Saturday, February 8, 2014

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Narrator(s):  Nick Podehl & MacLeod Andrews
Series: stand-alone
Length:  7 hrs 52 mins
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Source: purchased as an Audible Daily Deal
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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 history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans.

I feel like every book I've read lately has been set in Chicago.  Wonder what that's all about?  Maybe it's my subconscious telling me I'm ready for a trip.  Whatever the case, this audiobook was the perfect remedy for my mid-winter blues.  It's funny, it's thoughtful, and it was just what I needed to beat the doldrums.

But can we call this book what it should have been?  Tiny Cooper, Tiny Dancer.  That kid stole the freaking show with his own show in this story.  Never has a big-boned gay guy endeared himself to me more.  I actually used to work with a guy who I continually pictured in this role, and it was awesome.  I wanted to give him hugs but I also wanted to applaud the fact that, unlike the Wills of the story, he knew who he was and he was pretty okay with it.

Okay, back to the Wills.  Will Grayson is the boy written by John Green, the one that some might call pretentious and the epitome of a male character drawn by the likes of JG.  So be it.  I, myself, have always preferred to surround myself with intelligent people who challenge me and actually appreciate my use of SAT vocab words.  And so I usually like the characters John Green creates.  To those who cry that normal teenagers don't speak so eloquently, don't have such poignant thoughts...maybe you didn't, but I did.  I like that Green doesn't make his characters less than they are just because others might not appreciate them in all their glory.  Anyway, this Will Grayson likes girls.  Well, in the beginning of the story, that wasn't so clear.  He was actually more asexual, but through a series of events, he realizes he might actually want to have feelings for Jane, his and Tiny's mutual friend.

will grayson is the boy written by David Levithan.  This will grayson is cynical and peculiar, and he likes boys, though he hasn't come out to anyone yet, not anyone who knows him in real life, anyway.  I've only read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, which Levithan co-wrote with Rachel Cohn, but in that book, I think his character sounded more like a John Green character.  This will grayson definitely did not.  Even if I had not been listening to the audio, it would have been easy to separate the two voices.

Will Grayson is voiced by Nick Podehl.  Podehl is a fantastic narrator, and he sounds every bit the slightly arrogant and jaded boy that Will Grayson is.  He manages to sound guarded when speaking Will's dialogue, but he also perfectly portrays the wild thoughts of a boy who's less in control than he might have you think.  The other will grayson was narrated by MacLeod Andrews.  He's a favorite of mine because he always seems to become the character he is portraying.  His narration made will grayson the idiosyncratic, fast-talking, sarcastic boy I'd believed him to be.

I found Will Grayson, Will Grayson really amusing, probably more so because of the audio, but I'd have enjoyed the story either way.  I like a good coming-of-age story, full of self-discovery and hilarious antics, especially when a lot of those antics come by way of one Tiny Cooper.  Seriously, that kid made this book. I'd read another book all about his various exploits if one such book existed.  As it stands, I really enjoyed my second book by each of these authors, and maybe now I'll make the time to read the others of their's that are sitting on my shelf.

GIF it to me straight:

About the authors:

John Green's first novel Looking for Alaska won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel An Abundance of Katherines was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel Paper Towns is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel The Fault in Our Stars was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website.

Find John:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Find David:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson sounds utterly fantastic! I love how offbeat and endearing the structure of the story is. I can tell this is the type of story that'll leave a lasting impression, not only for its unique structure but for its quirky characters too.

    I have The Fault in Our Stars by Green and Every Day by Levithan sitting on my shelf. I really need to get to both of these, before I pick this one up. Thanks for reminding me! Lovely review, as always, Jen. :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  2. I really need to reread Will Grayson, will grayson via audiobook. I read it in print and became Tiny Cooper's biggest fan and just reading your review makes me want to pick it up for another go around.

    Also, yes, I used big words as a teenager too, I hate when people act like teens are dumb.

  3. So I have only read TFiOS by Mr. Green, but I did really enjoy it and do plan on reading his backlist. I don't believe I've read anything by Mr. Levithan. I have heard good things about this book, and am almost always a fan of collaborative works. I'll have to bump this one up on my list. Tiny Cooper sounds awesome. Great review!


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