Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Some people have lives; some people have music."

When I first heard about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I didn't really look much into it. I figured the synopsis I had heard from Paul and from reading the back of the book was pretty indicative of what the book would be about. Two boys, both named Will Grayson, who meet and change each other's lives. Simple enough, right?

Well, while that's what happens, it does not even scratch the surface of what the book is actually about. I was not expecting the book to be as gay as it was, and it definitely surprised me. I haven't read anything as gay as this book - not because I have any problem with LGBTQ books, but simply because I have just never read much in that subgenre - and this was quite a dive into that arena. After the initial shock, I really appreciated that though. It's nice to go into something completely unaware sometimes and see how things turn out.

From the first meeting with Tiny, I knew I would like him. While Will Grayson seems to be annoyed with him most of the time, it never comes across as him disliking Tiny. And Tiny is so confident and sure of himself, how could you not like the kid? He's a huge kid who goes by "Tiny," he's a star football player, active in several clubs, writes and directs his own musical, and is extremely gay. And the whole time, I wanted to be his friend.

I also liked Will Grayson. Although he seemed to want to just fade into the crowd, he wasn't really all that unhappy with his life and his friends. Plus, he acts like a realistic high school kid. Not popular, but not without any friends. Just somewhere in the middle, and not too upset about that. His growth over the course of the novel though is really interesting, and I love how he comes to appreciate Tiny and everything else so much more by the end of the novel.

will grayson though, he drove me crazy. I would NOT have wanted to be his friend. I understand being depressed and being on medication and all of the other things wrong with him, but I didn't like his attitude, or how he treats his "friend" or how he doesn't use any capitalization and very little punctuation. He also grows and learns and changes over the course of the novel, but I still was not a fan.

I think I would have liked this book more if will grayson hadn't driven me so crazy. I really liked how being gay in high school was dealt with. I think the juxtaposition of Tiny with will grayson was done well, and the way Tiny brings will out of his shell is incredible. Especially after the whole Maura thing. And I loved how by the end, Tiny finally gets to feel appreciated. Sometimes, I felt the book was more about Tiny than about the Will Graysons.

Having the authors write every other chapters was pretty neat, and reading the interview in the back between them really added to the book. At least I thought so, anyway.

I'm interested in reading more LGBTQ YA novels, especially if I know ahead of time what I'm getting into.

I give this book a 3/5, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA novels about teens growing and maturing.


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