will follows his own personal motto of “Don’t care too much and shut up”, but there is humor and vulnerability inside.  Gay Will’s voice is darker, and harsher — he is isolated and relies on online relationships for sustenance, which leads to the cruel joke that brings the two together.  But in serial romancer Tiny Cooper, “the world’s largest person who is really, really gay” and also “the world’s gayest person who is really, really large” Levithan and Green create their most compelling character.  As in many YA books, the boys learn a lot about love and friendship, but WGWG presents those lessons in such a real, sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious way, making it stand out from so many others.  The same wit and intelligence you may have liked in Green’s Paper Towns and An Abundance of Catherines , you’ll like this one a lot.

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About Stephanie Wardrop

I'm the author of the Swoon Romance e-novella series SNARK AND CIRCUMSTANCE available on Amazon and B&N. I teach writing and Children's, Women's, British, and American Lit at Western New England University. View all posts by Stephanie Wardrop

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