Title: Will Grayson Will Grayson
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Publication information: Speak (2010)
This was another one of the books I picked up at the library the other day. I was shocked that it was the only John Green book they had, but I'd heard good things so I picked it up. Will Grayson Will Grayson is about two strangers who cross paths on a cold night. They both have the same name but have very different lives which suddenly take new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the best musical ever to grace the school stage. From the synopsis, I was unsure if I'd enjoy this book. I've never read any of David Levithan's previous work and only read one of John Green's novels; Looking For Alaska.
The plot was unusual in this novel because you have the two Will Grayson's lives, in alternating chapters, running parellel. This means that you learn their personalities and backgrounds before they meet, giving a higher impact afterwards. A big part of this novel is the romance between certain characters, which is something I don't usually like, but in this story I think that the romance was a vital part of the puzzle and helped to give even more depth to the main characters.
The characters themselves were all very interesting. I really liked John Green's Will Grayson from the start, with his dry sense of humour and group of few friends; much like the protagonist in Looking For Alaska. I found this character easy to relate to as he stumbles through life with his unusual friends. David Levithan's Will Grayson, however, took a while to get used to. He is so depressed throughout most of the book that it kind of slows the read down and even though I liked this character by the end, I really struggled to relate to him at all at the beginning. Of all the side characters, Tiny Cooper was my favourite. His personality shone through the writing and you feel like you really get to know him by the end.
The writing in this was different depending on which chapter you were reading. John Green's writing was easy to read, was full of personality and was quite quick to get through, whereas David Levithan's took some time to get used to just because he didn't use any capitals. This made it a slower read at first but I soon got used to it and realised that it went together nicely with Will Grayson's personality and attitude.
Overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked the whole thing but when I finished I didn't feel as emotionally attached to the characters as I have in other books, however, it's a great story about homosexuality, relationships and friendships, and it was a great, quick read.