Book #75

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine.
It's not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old - including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire - Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most awesome high school musical.

As someone who is fairly militant about despising John Green books, I was surprised to find this one strangely okay.

Of course, we have our usual cringeworthy incorrectness, here taking the form of fat-shaming, hints of homophobia, and ‘not like other girls’ rhetoric; the kind of stuff you wouldn’t want the target audience absorbing.

Despite his constant failings to prevent his inner bias seeping through, and his lacking capability of understanding how real teenagers think and behave, I found the plot quite heartwarming and adorable. Maybe it was just the kind of mindless drivel I needed at this point in time.

Dealing with catfishing (where are Nev and Max when you need them?), coming out, friendship struggles, and general teenage angst, Green gives us some likable, yet slightly unrelatable, characters. I liked seeing them fall apart and come together again, and there really was something there which made me just want everything to be okay.

Nothing high-brow, nothing poignant, nothing even remotely relatable, and yet a nice easy, heartwarming read. Maybe the next time a Green novel wings its way to the top of my pile, I won’t meet it with such disdain.