“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by John Green and David Levithan – Book Review

Review by Florence Vella

“ACTIVITIES: ought to involve sunglasses.” Well, that’s what it says on Will Grayson’s IM page. 

Will Grayson has three rules. Rule 1: Shut up 2: Don’t care too much 3: Never kiss a girl you like. Being prone to not following these rules, he reminds himself of them walking out the school doors swung open by the hip of his not-so-tiny friend Tiny. The brisk chill of Chicago slivering up the sleeve of his jacket after being sat for hours watching rehearsals for Tiny’s musical that he has to witness ever since Tiny roped him into joining the gay-straight alliance club. Tiny’s flamboyancy is typically a great deal of annoyance for Will, especially when it includes serenading him at his locker for the whole hall to hear or when he sets him up with Jane – the “straight” side of the gay-straight alliance… though he might have been right in the end about that one.

In the meantime, Will Grayson, a self-identified depressive fuck up who runs on coffee he stole off his friend Maura, sits at his computer in his room in the suburbs waiting for a very specific person to go online. Will doesn’t get excited about much, yet when the clock on the classroom wall strikes 2pm, he lets himself be hopeful that the school day is coming to an end, nearing him closer to his only solace, Isaac. Will only knows Isaac though IM – messaging in spurts between Isaac using the computer at the music shop he works at and late into the night. Admittedly, he’s fallen for Isaac, which brings me to the one rule that Will Grayson has: Never wish for things. A rule learnt soon after his dad left when he was a kid. His only exception to this rule is his wish to meet Isaac face to face. 

Then one cold night, when Will finds himself in a most unlikely corner of Chicago after being left by his friends for a concert he couldn’t get into, he crosses paths with a stranger brimming with the nerves of supposedly finally meeting the person he’s fallen for.

Told in alternating voices from two award-winning authors, John Green and David Levithan, this unique collaboration features two teens with the same name unbeknownst to the other’s existence who soon find their lives going in unexpected directions. 

Each alternate chapter is either written from the perspective of either Will Grayson, or will grayson, defined by the latter Grayson having no capitalisation throughout the entire chapter, easily keeping the reader knowing from who’s perspective it is they’re reading.

Included in the pages are some very gay lyrics from Tiny’s musical and thoughts of the teens that will make you, quite literally, laugh out loud. 

Culminating humour, and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage told in a lively and light-hearted manner, this novel is surely an interesting adventure to read.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is available to loan at our Rainbow Library. Open every Tuesday & Thursday from 3-6pm excluding public holidays.