July 10, 2014

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

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 of them legions of faithful fans.

My Thoughts

So, um, ya........I wasn't overly thrilled with this book.  Why?  Hard to put my finger on it.  I think a lot of had to do with me being able to buy into these characters as "real" people.  I just couldn't see it.  I teach, so I'm around kids a lot - granted not high school kids but middle school ones.  Yes I know there is a big difference! But all the same I just couldn't believe these teens.  The way they talked - the way they thought etc - It just come across as realistic to me. I mean some of their thoughts was so deep I couldn't understand them, and I don't think I'm a dumb person!  For example - Tiny's musical is supposed to have this big theme about love, and I just didn't get it. There was so much going on that it seemed lost in the shuffle somewhere.  And the ending with all the Will Graysons added to that confusion.  Actually that part I got!  Beyond that I couldn't stand Tiny.  I found him selfish and over-bearing.  I mean I got that I was seeing him through the Wills' eyes, so I was seeing him as they saw him and that their view changed throughout the book but it did nothing for how I saw him by the end.  He rewrote the whole musical because he realized it shouldn't be all about him but then in the end it was all about him (at least in my mind).  I don't know the whole story just didn't work for me.  Maybe it would've worked better if the kids were in college.  I found it hard to let go of the thought "A school wouldn't let them do that" or "how are high school kids allowed to do all this?".  

Anyway - sorry John Green fans, but I wasn't thrilled with this one. 


  1. I often find myself wondering about the age of characters in books. Adult writers simply have trouble getting that right. I loved John Green's earlier book, The Fault in Our Stars, but felt throughout the characters were awfully mature for the ages they are supposed to represent. If it is too far out of whack, you have the problem you described. Thanks for the review.

  2. I think often people feel that way about John Green's characters in general. I never do though. I guess I knew kids like the ones he writes about and remember spending hours talking with them. Much of what they said went over my head, but it was entertaining. I guess I love the quirky and smartness of his characters so I loved this. Sorry it didn't work so well for you!

  3. There are a few actual students like Green's characters, but not many. I'm not a fan, but mainky because his books aren't middle grade. For YA, I picked up Waller's A Mad, Wicked Folly and Renn's Latitude Zero. They started iut really well, but they are more YA than MG, so I may not finish. You might like thhem, though!