I haven’t read a co-authored book before, so maybe that title only applies to me. Anyway…
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a book co-written by John Green and David Levithan, which has two somewhat interwoven stories about two people named Will Grayson, the first of which narrates all the odd-numbered chapters and is written by Green, and the second of which narrates all the even-numbered chapters and is written by Levithan.
I don’t read the synopsis or blurb for almost every book I read because I try to achieve the most raw reading experience possible, so for the first few chapters of this book I was very confused because I had no idea the two Will Graysons were different people.
The first is a push-over high-schooler whose biggest characteristic is that he is a big fan of following the rules. His most important story arc through the book is a will-they-won’t-they with a girl named Jane, and I thought that was written well.
The second Will Grayson (or, considering all his chapters were written by Levithan in complete lower case, will grayson) is someone of the same age, but is suffering from diagnosed depression and is keeping his homosexuality secret from the world. His only source of happiness is a person he met on the internet named Isaac… And there’s more to that but I won’t get into it.
Overall, I did find the second Will Grayson more compelling, because there were more dynamics to the character than the first. Both characters are tied together by a person (read grizzly bear) named Tiny Cooper, and really this character is the one the entire book is written around. He is supposedly the first Will Grayson’s best friend and, after they meet, the second Will Grayson’s boyfriend.
I couldn’t stop reading this book even if I tried. I mean, I usually get tired after reading so I would have to stop, but a lot of the time I just wander off so I stop reading, but that never happened with this book. Even though two people wrote it, it’s so cohesive and very real, and as a reader you are hooked on by how much you can relate to the narrators. These are very much two separate tales, and by the end of the book, both characters have grown so much it’s a delight to read.
Ultimately it doesn’t even feel like the title and concept of the book was just a gimmick, as is evidenced by the ending.
My only negative is that on occasion, a couple of the characters in the book feel a little incomplete, which is a small nitpick, but is something I do wish could have been a little better.
This is also my fourth book in the John Green series I’m doing, and even though I have praised this so much, even this book hasn’t managed to top Looking For Alaska.
However, that is a pretty high bar, and this book is a joy to read. You can sense the distinctions between both narrators, and really, you could split this book into two – one for each Will Grayson – and they would still be great.
On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: