Will Grayson, Will Grayson–Maddie

John Green  David Levithan  Will Grayson, Will Grayson. New York:  Dutton Books. 2010

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Audience: This book is written for high school audience. 9th– 12th grade.

Summary: There are two main characters. Will Grayson and will grayson. Will Grayson 1, or referred to as o.w.g, is shy and to himself. His best friend, Tiny, is very open and does not care what others think about him. He is openly gay and o.w.g feels like he is kind of stuck with Tiny as a best friend. As if he has no last resort.  Then on the other hand, there is will grayson number two . He is kind of the dark, mysterious character. He considers himself to be a loner. One night both Will Graysons were downtown for two completely different reasons; and, by coincidence meet at Frenchys, a local porn shop. The story unfolds dramatically as these two find themselves and what they truly stand for.

Read Aloud:  Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Themes:  This novel represents coming of age in these high school adolescents. Throughout he novel there were so many mixed emotions as to what exactly the characters were meant to be; or, who they represented. John Green and David Levithan beautifully demonstrate the pressures that an adolescent will go through when trying to figure out who they truly are.

Another grasping theme was that of friendship. At the end of the day who is going to stick around; Who truly cares. It showed how to stand up for your friends. These theme was right away addressed on page one of the book. It is stated as: “After  some school-board member got all upset about gays in the locker room, I defended Tiny Cooper’s right to be both gigantic (and, therefore, the best member of our shitty football team’s offensive line) and gay in a letter to the school newspaper that I, stupidly, signed.” In the beginning the reader can note that o.w.g is embarrassed to be his friend but still cares for him. By the end of the novel o.w.g has come to realize how much he truly cares for Tiny; how much a friend can really mean.

The other theme coming out of this novel would be love. Not just love for other people; but, love for yourself as well. On page 244, Tiny talks about how he knows how big he really is. But, he does not care. He says.” …. I love my body. But I’m not so much of an idiot to think that everybody else loves it.”  It also talks about loving one another. At the end of the book as will grayson finds all the other Will Graysons around, just to tell Tiny how much he is appreciated was phenomenal. How Tiny made the play not soley about himself but, about o.w.g as well. There is so much love and compassion shown throughout this entire novel.

Connections: These themes very much relate to high school students. I know personally that I related a lot to o.w.g. I know when I was in high school I as well took my friends for granite. I was embarrassed of some of them, but felt like I myself had so other option. This book touches on a lot of controversial issues throughout adolescents. Such as sexuality, dating, money, drinking, etc. The one thing that the authors did an outstanding job of was relating to readers in a matter of how technology use is so prevalent in our every day life. How will grayson “meets Isaac” over the internet. It was all so wonderfully done; and, I believe a highschool audience can relate very well to all of the ongoing themes throughout the book.

Reactions: I loved the book. Honestly, I felt a little bit uncomfortable at times in situations that I could not relate to. But, that is how the authors want the reader to feel in my opinion. John Green and David Levithan exposed the readers to so many different personalities and characteristics. I mean there was divorce, lonliness, poverty, upper class, gay, straight, jocks, etc. The themes go on and on. I am comfortable in my situation of the world, in what I personally know. But, the reader really helps me explore others. Learn about the differences, the struggles, etc. He really opened my mind as well and I loved that. To be more acceptable to every person who walks through the door. The book was just outstanding. The fact that they would switch chapters for the two different Will Graysons  really made the reader want to keep going. First, something would happen with o.w.g and I would be dying to know what was going to happen next but I had to read about will grayson first. Then his story would intrigue me and so forth and so forth. It was a quick read

Reception: One young adult reader, Tatiana, talks about the different styles of writing presented by Green and Levithan. She stated that the gay characters were not ‘clichés’; which was definitely shown by these authors. The gay characters had actual real relationships. It really made you look at gay in a completely different perspective.  Read Tatiana

S.E Smith, commented in one of his blogs about the book. A theme he though was relevant was that the book touched on disabilities a bit. will grayson had depression, but S.E Smith states that he is yet one of the heroes of the story. He “conquers” his disability in a sense and they show he can be happy. This ain’t livin

Awards: New York Times bestseller.

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One Response to Will Grayson, Will Grayson–Maddie

  1. Maddie, I like how you focus in on technology, especially in the passage you read. Green and especially Levithan’s use of technology throughout this book to develop characters and advance plot is something I really appreciate. The theme of self-love (and even self-respect) is an important one in adolescence, so I’m glad you addressed that as well. Your link from S.E. Smith really hits on why this is important to teens.

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