Now, many of you already know that I’m giving away a couple of signed copies of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, along with a bunch of other signed books and stuff. But what you may not realize is that I chose to make Will Grayson, Will Grayson the highlight of my contest because this book may very well be one of the best YA books of our time. I mean, I can’t say for certain because I haven’t polled anyone yet, but I’m pretty sure (based on my 8-ball and my somewhat accurate ESP) that it ranks right up there with the greats.
And it so happens that the incredibly awesome Elana Johnson asked me to feature a book I loved on my blog. Actually, I believe she said I should feature a book that was so $&%*# good it deserves 10 stars! (or something like that). And because I totally believe in paying it forward, I readily agreed to do so with Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
So, what’s so fabtastic about Will Grayson, Will Grayson? Besides the fact that it’s one name squared? Here’s the book jacket summary:
It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old—including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire—Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.
Okay, 1. One of the funniest books I’ve ever read, hands down, and 2. THE funniest YA book probably, like, EVER. Seriously, I laughed my way through this book, which is crazy because there were some very poignant, sad moments in this that—by the way?—totally took my breath way. The voices of both Will Graysons were so strong and alive and so dang genuine that by the end, I swear to you, I felt like I’d just spent hours talking to these guys. And Tiny Cooper? Holy catfish, the guy was supposedly only a sidekick, but really, that’s just too weak of a description for this guy (uh, a little like his name—oh the irony). Tiny is the rubber band that sort of pulled the two Wills together, but he’s also the glue for pretty much the whole book. He’s gigantic with an equally large heart and with such a positive energy that you can’t help but love him and every ounce of his idealism. But you know what I crazy-love about him (err, one of the things)? He isn’t just the token gay best friend on the sidelines like we so often see depicted (Yawn…give us something genuine, Hollywood)—Tiny is so much more than this. He’s, of course, massively fabulous, but he’s also naive and sometimes insecure with such a deep-seated yearning for love that it handicaps him at times, causing him so much unnecessary hurt. And he is soooo different from the Wills, who are both just as radically different from one another.
Will1, Tiny’s best friend, is straight, but that’s not really what differentiates him. Rather, what makes him so distinct from Tiny is his nearly crippling inability to make choices, particularly regarding love. He has this self-deprecating sense of humor that is often ironic, sometimes satirical, and always dry—and squirt-milk-through-your-nose funny. Will2 struggles with serious depression, which, of course, is only compounded by being a teenager. But he is so wicked funny in a dark, hyperbolic, just-short-of-emo, satirical way that keeps the reader from sinking into that depression with him. The beauty of Will Grayson, Will Grayson is that it does deal with regular adolescent issues, but approaches them in a way that is accessible, especially to teenagers. And it’s freakishly entertaining with intellectual teens that still feel like teens (no Dawson’s Creek wannabes here, thankyouverymuch).
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a must read, but I would recommend, because of some the stronger language and some of the more difficult issues addressed within (such as depression, teen romance, online relationships), that parents/guardians read it along with their teens and use the book as an opportunity to convo (I know it’s hard, especially with all the eye rolling, but teens, just ignore your parents’ stupid quirks and talk to them anyway—teach ‘em a little sump’im).
Anyway, to Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I give **********.
If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m not the only one spreading the awesome today. You can find other bloggers featuring their 10-star-worthy books here at Elana’s blog. Or you can follow the chain o’ blogs as you might have been doing and go visit Stina Lindenblatt who is featuring Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer.
Aaaaand one more thing: be sure to go here to enter my contest and see all the rules, prizes, and ways to gain extra entries for the Will Grayson Squared Dance Contest if you haven’t already (you will need to be a follower and fill out the ENTRY FORM FOUND HERE). I’m giving away two copies of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, both signed by John Green and David Levithan, as well as six other signed Levithan/Green books, The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, gift cards and chocolate. You don’t even have to dance to win. Unless you really, really want to.
P.S. I’ll give an additional two contest entries to every person that enters the contest and leaves a comment here correctly indicating the number of times I wrote “Will Grayson” in this post.