Review–Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
November 7, 2011 § 8 Comments
|Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author – John Green and David Levithan
Publisher – Brilliance Audio
Narrators – MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl
Length – 7 Hours and 52 minutes
Date – April 2010
Will Grayson #1 hopes to get through life by following all of the rules, never questioning, doing what he’s told, and keeping his mouth shut. Oddly enough, his larger than life gay best friend Tiny Cooper is just the opposite. He is as large in personality as he is in sheer size and his life goal is to be the center of attention. Will Grayson #2 is the definition of “no one understands me, therefore I hate everyone” destructive teen angst. He has a vicious trick played on him by a frustrated acquaintance and this puts him in the path of Will Grayson #1 and Tiny Cooper. Everyone struggles to come to terms with their own hopes, fears, and inadequacies while at the same time being swept up in Tiny’s over the top musical production. The whole thing is so crazy awesome that my mere words could never convey all of the fabulous that is Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
The narrators of this audio MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl did a phenomenal job of taking these extraordinary characters and bringing them to life. This was absolutely one of my favorite audio books of all time. Each of the individual personalities were so perfectly reflected in the narration that I was swept away into this story. Every nuance of feeling was so perfectly expressed, it was like a theatrical performance in my headphones! These guys even sang!! (badly and loudly!!) And it was INCREDIBLE! This is the kind of awesome that happens when the right narrators get the right book – absolute perfection! If you’ve even thought about reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson I urge you to grab the audio as well. It’s a book you’ll want to read more than once, so make one of those “reads” a “listen.” This is currently available at Audible.com.
Every time I open a book, I’m hoping for exactly what I found in Will Grayson, Will Grayson; engaging characters that not only come to life but who also welcome me into their story so that I feel like I’m a part of their inner circle. At the beginning of the book, I wanted so much to have a BFF like Tiny! By the middle, I felt like me and Tiny have been friends forever and that I could share knowing glances and inside jokes with the Will Graysons about our larger than life friend’s flair for the dramatic. Tiny’s personality was so big, it was almost like he was snatching up the pages faster than I could read them while yelling “They’re mine, its all about me!!!” But even next to this overwhelming character, Will Grayson one and two still managed to shine in their own offbeat way while at the same time they both seemed to gravitate to that magnetic light that was Tiny Cooper.
This book tells a story both heartfelt and poignant while at the same time being fun and fabulously witty . Several times I found myself laughing out loud while simultaneously having tears rolling down my cheeks. This story touches on the heart and soul of the true meaning of friendship, sometimes uncomfortable and even painful, certainly flawed, but ultimately worth it all.
The strength of Will Grayson, Will Grayson is equal parts the wonderful writing and the amazing characterization. Its rare that I find characters that I not only felt like I could be friends with, but who, by the end of the book, I almost felt like we were friends. This is my first time reading a book by either John Green or David Levithan but I plan to buy each one of their books. Not surprisingly, I will be rating this a 5 but honestly, there are not enough stars for the rating that Will Grayson, Will Grayson deserves. If this is an example of YA contemporary, give me more!
Rating 5 (plus some extra love)