Monday, November 7, 2011

Review–Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author – John Green and David Levithan
Publisher – Brilliance Audio
Narrators – MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl
Length – 7 Hours and 52 minutes
Date – April 2010


Will Grayson #1 hopes to get through life by following all of the rules, never questioning, doing what he’s told, and keeping his mouth shut. Oddly enough, his larger than life gay best friend Tiny Cooper is just the opposite. He is as large in personality as he is in sheer size and his life goal is to be the center of attention. Will Grayson #2 is the definition of “no one understands me, therefore I hate everyone” destructive teen angst. He has a vicious trick played on him by a frustrated acquaintance and this puts him in the path of Will Grayson #1 and Tiny Cooper. Everyone struggles to come to terms with their own hopes, fears, and inadequacies while at the same time being swept up in Tiny’s over the top musical production. The whole thing is so crazy awesome that my mere words could never convey all of the fabulous that is Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

The narrators of this audio MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl did a phenomenal job of taking these extraordinary characters and bringing them to life. This was absolutely one of my favorite audio books of all time. Each of the individual personalities were so perfectly reflected in the narration that I was swept away into this story. Every nuance of feeling was so perfectly expressed, it was like a theatrical performance in my headphones! These guys even sang!! (badly and loudly!!) And it was INCREDIBLE! This is the kind of awesome that happens when the right narrators get the right book – absolute perfection! If you’ve even thought about reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson I urge you to grab the audio as well. It’s a book you’ll want to read more than once, so make one of those “reads” a “listen.” This is currently available at

Every time I open a book, I’m hoping for exactly what I found in Will Grayson, Will Grayson; engaging characters that not only come to life but who also welcome me into their story so that I feel like I’m a part of their inner circle. At the beginning of the book, I wanted so much to have a BFF like Tiny! By the middle, I felt like me and Tiny have been friends forever and that I could share knowing glances and inside jokes with the Will Graysons about our larger than life friend’s flair for the dramatic. Tiny’s personality was so big, it was almost like he was snatching up the pages faster than I could read them while yelling “They’re mine, its all about me!!!” But even next to this overwhelming character, Will Grayson one and two still managed to shine in their own offbeat way while at the same time they both seemed to gravitate to that magnetic light that was Tiny Cooper.

This book tells a story both heartfelt and poignant while at the same time being fun and fabulously witty . Several times I found myself laughing out loud while simultaneously having tears rolling down my cheeks. This story touches on the heart and soul of the true meaning of friendship, sometimes uncomfortable and even painful, certainly flawed, but ultimately worth it all.

The strength of Will Grayson, Will Grayson is equal parts the wonderful writing and the amazing characterization. Its rare that I find characters that I not only felt like I could be friends with, but who, by the end of the book, I almost felt like we were friends. This is my first time reading a book by either John Green or David Levithan but I plan to buy each one of their books. Not surprisingly, I will be rating this a 5 but honestly, there are not enough stars for the rating that Will Grayson, Will Grayson deserves. If this is an example of YA contemporary, give me more!

Rating 5 (plus some extra love)

StarStarStarStarStarRed heart

I picked Will Grayson, Will Grayson up in honor of Just Contemporary, the month long tribute to YA Contemporary books hosted by Basically Amazing Books and Chick Loves Lit.

Just Contemporary



Janicu said...

I have yet to try out John Green, but I seriously have to. So many good reviews of his books. And I love David Levithan's work. On the mental to read one day list.

LisaILJ said...

I read the book and really enjoyed it. Based on your description of the audio, it must have really brought these characters to life.

The Happy Booker said...

@ Janicu I hope you get a chance to read it! I am literally ready to devour any and everything that either of these two author's have written based on how much I loved this book.

The Happy Booker said...

It certainly did! When you decide to revisit this book, consider grabbing the audio! It was so wonderfully done, the singing alone is worth getting this audio lol

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. I listened to it also and I thought the narration was wonderful.

Missie said...

I'm so happy that I read your review of this book because audio book have become my new addiction but I have yet to listen to one where there are two voices for the narrators. I think that would be really fun to listen to!

Also, by the way you've described the characters, I'd want to be friends with them too! Every thing about this book sounds awesome. I'm looking forward to giving it a try!

The Happy Booker said...


I listened to the Harry Potter series on audio years ago and that began my insatiable addiction to audio books. This one was one of the best, the two narrators really connecting with who the characters were. I would suggest that you try Graceling by Kristin Cashore which is a Full Cast Audio and is quite an overwhelming experience, I didn't like the music but I really enjoyed the narration. Also Stacia Kane's Downside series is wonderfully done on audio, the "Downspeak" slang was so incredibly well done, I heard and understood it much more clearly and differently than when reading it in print. Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to recommend audio listens to me as well!

The Happy Booker said...


It certainly was! As you can tell from my review, I am a HUGE fan of Tiny Cooper lol

FTC Disclaimer - I do receive some books directly from the authors or publishers for review purposes. Each review posted is my own personal opinion and any books I accept are not guaranteed a positive review. I do not receive monetary gain from reviewing those books I accept.
I include affiliate links to Amazon in my reviews and other posts. Those links will take the reader to and I do receive a small percentage of each purchase.