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Will Grayson, Will Grayson

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A review of the book by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson has just been ditched by his friends and finds himself at a little store called Frenchy’s. While looking for something to bring back to his friends to show what an amazing night he had without them, he runs into … Will Grayson? In a sort of “hard to believe coincidence” (as Will Grayson calls it), the two guys strike up a conversation on a sidewalk near Frenchy’s, marking the beginning of a new friendship and tremendous change in both guys’ lives.

The story alternates between the two boys’ points of view, starting with Will Grayson (written by John Green), who’s seen in the odd-numbered chapters and with proper capitalization of his name. He is a bit cynical and goes by the motto “shut up and don’t care.” The even-numbered chapters are inhabited by the all-lowercased will grayson (written by David Levithan). Will grayson is a depressed and angry teen who is suffering from some serious heartache during his conversation with Will Grayson.

Alternating between the two characters enhances the story by showing a realistic world where people’s lives collide into one another, making the story seem as if there are places outside where the story is set. When the two boys meet, we see how pessimistic Will Grayson is while will grayson is miserable and gloomy; the alternating points of view are even more visible when the boys finally meet. The conversation they strike up gives Will Grayson the courage to finally break his vow of silence and talk to the girl whom he is desperately trying to not care about. For the other will grayson, this meeting introduces him to Will’s friend, Tiny Cooper.

Tiny Cooper, whom Will describes as the “world’s gayest person who is really, really large,” is a fabulous and flamboyant guy. He is a hilarious guy with a heart as big as his belly and is always trying to look out for his friends and even those who are not.

While will grayson and Will Grayson are the focal point of the novel, Tiny Cooper teaches readers most of the lessons and themes hiding inside the pages, especially one of self-acceptance. Being a tad bit big-boned myself, Tiny really made me love the parts of myself that I, at one point or another, thought were unlovable. Tiny really showed how awesome and amazing I am, and that being who I am is a great thing. I think that Tiny can do this for other readers as well.

It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, fat, skinny, white, black, stupid, or smart — just being who you are is an amazing and great thing.

The book also taught me about friendship, love and new musicians. I really enjoyed the hilarity of the novel and the lessons to be learned from it. The book is more than comedy, gay characters and the meeting of two guys who have the same name. The  friendship, self-love and acceptance themes have transformed the way I think, which can do that for others who read this novel.

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