Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, July 23, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Will Grayson #1 believes in two rules: 1. Don’t care too much. 2. Shut up. He’s pretty sure if he follows those he can make it through high school. But he’s not always good at following them. The last time he violated his rules was to defend his best friend Tiny Cooper, who is gay, in a signed letter for the school newspaper. Now he doesn’t have any friends but Tiny, who’s trying to set Will up with Jane. But to accept would violate Will’s rule #1.
Will Grayson #2 says he is trying to get through high school without killing himself or everyone around him. He takes medication for depression, and he hangs out with a girl named Maura, mostly because he doesn’t have other friends. He’s gay, but he hasn’t told anyone yet but his online friend, Isaac.
When Will Grayson meets Will Grayson one unlikely night in Chicago, both their worlds begin to change in unexpected ways.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is written by John Green and David Levithan, two young adult authors known for edgy teen literature. Their joint work is told in alternating chapters, with each Will Grayson penned by a different writer. In less skilled hands the result could be disjointed, but Green and Levithan each create a Will Grayson that is complex and conflicted. In his own way, each Will is isolated and lonely, unsure of his own sexuality and what he’s willing to risk to be friends with someone. In his own way, each keeps his head down until something moves him out of his comfort zone and makes him unhappy with the status quo he has established.
There are big questions for teens involved, and mother-daughter book clubs who take on this book must know what they’re getting into: questions of sexuality, sexual identify, friendship and self-acceptance. There’s plenty of profanity to go around. But it’s refreshing to see an honest look at what it means for a teen to be gay and the challenges a friend of a gay teen faces while supporting his friend. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is also funny, and it will be hard for readers not to fall in love with Tiny Cooper. In fact, at one point Will Grayson #1 says he’s tired of playing a bit part in Tiny Cooper’s life. In some ways, both Wills are playing a bit part in Tiny Cooper’s book. Mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 15 and up should find this book opens up a conversation about lots of issues that may otherwise not come up on their own. I highly recommend it.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In alternating chapters, the authors track two teens, both named Will Grayson, who accidentally meet halfway through the novel, perhaps changing the trajectory of both of their lives. One Will is vintage Green: a smart nerd whose rules to live by include 'don't care too much,' with a scene-stealing sidekick — Tiny Cooper, a large, flamboyantly gay classmate intent on staging an autobiographical musical. The other will (lowercase throughout) is angry and depressed; the one bright spot in his existence is an online friendship with 'Isaac.' When will agrees to meet Isaac one night in Chicago, readers know nothing good will happen — and they will be wrong. A well-orchestrated big reveal takes the story in a new direction, one that gives (lowercase) will greater dimension. The ending is laudable but highly implausible. The journey to it is full of comic bits, mostly provided by the irrepressible Tiny, who needs his own novel. Frank sexual language — a shot at a bar 'tastes like Satan's fire cock' — pushes this one to high school, where its message of embracing love in all its forms ought to find a receptive audience. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The New York Times Bestselling story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, theyd have a chance to remake their world.
This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
"A wild, beautiful, and profoundly moving novel. Jandy Nelsons writing is so electric, so alive, her pages practically glow in the dark." —Ransom Riggs, New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City
"Jandy Nelson is a rare, explosive talent, and one of the best writers working today. Her prose is vivid, breathtaking, and drenched in passion, and her stories remind me why words can change the world." —Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series.
"I love this book. Jandy Nelson is my new writing hero. Read this book. She'll be your favorite author as well." —Holly Goldberg Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s
"Jandy Nelsons writing is poetic and mesmerizing. More importantly, Nelson weaves a novel that seeps into your bones like fire on a cold day . . . Ill Give You the Sun is a novel that promises a story like nothing else and then delivers it.” —Garret Freymann-Weyr, author of Printz Honor book, My Heartbeat
"This is a stunning, artfully woven story. My heart burst open at the blazing, unforgettable end. Magnificent." —Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls and 17 and Gone
"An extraordinary book! I've never read anything like it. Lyrical-unique-passionate-magical-tragic-hopeful—Nelson's characters will fly off the page and into your heart." —Nancy Garden, author of Annie on my Mind
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of historys most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithans collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of faithful fans.
A Discussion Guide to Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
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