by John Green & David Levithan
Will Grayson is a silent, stoic Chicagoan teen with two rules: 1) Don’t care. 2) Shut up. His current state of near friendlessness is due in part to his having broken those rules. He never should have signed the letter he sent to the paper defending his gay friend Tiny’s right to play on the school football team. Now his only friends are Tiny and the people Tiny hangs out with at the GSA. Tiny, who is obsessed with love, keeps trying to hook him up with Jane, whom Will doesn’t even like… he thinks.
will grayson is a clinically depressed closeted gay teen living in the suburbs outside of chicago. he has one thing in this world that keeps him from killing himself and everyone around him: his internet boyfriend, isaac. too bad maura, the goth chick he hangs out with at school, doesn’t get that he would never choose to be her friend if they weren’t both outcasts stuck together like prisoners in the same school. will doesn’t tell her about isaac, or his plans to finally meet up with isaac in chicago, but she keeps trying to insert herself into his personal life.
When the two Wills cross paths in Chicago, their lives become intertwined and start to move in a new direction.
This book was so compelling that I read it in one day. The chapters with the first Will Grayson were properly capitalized, while the other will grayson’s chapters were all lower case. The lower case chapters were my favourite, and I found the netspeak used between will and isaac to be super genuine (except when things were italicized). A lot of books with queer characters only use gay guys as a foil for straight characters, and show homophobia in a didactic way that shows the presumably straight reader how they should act towards others. This book was refreshingly real and didn’t prioritize one Will’s development over the other, like so many books that focus on one straight character and one gay character do. It isn’t a typical straight book or gay book in that respect.
This could be an enjoyable read for teens who like realistic fiction, regardless of gender or sexuality; however, since it does focus on friendships and relationships between the characters, it will appeal to those who like character-driven books more than action- or comedy-fueled ones.