Monday, May 3, 2010

Spreading the Awesome, Carol-Style

Alrighty then…I’ve certainly been a poor blogger lately. My apologies if you’ve been anxiously waiting on the edge of your seats for me  to post since last weekend (*cough). My only excuse is that I’m an obsessive sort of writer (obsessive sort of everything, actually), and it’s quite difficult to pull myself away from my manuscripts sometimes. But here I am finally with something pretty dang fabulous for you.

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.

will grayson squared will grayson squared signed

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 **********.


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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.

56 comments:

  1. Does the number of times you mention 'Will Grayson' include the two photographs of the actual book in your post Carolina? Are you trying to rick us?

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  2. Please put this -t - in front of the word 'rick' for me. Thanks.

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  3. I say 18. Sounds like a fabulous book Carolina. I'm glad you recommended it. I don't read a lot of YA but this sounds like something I could handle.

    I'm glad you're working on your ms. Did you finally mail the query? I left something on my blog for you over the weekend.

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  4. I've been wondering about this book for awhile but I might just have to go out in buy it now. Thanks!

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  5. I keep hearing about this book. Normally, when something starts to get that much buzz I run the other way because I figure it can't live up to the hype.

    But sometimes it does - and then some - so instead of sticking my head in the sand I might just have to give this a try.

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  6. This book sounds interesting. I must get it. Don't apologize for not blogging. We can never forget you.

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  7. I like a good humorous book. I could use some good laughs right about now.

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  8. Carol, your review of this book had me smiling, entertained, and hanging on your every word. I can't wait to read this book! I hope I win the signed copy -- how awesome would that be? But I plan to purchase it, one way or another!

    Thanks for Spreading the Awesome!!!!

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  9. Love this review and wonderful, wonderful post! You are too adorable! This is so much fun this morning. ;o)

    P.S. I think 26!

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

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  10. Great review! Don't you love it when each character just jumps off the page? Sometimes I enjoy a book better when the secondary characters almost "steal the show" because they're just that good!

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  11. I love funny books! Can't wait to meet the Wills.

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  13. Sorry, computer’s malfunctioning…

    This book is on my list of must reads! I’m going with 22 Will Grayson’s, counting the one in the P.S.

    What a great tribute, now I want to read it even more ;o)

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  14. Love this and your contest rocks! Im about to film the dancing I promised, though in case it doesnt post before the contest ends FYI I am dancing on my blog today:) Cant wait to read this one!

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  15. I have heard about this book - a lot. Can't wait to read it!

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  16. Fabulous contest...Can't wait to read this book - I have head nothing but amazing things about it!

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  17. Sounds great! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the reccommendation.

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  18. Okay, I think I counted 21 in that post :) Another book added to my list!

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  19. Great post! I think you said Will Grayson 22 times in this post! Hopefully I counted right. :)

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  20. WOW! You said that name lots! Like 26 times! Awesome post!

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  21. Finally doing a little blog hopping again *waves*

    Great post Carol--you summed up this book PERFECTLY. I haven't entered your contest because, well, I went to a John Green/David Levithan signing and already got myself a copy, but I am so glad you featured this book! I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I will be soon. Sounds like I will not be disappointed :)

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  22. I counted 19! :-) your review makes me want to read it even more...argh!!!!

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  23. Great recommendation, Carol! I've been wondering about this book, but now I'm convinced I would like it. Thanks!

    Off to check out your contest...

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  24. I'm glad to see you back blogging!

    'Will Grayson' sounds really good.

    Jai

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  25. Wow. You have me sold. Hilarious. Poignant. Distinct voices. And it says something significant. Thanks for the rec!

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  26. I already have a signed Will/Will so don't include me in the contest--it' not fair to have two.

    Just wanted to tell you how awesome you and your review are. :)

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  27. I can't wait to read this book. I just read Paper Towns and loved it. Now I want to read everything by John Green.

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  28. I've been dying to read this book. And you have signed copies! I'd love to get one! Thanks for the chance.

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  29. Thank you so much everyone for your wonderful comments! I hope that you will enjoy Will Grayson, Will Grayson as much as I have. Please be sure if you're entering the contest, to go to the contest site linked above and fill out the entry form. You will also need to be a follower, please. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review! Good luck in the contest!

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  30. You know I had not heard about this book until about a week ago, and now I seem to be hearing about it everywhere! Can't wait to read it--my fingers are crossed!

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  31. Great review! Thanks Carol.

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  32. You reviewed that book beautifully. I may have to rush out and purchase it.

    PS. When's your own book coming out? :)

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  33. This is a book I want to read. Thanks!

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  34. I totally understand how hard it can be to pull yourself away from a manuscript sometimes. It was nice of you to stop for a moment and blog :)

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  35. Fantastic post, Carolina! I admit, I don't do much with YA, but you've made the case for this one.

    Nice to have "met" you! :)

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  36. You have no idea how much I want to read this book!! Seriously. I'm drooling. He he. :-)

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  37. I've been dying to read this book! I've heard great things and now you've just made me want to go out right now and get it. :)

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  38. Yes, I've been hiding under a rock...I've never heard of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but now it will be added to my TBR pile. Thank you Carol!

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  39. You're too cool! In case you missed my comment from the other day: I truly adored WG,WG too!!!

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  40. (I am not sure if anyone else already said this) the number of time you mention 'WG' is twenty-two

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  41. You say it 22 times! I'm signing up for it as i write :D!

    Awesome recommendation :)

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  42. Sounds like a fantabulous book! Thanks for pulling yourself away from your MS to spread the awesome! Today has been a great blogging day!

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  43. Can't wait to read this one! Great review, Carol. :)

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  44. If you count down through the p.s., but not the labels, you used Will Grayson 22 times. Whew!

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  45. I'm going with 22, too, including the time you said it in the question asking us how many times. LOL. It sounds like a kewl book - can't wait to read it!

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  46. Sounds like a great book. Cool contest, too. Glad I found you through spreading awesomeness.

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  47. Sounds like a great book! I've really enjoyed reading the 'Spread the Awesome' on all the other blogs, too.

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  48. Umm, I think I already entered the contest and the number of times you used Will Grayson in the post above is 24. :)

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  49. Ummm, 22? Whoa, I got lost halfway through, so I'm not sure. Eek! Great post!

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  50. I linked here from Alisa's site. You have a great blog.

    I'm in for the book. Sounds like a great one.

    How do you decide what books to review or promote? I have one ... wb

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  51. Number of times you mentioned Will Grayson - 24

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  52. Will Grayson, Will Grayson sounds awesome. I added it to my TBR list. I adore John Green and David Levithan. It's great to see writers team up like this.

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