Book Review: Will Greyson, Will Greyson

Will Greyson, Will Greyson by John Green and David Levithan

How many of you guys saw this and started screaming “NEW JOHN GREEN BOOK!! AHHH!!!” I sincerely hope it was at least almost all of you. If not, I would be severely disappointed. But moving on… (Oh, did I forget to mention David Levithan? I guess he’s alright, too.)

Summary: This is the story of Will Greyson and Will Greyson, two guys with the same name who meet under surprising circumstances one night in Chicago.  Despite the same-name deal, they don’t hit off any special friendship or anything, but they do affect each other’s lives in a way that stays with each forever.

Review: I’m predicting that this will be a book with highly conflicting reviews—some will love it; some will hate it. I had very mixed feelings. Although some of the characters were hard to sympathize with at times (particularly Levithan’s “Greyson,” who is a depressed introvert), John Green’s ever-constant charm and perfect portrayal of a normal teenage boy were absolutely phenomenal, and Levithan’s edgy, poetic style was very interesting. The ending was incredibly touching, yet not overly emotional. The story was easy to get swept up in, and the alternating perspectives kept a story without much plot from becoming boring.  The premise was also fascinating! People are always wondering if there is another person out there with the same name as them. Will Greyson, Will Greyson indulges that question in an awkwardly sweet way.

David Levithan’s sections (the POV alternates, each Will Greyson is written by Green or Levithan) are very different from John Green’s. The purposefully slack, uninteresting formatting reminded me of Wintergirls (Anderson), and reflected the emotions and character of Will Greyson; however, I didn’t find it very engaging. This may have had more to do with the character the style reflected, because I don’t really view the world the way Levithan’s Greyson does. In any case, my personal taste found these sections depressing and slow-paced.

In conclusion, Will Greyson, Will Greyson was a good book that I loved and hated at the same time. The alternating POV and the premise made the story interesting, but Levithan’s Greyson sections were a bit slow.  If you like one of those surprising, sweet John Green endings, go for this book. If you enjoy darker characters, you may really enjoy Levithan’s sections.

It’s been a few weeks for me, and I still can’t decide whether my feeling toward this book is love or hate.

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