“One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.”
This is one of the least hyped books of John Green. Yet, it is one of the most beautiful, most engaging tales ever written. The narrative of this book shifts from one Will Grayson to the other alternating by the chapter, written by each alternate co-authors respectively. Both the narratives have been written in first person, giving us a ready view of the minds and emotional turmoils of the protagonists. The shift in narrative can be noticed quite clearly as one of the Will Graysons writes complete words with capitals and proper grammar, while the other refuses to use capital, and writes in ‘instant messaging’ format.
The first Will Grayson is a character molded after your every-day teenage boy. He feels overshadowed by his large fabulous best friend, ironically named “Tiny”. We get a close view of the inner conflicts of a straight boy, wishing to share the limelight, but constantly shying away from it. He discovers his own inability to live without Tiny Cooper, even when he feels like keeping a distance. He constantly finds himself breaking his life’s motto: “Shut up and don’t care”, drowning into endless regret in the process. This leads him to close his heart upon any ideas of love, despite his steamy attraction towards Jane Turner (Will and Tiny’s common friend from the Gay-Straight Alliance).
Meanwhile, the parallel tale of the second Will Grayson runs at a slower pace. It is, at first, annoying to read the lowercase style of writing, but you get used to it sooner or later. Will 2’s style of writing reflects his own personality. From the very beginning we notice that this kid (who is the same age as the first Will) is on medication for clinical depression. He is not a very social being and prefers to sit behind the computer screen and text a lover he’s never met. The poor state of living adds onto his depression and his inability to come out of the closet as being gay. Having a very strained relationship with his mother, a very pushy female best friend, Maura and no father figure to look up to, he barely survives on a daily basis. His only happiness: the online lover “Isaac”.
Upon impulse to meet his lover, Will Grayson 2 heads to Chicago, to a remote porn store. He waits and waits but the mysterious “Isaac” never arrives. Meanwhile Will Grayson 1 accompanies Tiny and Jane to a concert, only to find out that his fake ID had a wrong date of birth and is barred from entering. Feeling abandoned and alone he explores the area and enters the porn store, encountering Will Grayson 2 for the first time. As it turns out, “Isaac” doesn’t exist at all, but was a fake account created by his “friend” Maura. Will 1 watches the boy break-down and calls to Tiny for help. And thus their lives collide.
The best thing about this book is that the focus shifts from the two Will Graysons to the one strong character holding both their lives in place: Tiny Cooper. The musical, the romantic and fabulously gay scenes, the discoveries of true friendship and love and the mending of broken families, all revolve around Tiny Cooper and his one musical. When I say it is worth the read, I stress that even the coldest hearts will melt and fill the driest eyes with tears. It is one novel that will make you smile and cry at once.
A light read with mood lifting, heart melting thrills.