Great Books Coming in 2010: WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON

When I attended NCTE last month, I came home with a pile of advance reader copies of 2010 novels. (So many, in fact, that at one point, the bag in which I was carrying them exploded in a rather spectacular fashion, strewing ARCs in about a ten foot radius around the conference center floor, but that is a whole ‘nother story.)

Anyway, because I understand how important these early copies are to authors and publishers and because I know they cost a lot to produce, I only take them with a promise to myself to share recommendations wherever I can. So this will be the first in a long-ish series of bookish thoughts from NCTE. All are from review copies supplied by publishers unless otherwise noted.

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON is a collaboration between YA legends John Green and David Levithan, which is probably enough information to make you want to read it. But if not…also know that it is an amazing book.

A few things occurred to me after I’d read just the first couple chapters.

1. There are lots of YA books that are great to share with my 7th grade middle school students. This is not one of them. It’s really a book for high school and up.

2. This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Laugh-out-loud, snorting-milk funny. And smart.

3. Personally, I wish this book could be required reading for anyone who still believes that it is somehow okay not to give gay people the same rights as straight people. It’s a book that fosters understanding and empathy as well as anything I’ve ever read.

What else is WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON? It’s about two guys named Will Grayson who meet serendipitously. It’s written in both their voices (John Green writes the Will Grayson who writes with both upper and lower case letters, I confirmed when I asked about it via Twitter)

It’s a book about friendship and looking for love, about finding it and losing it, about dusting yourself off and trying again. It’s about skipping in the parking lot and singing — loudly — no matter who’s listening or what they say.

There’s a Broadway-esque musical within the novel that pretty much captures the whole spirit of the thing. You know those great Broadway shows, where the ending is so feel-good and cheesy but at the same time, so amazing and perfect that it couldn’t have ended any other way? And then when it’s over you just want to stand up and hug the stranger next to you and rush out and change the world? It’s like that.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful book. (Coming from Dutton in April 2010).

28 Replies on “Great Books Coming in 2010: WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON

  1. I really can’t wait for this book. I absolutely adore John and I’ve heard so many good things about David.

    I hope you had a great time at BoW (I saw your photos). It looked like you did. I wish I could have come, but I’m at college in Massachusetts. I actually live about 30 minutes from NYC back home so if I *were* home I would TOTALLY jumped on a bus and then a subway to see you in person as well as the other Debs. 🙂 Plus I love Books of Wonder in general.

  2. This sounds like a fun book to read, if it’s as funny as you say it is! (: I will put it on my list of things to read in 2010. I’m planning on reading Heat Wave by Richard Castle next(have you heard of it? I’m having a hard time tracking it down because it isn’t sold anywhere in the Plattsburgh area. I put it on my X-Mas list though!) It’s a mystery.
    That reminds me, I keep forgetting to bring back Shiver! I loved that book, by the way!
    Have a great rest of the week!

  3. Yes, I just finished this over the weekend – LOVED IT.

    I was sure JG was the first Will Grayson, because his writing style is so recognizable. Plus most of his characters were only children … he does that a lot. 🙂

  4. I have an advance copy of the sequel to SHIVER – it’s called LINGER (and it’s very good!) Mrs. Light has it at the moment, but tell her you want it when she’s done!

  5. It was lovely meeting you Kate!
    I saw a whole bunch of those Will Greyson ARCs at Putnam–but alas, I didn’t have room for all the books I wanted. Next time I’ll bring a bigger suitcase.

  6. Great to meet you too, Heidi! I hope our paths cross another time when there’s actually time for a cup of coffee!

    You should have left some clothes or something behind in NY and taken one of the ARCs. It’s soooo good.

  7. Thanks for your comment – and yes, it is wonderful. Actually, a teacher friend of mine borrowed the ARC and just sent me a note saying, “I’m sorry, but you cannot have this book back. It no longer exists in its tangible state, as my soul has enveloped it.” It’s just that kind of book.

  8. I’m reading it now, slowly slowly slowly so I can savor every word. I didn’t take very many ARCs because I was so conscious of who they are for, but then at ALAN, they gave us all an huge BOX of books. 🙂 I’m going to try to blog about as many as I can too.

    Great review!

  9. Great review, Kate!

    I have had the hardest time letting anyone else read my copy. I just want to hold it and read it over again! There is so much truth in it and so many passages I wanted to copy down and save.

    My librarian loved it. I gave it to our new English teacher who is loving it now. She had to return home from school yesterday morning because she had forgotten the book by her bed and couldn’t stand to be without it all day. : )

    I can’t wait for it to come out so I can get my very own hard cover copy. And read it again. And again.

  10. I am a little jealous that you’re reading it for the first time – I loved that book so much! I want to go back and read it fresh all over again.

  11. Kate – Love your list.

    To the dystopian titles I would add James Dashner’s Maze Runner.
    To the tweens, I would add Slob by Ellen Potter
    To supernatural romance, I would add Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
    To realistic fiction, I would add Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have by Allen Zadoff

    And of course, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z would be on my list. 🙂