Study Guide

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

by John Green

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Summary

Summary

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a young adult novel cowritten by John Green and David Levithan. The book is told from the point of view of two teenage boys, both named Will Grayson. In Chicago, the first Will Grayson is best friends with Tiny Cooper, a homosexual football player. The other Will Grayson, a homosexual from Naperville that suffers from depression, tells the second story. After Will Grayson and Will Grayson discover each other, Green and Levithan use their characters to explore themes of love, honesty, and friendship.

Will Grayson’s father says that you can pick friends, but "you can’t pick your friend’s nose." However, Will Grayson admits that he never picked his friend “Tiny” Cooper. Tiny is

the largest person who is really, really gay, and also the gayest person who is really, really large.

Tiny and Will grew apart after Tiny became president of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), but they recently became friends again after Will wrote in the school newspaper defending Tiny against complaints that he should not be allowed to change in the locker room. When the novel opens, Will joins Tiny and his friend on a trip to see a concert rumored to be the reunion of the band Neutral Milk Hotel.

The night does not go as planned. The venue is open only to those aged 21 and over, and although Tiny and his friend Jane have fake IDs, Will does not. Will manages to sneak in, only to discover that the rumor is false and the band is not Neutral Milk Hotel. Tiny and his friends resolve to have a good time anyway, but the night is ruined when Tiny discovers that his latest boyfriend has broken up with him by status update on Facebook. Tiny is devastated and proceeds to get drunk. Jane and Will take a blubbering Tiny Cooper home. As the football player passes out, Will finds himself picking his friend’s nose so that he will be able to breathe.

Will Grayson’s life sounds difficult, but it is not nearly as dark as the life of Will Grayson of Naperville. Will writes exclusively in lowercase letters and readily admits that he is “constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me.” This Will is friends with Maura, who is goth. Will explains that they are connected by their obsessions with doom and gloom. Will is also friends with Simon and Derek from the mathletes team. At home, Will and his mother manage to stay above the poverty line, but not by much. The best part of Will’s day is when he meets with Isaac online. Isaac and Will have never met, but they consider themselves to be in a long-distance relationship.

The doom and gloom of Naperville Will Grayson’s life stands in stark contrast to Chicago Will Grayson’s life. Tiny has asked Will to come to the next Gay Straight Alliance meeting to boost the club’s numbers. Tiny needs as much support as he can get if he is going...

(The entire section is 1175 words.)