Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I love getting ARCs

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

John Green and David Levithan team up to write the story of Will Grayson …and Will Grayson. Both Wills live in different suburbs of Chicago and lead completely different lives. One lives in a posh neighborhood, the other doesn’t. One is gay, the other isn’t. One is indie, and the other is, well, wrinkled. By a weird twist of fate, the two Will Graysons meet in downtown Chicago while chasing different schemes of love.

I used to live in Oak Park, which is the suburb (though, most people still called it the city) bordering the west side of Chicago. My apartment was in Oak Park, but my parking spot was across the street in Chicago. Having this connection, I got more out of the story than some might. I had actual places in my mind rather than just the descriptions given by the authors.

The rich Will lives in Evanston. His friends called him "Grayson" most of the time, so that's what I called him in my head (though, the other Will called him Will2). The not so well off Will lives in Naperville. In my head, I called him Naperwill b/c he's from Naperville. No one in the book calls him that, I just like it. :) The authors make sure you know which Will's chapter you're on through Naperwill's writing style--he doesn't use caps. Since Grayson is a lot more by the book and Naperwill is way more connected to his computer/texting world, this worked really well.

Grayson kinda gets lost in the life of his best friend, Tiny. Tiny is an enormous football player who also happens to be the biggest drama queen in the theatre department. He seems to fall for another guy every 5 seconds. Tiny is so full of himself that he writes a musical about his life called "Tiny Dancer". (I love the humor in this book!) Anyway, Grayson has issues with all of this since he's played a big role in Tiny's life.

Naperwill is a loner. At school, Maura is the closest thing to a friend he has. They meet at the same place every day so Naperwill can drink her coffee. Online, Naperwill has fallen completely, head-over-heels in love with Isaac who lives far away in Ohio. No one at school knows about Isaac. No one at school even knows Naperwill is gay. Secrets have a huge effect on Naperwill's life.

I can't really say much else without giving away the story. Having been a theatre geek in high school and a theatre major in college, I've gotten to know the world where gay meets straight pretty well. Most of the teen books I've read with gay characters overuse stereotypes. This book does an excellent job of treating characters as people--not gay people or straight people--just people. The world is finally changing a little bit. Now you can see that change in our fiction.

Check out this new teen novel when it comes out in April 2010.

As a side note, I got the ARC for this book from John Green on my birthday. It was the first copy of the book he had ever signed. :)

1 comment:

  1. No one deserves the ARC more than you! You should send the publisher a link to your blog.