CC's Reviews > Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
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F_50x66
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May 13, 10

Read in April, 2010

This was just okay for me. It had its strengths -- bold subject matter being one, the energized Chicago setting, another. And while I liked Tiny and especially Gideon, I was sad to find I really didn't like anyone else. Ultimately, the premise (two Will Graysons) was misleading because they didn't have an impact on each other.

The crux of the story was really about (non-capitalized) Will Grayson and how larger-than-life Tiny inspires him. This left (capitalized) Will Grayson's arc of deciding to like Jane or not as filler, mostly. The set-up of Jane's tom-boy status (sans any desirable qualities shown) seemed too heavily borrowed from "Let it Snow," where the nerd boy was deciding if he should like Duke. Since I didn't understand why Jane was such a catch, I almost didn't care if Will Grayson ended up with her.

And this wasn't a huge issue, but the parents and staff in a public Chicago area high school supporting a "gay play" readily, and without discussion, seemed a bit of a stretch. A private, progressive school, maybe. A public school? I'm not so sure.

Other than that, two smaller things made this book not as successful as I'd hoped:

One, a lot of the dialogue sounds like people trying to be funny, but they aren't. Ex: (pg. 50) "They're kind of a poor man's Mr. T experience... it basically explains Einstein's theory of relativity." That one line alone isn't that bad, but when you combine it with hundreds of other lines just like it -- that make no sense -- it takes away from what's really going on in a scene or chapter. After a while, I started to think John Mayer had stolen the book and pasted his eye-rolling Aren't-I-Funny-and-Insightful twitter comments into it.

And two, if you have a gay, fat best-friend you wouldn't constantly refer to him as your GAY!! FAT!! Best-friend. You just wouldn't. He'd be your friend, and that's all. So for (capitalized) Will Grayson to constantly make GAY, FAT, observations was insulting. Yes, we know Tiny is big, but by the same token, if you had a friend who wasn't as smart as you, you wouldn't refer to him as your STUPID friend, would you? Maybe you would if you were in this book, I don't know.

Most of what I feel is wrong with the book can, in fact, be attributed to the hazards of co-authoring -- one author naturally has to take a backseat to the other, and in this case, one whole plot had to cow to the other, flashier one.
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