Will Grayson, Will Grayson
David Levithan, John Green, . . Dutton, $17.99 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-525-42158-0
In alternating chapters, the authors track two teens, both named Will Grayson, who accidentally meet halfway through the novel, perhaps changing the trajectory of both of their lives. One Will is vintage Green: a smart nerd whose rules to live by include “don't care too much,” with a scene-stealing sidekick—Tiny Cooper, a large, flamboyantly gay classmate intent on staging an autobiographical musical. The other will (lowercase throughout) is angry and depressed; the one bright spot in his existence is an online friendship with “Isaac.” When will agrees to meet Isaac one night in Chicago, readers know nothing good will happen—and they will be wrong. A well-orchestrated big reveal takes the story in a new direction, one that gives (lowercase) will greater dimension. The ending is laudable but highly implausible. The journey to it is full of comic bits, mostly provided by the irrepressible Tiny, who needs his own novel. Frank sexual language—a shot at a bar “tastes like Satan's fire cock”—pushes this one to high school, where its message of embracing love in all its forms ought to find a receptive audience. Ages 14–up.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2010