Will Grayson, Will Grayson Summary

David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson Summary

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan is a young adult novel about two characters named Will Grayson. The chapters rotate between them—the odd-numbered chapters are written by John Green about one Will Grayson;the even-numbered chapters are written by David Levithan about the other will grayson. The lowercase letters are no mistake—Levithan’s will grayson writes his name in all lowercase letters like ee cummings. This helps the reader distinguish the protagonists. Levithan also writes other characters’ names in all lowercase letters. In Green’s chapters, Will Grayson refers to will grayson as “o.w.g.”—“other will grayson.”

The book begins from Will Grayson’s point of view. He is a student at Evanston High School in Naperville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. He loves living near Chicago, but he is often bored with Naperville. Whenever he thinks about Chicago, he is brought back to the smell, which he likes, though he cannot place why. He also feels there is always something to do there. Meanwhile, will grayson also lives in a Chicago suburb. In many ways, their lives are almost identical.

Their routine stories become intriguing when Will Grayson and will grayson meet. At the climax of the story, they both visit a pornography store in Chicago, where they hope to meet with Isaac, a fictional love interest that they both share. Despite the similarities in their lives, there are differences too. Will Grayson’s thesis on life is that he should remove himself as much as possible from dealing with the world around him in order to protect himself. He thinks if he cares too much, the risk to his own person becomes too great. His best friend, Tiny Cooper, does not share this vision, and because of him, Will Grayson is thrust into the public eye.

Best friends, Will Grayson and Tiny Cooper navigate the murky waters of teen angst. Tiny is obsessed with himself and always in love with someone. While Tiny is certain about his sexuality—he is gay—Will struggles with his own. Ultimately, Will falls in love with a girl named Jane.

Whereas Will Grayson tries not to invest himself too much in the world around him, will grayson is an angry young man. He is always angry about everything. When Tiny Cooper and will grayson meet as a result of will and Will meeting, will falls in love and his life changes. Self-acceptance and relationships provide struggles for both Will and will. When Tiny premieres a musical titled Hold Me Closer, Will and will each discover important truths about themselves.

Friendship is an important theme in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Their friendships parallel each other’s; in both cases, they have a group of friends that falls apart. Maura is a frenemy, or friend/enemy of both Will and will. She is the one who creates the fake character named Isaac. Her reasoning is that she wants to force Will to admit that he is gay. Will and Maura’s friendship ends as a result of her actions.

Sexuality is a strong theme in this book as well. Many characters are openly homosexual, such as Tiny. Ultimately, will grayson decides to come out with his homosexuality, and Will Grayson discovers that he is heterosexual. However, both of the titular characters struggle with identifying their own sexuality until they try to meet up with Isaac.

The struggle to identify their sexuality, as well as other common struggles experienced by teens, produces a lot of angst for Will, will, and their friends. They both react to it differently; Will tries to remove himself from feeling the angst that is so common at his age, and will is angry at the world because of it.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was published in 2010 and appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list for three consecutive weeks. No other young adult novel with an LGBT theme had previously made it onto that list. In addition to an interesting alternating chapter structure, the novel begins with the epilogue, instead of placing it at the end. Additionally, the epilogue does not detail what happens after the last chapter; it is a two-paragraph blurb about when Will meets will.

John Green’s other novels include Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. David Levithan is also known for Boy Meets Boy, Wide Awake, and The Realm of Possibility. John Green won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006, the Edgar Award in 2009, the Corine Literature Prize in 2010, the Indiana Authors Award in 2012, the Children’s Choice Book Awards in 2013, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2013, and the mtvU Fandom Awards in 2014. David Levithan won the Lambda Literary Award in 2003 and in 2006.