I was so eager to read this for many reasons. First, I adore John Green. I’ve read Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns; I own The Abundance of Katherines but my neighbor is reading it first. I don’t often rush to buy/read new releases but then I saw Debi’s review and Amanda’s review and for once, had the idea to see how long the line was at the InterLibraryLoan: zilch. OMG! Could this be true? Am I truly the only person in the Massachusetts library system who wants to read this and knows how to request from the library? Well, that’s just too cool. or sad. No – it just means that I’m cooler and more in-the-know. So that’s how this book ended up in my hands this month and had to be read soonly rather than someday-possibly which is what happens to most of the books that I buy. PLEASE click on Amanda’s review, or any that she also links to for a TRUEr idea of what this book is about because I’m not going to provide a synopsis.
This is my least favorite JG book but I’m still giving it 4 slices of pie. I think this is the first that I experienced as a 40+ year old reading a YA book and feeling like a 40+ year old. A few situations were just gross-icky almost to being distasteful-uncomfortable. Andbutso, I recognize and move on and can say that overall, I continue to admire the author(s) ability to charm and laugh and hit at the heart of a matter. This book has gay teenagers but it is not all about just that. It’s about friendship and love. Being betrayed, being yourself. New love first love, having passionate crushes, first kisses, and how to fit in. The endearing coincidence of two high school kids both named Will Grayson meeting randomly at the most unrandom of spots in downtown Chicago; the crazy school play by the adorable Tiny Cooper; the harsh HARSH ‘joke’ that proves the internet can be a tool for evil as well as connection and fun; the combined words of segue (andbutso, ifbutstill). I love that the parents are a sort of clueless yet wise and – – human; the kids still respect them (ifbutstill they lie to them) and I love that the kids are in college-bound classes and their teachers assign great books for them to read. I was crying happy laughing tears at the end because these books MOVE me. Well, that’s all I need to say. If you love John Green and David Levithan*, you’ll read this without my saying you should or shouldn’t. If you don’t know John Green and you’re not into the Young Adult tag and this interests you a bit, may I suggest you start with Looking for Alaska?
* I have Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan on my tbr; I’ve seen the film.
multivalent – “Which is of course idiotic in the kind of profound and multivalent way that only an English teacher could fully elucidate.” – adjective: 1. having or susceptible to many applications, interpretations, meanings, or values.