Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David LevithanWill Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan, John Green
Also by this author: , Be More Chill: The Graphic Novel, The Collectors: Stories, Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns
Published by Penguin on 2010-04-06
Genres: Friendship, Homosexuality, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Theater, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.

I would totally buy a ticket to Tiny Cooper: The Musical. That’s how fantastical Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan is. My copy has every ten pages dog-eared because of the awesome quotes. This book was totally worth cutting off an old lady to purchase the LAST copy at the Penguin warehouse sale. Ok, so the Chicago suburbs, landscape of John Hughes movies, is home to two teenage boys both named Will Grayson. One Will Grayson is upper middle class, BFF with TINY COOPER, lacks self-esteem and looking to hook up with a certain girl. The other Will Grayson is poor, madly in love with an online boyfriend named Issac and depressed. By crazy coincidence, namely a porn store, the two Will Graysons lives intertwine.

John Green and David Levithan get teens. They portray both Will Graysons as fully realized characters. I mean pretty much every aspect of being a young adult is shown in these 300-some odd pages. There’s actual presence of parents, friendships, school, homework, grades, hook-ups, etc. This is so full of real and heartbreak and win and eloquence. I mean, I know when I read something written by either John Green or David Levithan, I am going to get quality and a beautifully written book.

HOWEVER the single most awesome thing about this book is Tiny Cooper. Rarely do I get to read about kids who are totally self-assured. OMG TINY ROCKS. He’s super gay and proud. He writes a musical all about himself and manages to find funding and an audience. Everything he says is quotable. Basically if there was a reward for best secondary character EVER, Tiny would get it.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson provides a complex look at growing up, self-acceptance, being different, friendship. I find that I can’t put this book into a little box. Perhaps most enjoyable, but second to Tiny Cooper is the unflinching honesty of John Green and David Levithan. (Why yes, that is a super cliche thing to say).  I felt like there was not a hint of fakeness in this book, making it a cut about other young adult contemporary novels.

My name is April and I appreciate Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

OH YAH, and before I forget some quotes that I had dogeared:

“You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.” -pg. 43

“Noticing the way she smells like oversugared coffee, and the difference between her smile and her photographed smile and the way she bites her lower lip, and the pale skin of her back. I just want the pleasure of noticing these things at a safe distance – I don’t want to have to acknowledge that I am noticing. I don’t want to talk about it or do stuff about it.” -pg. 47

“What do you think this is, eighteen thirty two? When you like someone and they like you, you fucking put your lips against their lips and then you open your mouth a little, and then just a little hint of tongue to spice things up. I mean, God, Grayson. Everybody’s always got their panties in a twist about how the youth of America are debaucherous, sex-crazed maniacs passing out handjobs like they were lollipops, and you can’t even kiss a girl who definitely likes you?” -pg. 80

Other Reviews of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan And John Green:

Amy Reads
Forever Young Adult
Things Mean A Lot

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I have read many reviews of this book, and I don’t ever remember reading it was a YA novel. Weird! Glad you loved it

  2. Sounds like an awesome book! I know it’s been getting some good reviews. The only John Green that I’ve read is Katherines and I’ve only read David Levithan’s collaborations with Rachel Cohn but I think both authors are awesome. 🙂

  3. I seriously want to read this book! I’ve been anxious for it for a long time, and I really need to get my hands on a copy, and soon! Great review! I’m really glad you liked it!

  4. Tiny Cooper WAS awesome!

  5. I love those quotes. I have this book on reserve but it’s very popular!

  6. If Tiny Cooper were a real person, I would hope that he would be my BFF. He was one of THE best parts of the book, alongside the phenomenal writing and hilarious quotes.

  7. How have I not had the opportunity to be introduced to Tiny Cooper yet? I really must read this.

  8. I feel that David Levithan may be one of the most quotable authors out there. I always love his work. I need to pick this one up ASAP. Thanks for the great review! Also, I am proud of you for cutting that old lady off.

  9. i started reading this the other day and i SO get what you mean about the quotes being quoteable! i even started crying after one of will’s and isaac’s chats because it was just SO freaking real and it just broke my heart a little. and tiny cooper is a leg-end, totally. i know a few guys that are so gay they could make a guys dressed in a skirt full of glitter look straight but Tiny Cooper is just sublime. no other words for it. YAY for gay teens being represented in amazing books! YAY for real life being embraced and not stupif pansy ass vampires who dont even effin bite people. YAY for awkward moments like the jacking off ones which were rather funny but also rather gross.

    YAY for this review which quite simply, is fan freaking tastic.

    • YES! Exactly. I felt soo bad for Will after the whole Isaac thing.

      I love that Tiny was given such a huge role. Gay teens deserve to be embraced and given big parts in books and not just be token characters.

      And yes, real life > sparkly vampires EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

  10. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention…it sounds very interesting! I love books that have tons of great quotes.


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