A thought which preceded the writing of this review is this (it happened a fairly long time ago):
People seem to have this notion in their heads that anything life-changing has to be something monumental, and that seriously isn’t the case. The things that change our lives and/or who we are as individuals, the way that we see/view life. Even the way that we view ourselves. View, see, feel about, believe in–all relevant and included in this discussion. But the thing is that the things that are life-altering don’t HAVE to be big. They don’t HAVE to be monumental. They don’t have to be major events in our lives. Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that have the biggest impact. When you read a book that addresses life in a way that you haven’t ever thought about. Or maybe that you have thought about but never articulated in the manner presented to you. When you hear a song that moves you and the lights shine brighter, the air tastes better, people smile more beautifully. The world views differently because you are different because of something so radically simple–or complex, but small nonetheless has triggered a reaction in your brain that, regardless of its manner of existence.
And so you sit there going “Oh my gosh,” but you don’t really know how to articulate what you’re going through because nobody else has experienced the thing that you just experienced, and you can’t just look at your roommate and say “I just experienced a life-changing event” because she was sitting here 4 feet away from you for the last 20 minutes and nothing actually happened. And people just don’t get it, least of all when you can’t explain it.
Andbutso I think we’ve established that I’ve HAD one of these moments just now upon the completion of this book. I have these moments quite frequently, actually. You’d think that after awhile it gets old, that things stop amazing or changing me. But that’s the beauty of my outlook: these things never get old. I like that I never stop changing. I like that I still allow myself to be so thoroughly moved by things so small, seemingly inconsequential.
Will Grayson 1 has a gay best friend who is a mountain of a teenager and goes by the name Tiny Cooper. They’ve been best friends since third grade and since before being gay really had anything to do with liking boys.
Will Grayson 2 is a self-deprecating teenage boy with friends he doesn’t really consider friends because he kind of hates himself and his life and everything that is. Except for Isaac, a boy he met online and has been talking to for a year.
Will Grayson 1 is straight but doesn’t date because he prefers to avoid all the drama. Will Grayson 2 is gay but totally in the closet. Not because he is ashamed of this but because he (rightly) doesn’t think it’s anybody else’s goddamned business.
As the story progresses we learn more and more about each of these characters and more characters come into the mix. Tiny Cooper’s main focus is on a musical that he wrote called Tiny Dancer, which is, go figure, about him. He is also a member of the school’s “Gay Straight Alliance” and wants Tiny Dancer to receive funding from the student council in order to become a reality.
There’s also a cute girl named Jane involved here? And there’s a lot of drama with her and Will Grayson 1 kind of sort of but not really liking each other? It’s complicated.
There is a lot of other plot information here that’s relatively relevant but which I shan’t be discussing simply because A) I don’t feel like it and B) …er… never mind.
Anyway. So Will Grayson 2 is going to meet up with Isaac in Chicago Friday night, only he gets to the place he’s supposed to go to and it’s a porn shop called Frenchy’s. This is where he meets Will Grayson 1, who is also underage and attempting to buy a porn magazine as a memento for his friends who actually left him to go to a Maybe Dead Cats concert in a bar–WG1’s fake ID was a total fail, which actually made for an amusing moment there in aforementioned porn shop–and one thing leads to another and Will Grayson 1 meets Will Grayson 2.
So then there’s a bunch of stuff and then Will Grayson 2 ends up with Tiny Cooper and then they actually sorta make out and stuff.
So from here we have a number of things progressing. For example, Will Grayson 1 is replaced in Tiny Cooper’s life by Will Grayson 2, which kind of pisses off and hurts the feelings of WG1. Only all of this is complicated and there’s a bunch of stuff with Jane, who sort of gets back with her ex-boyfriend only then she dumps him because she can’t get WG1 out of her head and so then they kind of get together and that’s good.
And like, Tiny and WG2 go out sort of for awhile, but then Will kind of hates on stuff too much and pisses of Tiny and they kind of break up. And they both feel totally like shit about it.
There are a lot of things about this book that I really liked. The prose exhibited by both authors, for example. The plot points. Also a lot of the subtext, the concepts that they put forth. Like, for example, sometimes people fall in love with an aspect of who you are, not necessarily you yourself. Like, sometimes, we don’t keep quiet about things because we’re ashamed of them or because we are afraid of being judged, but because it’s nobody else’s goddamned business, and that’s okay. Also, that no relationship is perfect, and that one factoid, in itself, makes every relationship perfect.
Actually, I don’t think that last one was really in the book… whatever. Take it how you will.
I loved it. A lot. I even gave it 5 stars on GoodReads. (= So there ya go.
Until next time,