One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.
Will Grayon, Will Grayson, is the story of two teenagers both named Will Grayson and the long list of coincidences that ends with their random meeting in an adult video store (where neither of them are actually shopping). in the text version, the two Wills are distinguished in several ways: The first Will the one written by John Green and narrated by Nick Podehl chimes in for the odd-numbered chapters and gets his name capitalized, while the second, written by David Levithan and read by MacLeod Andrews, takes over the even-numbered chapters and goes by the more idiosyncratic will grayson (all lowercase). Since both characters are written in first person, it’s up to Podehl and Andrews to make the distinction clear in the audio version, and they do it well: Podehl’s Will is a teen who’s made a point of not getting too involved with anything or anyone, and the narrator balances the guarded tones of Will’s speaking voice with the less-controlled run of his thoughts, while Andrews gives his will a fast-paced, sarcastic tone that matches the character’s typical teenage cynicism.
While the story builds to the chance meeting between the Wills, the narrators take on a lineup of secondary characters: parents, girlfriends, boyfriends, and one large boy named Tiny Cooper who ties them all together. Podehl has more to work with in his chapters, bringing Will, Tiny, and their friends to life; much of Andrews’ time is spent reading online chats and back and forth dialogue that will prefaces with “me:” and “her:” or “him:” so he has fewer opportunities to develop those voices. But both narrators infuse their readings with the emotions, attitudes, and sentiments that will be familiar to anyone who knows (or was) a teenager. Blythe Copeland
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