Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green, David Levithan I will wholeheartedly admit that "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" surprised me in how funny, entertaining, sad, and engaging the book was despite the measure that it took me a little while (not too long, I would say probably a couple of chapters or so) to realize that the narration was actually trading between two boys in the first person. The premise makes it clear that the story highlights the experiences of two teens with the same name but very different lives and perceptions of the world around them. One struggles to keep ahold of his present relationships (especially his distancing relationship from his boyhood friend, Tiny) while the other tries to come to terms with his sexuality and battle with self-esteem/depression. The two Graysons meet in a rather odd set of circumstances (and unfortunate for one of them because it was a part of an elaborate prank), and from there are swept into an interesting set of circumstances between the planning for an epic play (courtesy of Tiny's life story and quest for love) and determining where they stand in the line of their pasts as well as their push toward the future.I think John Green and David Leviathan did an excellent job with the voices and alternating tensions between the characters in this story - it gets into hard angst in some parts of the story, but the balance between that tension is balanced by some quirky sparks and humor. The characters were believable, and I definitely could feel for the challenges they faced in the heart of the story. There are times that the reader may feel that they do things that are unlikable (Tiny almost completely distances himself from Will Grayson for "the other Will Grayson", while Will Grayson has a on-again/off-again relationship with Jane, etc.), but if you take the story for what it is, it does provide a ride that's engaging and illuminating in the character's lives. I suppose the one thing that I could criticize it on was that the ending left me wanting a little more from it than what it presented. It ties together the threads on some levels, but felt almost a bit too saccharine for the tone of most of the book.I should note that this is clearly a YA book for older teens in the genre, if not simply on the notes of the crude language and frank discussions of sexuality, but I think it was a work that was well-written for the story it tells. Best work by either author? Probably not, but certainly worth reading.Also - the references to All Dogs Go to Heaven and Neutral Milk Hotel - awesome.Overall score: 3.5/5