Monday, 20 August 2012

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Author: John Green and David Levithan. JG: Website, Twitter DL: Website, Twitter
Published: 5 April 2011 (Puffin)
Pages: 336
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: paperback
Book Depository: paperback

Source: Borrowed from library.

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.
My Review:
I'm working my way through John Green's back catalogue so this one was next on my list! I haven't read anything by David Levithan so I was interested to see what I thought of this collaboration. The story is based around two boys with the same name: Will Grayson. When they end up meeting completely by chance, their two worlds collide and friendships and relationships are built.

This book alternates chapters between each Will Grayson, as their lives start out completely separate, miles apart and somehow end up merging together. There's a great contrast between the both the characters, and the way each chapter is written, as the two authors each write one of the Will Graysons. My niggle with this way of doing it was than I pretty quickly found myself enjoying one of the writers' chapters more. David Levithan's chapters were a lot more unique, written without capital letters and incorporating IM conversations etc. and I just found myself looking forward to those chapters whilst reading the others.

I could tell which author wrote each chapter pretty much straight away because John Green has a very distinctive style. I think after reading a few of his books I've decided that I'm never quite going to enjoy anything as much as I did The Fault in Our Stars. I just have this problem that the characters are great, funny, and interesting but they don't do enough to really engage me. I just wish there was a little more action or something to grab me. I did totally love Tiny, though, who was John Green's Will Grayson's best friend. He was absolutely genius! He provided some hilarious moments than had me sniggering throughout.

The book deals with mental health and sexuality in a brilliant sort of everyday way; highlighting the issues but not dwelling on them or exploiting them. I loved that it was a book with a gay main character, rather than a background character, too. Overall there's some great moments of friendship and an insight into the drama of teenage relationships.

I really struggled to rate this book. I just felt it was let down a little by the first Will Grayson. I didn't much care for him, and as he narrates half of the book it began to drag a little for me. If you love John Green's other books then I don't doubt you'll love this one, because it feels very John Green. It definitely makes me want to go and look up more by David Levithan as well. Because I had a few niggles I'll give it 3*s, which is probably more like a 3 1/2.

Rating: 3*
What to read next: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.
Books like this: Paper Towns by John Green, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

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