will grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson has been best friends with “Tiny” Cooper since 5th grade.  They make for an odd friendship. For one thing, Tiny is anything but Tiny.  Tipping close to 300 pounds, he is quite the opposite of his thin friend, Will.   Also, Tiny is gay.  Scratch that, Tiny describes himself as really, really gay.  And sings it out loud.  Really, he does.  Will, is not gay.   Now in high school, Will enjoys life as it comes to him, not really pursuing a girlfriend, life, can be complicated enough at this point without adding relationships to the mix.  That is… until recently… because now there is this girl, who he doesn’t want to like… doesn’t want to be in a relationship…but cant stop thinking about her.

Then, there is Will Grayson.  Not the Will Grayson, mentioned above.  This Will is also in high school.  He has a harder personality and not a lot of close friends.  He has a secret from everyone.  He likes a guy he met on line, Isaac. 


It really is all Will (hence forth known as the “OWG” , other Will Grayson, thinks about, waiting for him to be on line, waiting to read what he will say… and one day he says the magic words…  “Let’s meet.”

A random change encounter puts both Will Grayson’s in the same place at the same time, and this encounter changes both of their lives forever.


Why did I want to read/listen to this book?  I am having an author crush on John Green.  After listening to The Fault In Our Stars ( SUPERB narration – highly recommended!)  I had to listen to another audio by him, and this one sounded like a really interesting one.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson is told in alternating chapters by the two Will Grayson’s.  At first, this confused me on the audio as chapter two opened it took me a minute or two to realize that this rougher, angrier Will Grayson was not the gentle fun Will I had just met in the previous chapter.   After that, the book just flowed.

While I enjoyed the original Will, I think it is safe to say that Tiny is the adored character.  Obviously he is a really big guy.  And he is gay, so he is used to a little harder lifestyle, a little more jokes and cruelty than most.  But Tiny …. shines.  He doesn’t care what you think of him.  He knows he is BIG.  He knows he is gay.  And… he is about to write a musical about his life.


Another beauty of listening to this in audio is yes, it does involve a musical and I am not sure how that translates on paper, but on audio…. it is not only all sorts of awesome, it is hilarious.   Narrated by Nick Podehl is a real treat to the ears.  (Nick also narrates The Knife Of Never Letting Go series, Wonder, and several Harlan Coben books).  I seriously not only fell in love with a sweet story, I laughed a lot, and received strange looks form my husband if he entered a room where my audio was cranking out a song about Tiny. 

Note that if the sound of a musical makes you scrunch up your nose like you smelled something bad, don’t worry – the musical is not all through the story.  It shows up towards the end and by that time you love these characters so much you want to see how they are going to pull this off.

I recommend Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  It is a 9th grade and up read and I think that is appropriate.  There is nothing in this book to cause a young reader alarm.  If anything, it may help them understand others better, and perhaps… even themselves. 

Purchased from audible.com

22 thoughts on “will grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan

  1. I have not made the time to read this one, although I have owned it for some time now. Your review is a wonderful reminder to read it, especially since you are crushing on John Greene and I have yet to read his work. Thank you for your review.

  2. Love your review! This is one of the audiobooks that got me hooked on the format, and one I recommend to new listeners.Tiny Cooper really does steal the book. Wouldn’t it be fun to see a WG musical someday 🙂

  3. This one sounds interesting, I had not heard of it before. I can see how the audio might have been a bit confusing at the beginning. I had that problem when I listened to The Night Circus, I missed that the year changed and was a bit confused for a few minutes.

  4. I’ve heard of this one before and already have it on my list to read. Thanks for reminding me about it again! 🙂

  5. I love this book and now I totally want to listen to the audio. Tiny Cooper is the best and like all John Green and David Levithan books, this one is soooo quotable.

  6. Okay – I NEED to know – are the two really the same Will Grayson? or are there really supposed to be two separate boys with the SAME name? That’s hard to believe, since I don’t think of Grayson as a very common name, and to have two? with the same first name? This is going to bug me now forever, and I probably won’t be able to get the book for a long time if ever. If you don’t want to put a spoiler in the comments would you e-mail me separately? Please? 🙂 I love spoilers for myself, but I understand not wanting to spoil over people’s future reads. 🙂

    1. They really are two very separate and very different minded boys with the same name 🙂 I am curious too, I think that would be a great John Green question…. why that name? Its not really a spoiler – it probably explains that there are two of them on the back of the book better than I did in my synopsis here 😀

Hmmmm... what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s