[Book Review] Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green, David Levithan

We grow up. Planets like Tiny get new moons. Moons like me get new planets.

This is not the first book I’ve read from John Green, but it surely is the first book I grew to love more and more while flipping through the pages. I have basically fallen in love with almost all the characters in this book, regardless of their gender or sex. Everybody in this is book is just… beautiful!

What’s the story about?

The story is built around two characters, both male, one gay and one straight, both sharing the same name: Will Grayson. They live separate lives until one night they happen to run into each other in the last place you want to meet a stranger: a sex shop.

Their whole world is turned upside-down by this encounter and when they start interacting with other characters. Even though it might seem that both Wills are the main characters of this story, you will see how much of an impact some secondary characters have on this story. But more of this is the spoiler section below.


this section contains spoilers

Friendship – I will come out and say it: this is a book about friendship. John Green tries and succeeds in bringing 4 types of friendship into this story. We have new friendships, old friendships, friendships turning into relationships and relationships turning into friendships. Each type of friendship is co-dependent of another and helps keeping the characters connected on another level than physical. And the master that is the link between all four is Tiny. The central friendship is the one between Will Grayson (the original) and Tiny. Throughout the novel we are learning the ups and downs of this friendship, but only bits and pieces like a puzzle. The final piece of the puzzle is really important. From the beginning of the book, I felt like the story was painting the picture that Will is the support system on which Tiny got to feel secure and evolve. So these ups and downs were almost presented as being Tiny fault, especially with the period before the show, but the musical revealed a scene from their childhood in which we see the reality: they have always been each other’s support system.

Insecurity – In my opinion, this is one of the most important motif in the story, but like a lurker that only interacts with the characters a little bit, only to retract itself and let the events roll, the master of which is Will Grayson the Second. Jane deals with insecurity when returning to her ex-boyfriend and then re-living the feeling of a perfect illusion. Will Grayson (the original) deals with insecurity in lying to himself that he doesn’t care (mostly about everything). But Tiny’s insecurity has layers. Tiny and Will Grayson the Second get into a relation and they get to see their true self through the eyes of the loved one.

Homosexuality – When I bought this book, I was not aware of the fact that it has a great element of LGBTQ+ in its story. Will Grayson the Second and Tiny are both gay boys, that are dealing with two very different experiences with how they view their sexuality. If Tiny is very flamboyant and all over the place, Will the Second is not really thrilled about it. Being in the closet (but also being suspected of it by his best friend), he is in an online”relationship”, only to find out that he was catfished by his best friend to get him to come out. All of this led to the two Wills meeting, and then culminating with Will the Second meeting Tiny and starting a relationship. Even though the chemistry was there, the relationship did not work, due to the insecurities that got to drive Will’s car.

In the end…

… I must say that I have been really impressed with this book. Reading almost all of John’s novels, I have noticed that he uses a formula in his books that I am so glad he dropped for this book. This might also be because David wrote half of the book. It is a light read that I totally recommend.

Buy the book: Okian, Amazon

Photos by: Chester Wade, Elijah Henderson and Dimitar Belchev

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