Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Book:
Authors: John Green and David Levithan. Will Grayson, Will Grayson. New York, New  York: Penguin Group, 2010. John Green — Author of Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines

Genre:
 Realistic Fiction

Audience:
Ages: 14 & Up

Read-Alouds:

Summary:
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, tells the story of two young boys who coincidently cross paths. Ironically, they both share the same name! Both Will Grayson’s take the reader on a journey into their own lives and behind closed doors.  Here we can see the daily challenges they face and the obstacles they go thru to maintain friendships and be true to themselves. They both face struggles that force them to stand up for what they believe is right. This story keeps the reader laughing and on the edge of their seats until the very end!

Themes:
The main theme of “Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” is finding ones identity. Both characters struggle to allow themselves the freedom to be who they want to be. With the help of his very large and very gay best friend, Tiny, Will Grayson is able to see that being yourself is not always easy; but it is always the most rewarding.  The O.W.G. struggles with his inner demons to allow himself the ability to say how he feels. Most days his true feelings are hidden behind a great wall of disconnection. He must follow his three life rules that don’t allow him to get hurt. O.W.G. struggles with his sexual identity and having the courage to follow his heart.  Each Will Grayson finds that loving themselves is the greatest challenge.

Another prominent theme in this novel is fear. The fear of not being in the “in crowd,” not being accepted, being seen as different from the rest, all of these fears hold back the Will Grayson’s from truly being happy. O.W.G. struggles with depression and can’t quite find a group of friends that he believes will accept him. Will Grayson has a small group of friends but he finds himself questioning their relationship. Fear is what is holding them back from enjoying their lives. Once they are able to stop fear from controlling their lives both Will Grayson’s find a new and happier life.

Connections:
“Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” can be compared to many Young Adult novels in the sense that it is very relatable to its young readers. However, this novel travels ground relatively untouched by the Young Adult Literature world. John Green places his characters into situations and gives them the same dilemmas that many students will to be experiencing. These topics allow for intriguing conversations and the discussion of how to handle certain situations.

Reactions:
As a reader, I was completely moved by the writing style of John Green and David Levithan. I loved the idea of having two different characters and intertwining their lives to allow each character to find their own true self. This novel faced many tough topics such as sexuality and identity.  I was able to relate to these characters having gone thru some similar experiences myself in high school. This story gets straight to the true struggle of so many teens, which is the journey to find out who they really are and how to be happy about it.

Reception:
“Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” has been widely successful. It was giving 4.8 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.com . Librarian by day website even says, “Will Grayson, Will Grayson is an enjoyable, accomplished work from two authors at the top of their game.” The reliability of the work makes this book susceptible to fans from all different ages. However, it has not lacked in its fair share of criticism. One critic states, “I disliked the first six chapters. Chapter 7, it started to get better, and I was quite intrigued by the promise of the ending – which did not disappoint, in a Little Miss Sunshine kind of way. The problem for me was that unlike Juno (Single-Disc Edition), where everyone in the movie speaks in a more original, more sparkling language, in this book it’s only main characters who get to do so. Every line seems worked and reworked by intellectual college wits, although the characters are supposed to be in high school. It was too distilled, too boiled down.” Even those who didn’t particularly like book were still able to find some good in the story.

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About kjnorman

English Education Major Psychology Minor I would love to teach high school English. I am 22 years old and commute to WIU from Galesburg, IL.
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3 Responses to Will Grayson, Will Grayson

  1. Kayla, I like your discussion of fear as a theme in the novel. It’s an important element to how events play out (or do not play out) throughout the book. I would love to have you talk a bit more about the specific connections you see for teens throughout the text. What situations do you see teens experiencing?

    I can’t open your You Tube link. Could you attempt it again and imbed it? Thanks!

  2. Okay, I got the video to work this time, but still try to imbed it the next time ’round.

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