A general rule of thumb for picking a Bookstravaganza book: you can never go wrong with John Green.
I picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson because of my love of John Green, not knowing anything about the co-author David Levithan. I still don’t know much about him, except that I need to read more of his writing because WGWG is a fantastic book.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is about two teenage boys who meet unexpectedly, only to discover that they’re both named Will Grayson. I expected the two stories to merge more once the two Will Grayson’s met, but instead their stories continue to unfold on the fringes of one another’s lives.
WGWG is, in some ways, a typical high school story: you’ve got high school hierarchies, bullies, relationship drama, and so on. The book also deals with depression, sexuality, parent-teen relationships, and so much more. It’s a starkly honest book that doesn’t trivialize what happens to it’s characters just because they’re teenagers. Best of all, it’s one of the greatest representation of gay characters I’ve seen in a long time. Go John Green and David Levithan!
My favourite part in WGWG happens towards the end (I’ll be as non-spoilery as I can here, but if you’re particularly spoiler-sensitive, skip this part). One of the Will Graysons is having a touching moment with his large, gay friend Tiny Cooper. I love their exchange. Tiny says to him:
“When you date someone, you have the markers along the way, right: You kiss, you have The Talk, you say the Three Little Words, you sit on a swing set and break up. You can plot the points on a graph. And you check up with each other along the way: Can I do this? If I say this, will you say it back?
“But with friendship, there’s nothing like that. Being in a relationship, that’s something you choose. Being freinds, that’s just something you are.”
I just stare out at the ball field for a minute. Tiny sniffles. “I’d pick you,” I say. “Fuck it, I do pick you. I want you to come over to my house in twenty years with your dude and your adopted kids and I want our fucking kids to hang out and I want to, like, drink wine and talk about the Middle East or whatever the fuck we’re gonna want to do when we’re old. We’ve been friends too long to pic, but if we could pick, I’d pick you.”
Because I’m a giant sap, I actually teared up reading this part. It’s just such a great little rant on friendship. I’m always struggling to find the words to define the important relationships in my life, the friendships that are loving and long-lasting and necessary to my mental well-being. Sond somehow, John Green and David Levithan found the words for me.
Go read Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Just, do it.
“I’ll see you tomorrow then,” I say.
“And all the other days,” he says.
Current total: 6