Banned Book Club: Will Grayson, Will Grayson


photo by Roman Hladio

Roman Hladio, Reporter

It’s pretty common knowledge that most books have one author.  If you didn’t know that, you’re either from another planet or specifically stick to books like Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  

Written by both John Green and David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson is about two high school students– both named Will Grayson–who accidentally meet.

The book is a great fit for the NASH Library but is often challenged in other places due to overtly homosexual themes.  One of Will Grayson’s best friends is an ultra-stereotypical gay kid in high school, and the other Will Grayson spends the majority of the book avoiding confrontation with his friends and family about his hidden sexuality.

Both Will Graysons live on different sides of Chicago.  The first one we meet, I’ll refer to him as Grayson, is a member of the football team who finds himself increasingly involved with his schools GSA after condemning the hazing his friend and teammate Tiny was receiving in the locker room for expressing his sexuality.

The other Will Grayson, who will be Will, is a classic loner type.  Although he is seen as almost robotic in his day-to-day interactions, we see his emotions flow when he logs on to his computer at the end of the day to chat with his over-the-internet boyfriend Isaac.

One Friday, Grayson was in Chicago for a concert but was kicked out for being underage, and Will was in the same area to finally meet his friend Isaac.  Through a big mix-up, they accidentally met in an adult store, and that is where this book really takes off.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a very interesting read.  I found myself relating to a lot of characters throughout the novel and was amazed at how two adult men were able to so easily encapsulate the attitudes and nuances of high school teens.  For example, Will only writes in lowercase letters. It makes reading his chapters a little jarring but I know way too many people who do this to understand where this comes from. And Grayson’s chapters are always full of rants erupting from the most obscure topics, something I am also prone to.

Besides the high school love conflicts that are common in books written by the same authors, the main adversity the characters face is getting school funding for Tiny’s play.  Although my description of this novel seems vague, it is for a good reason. There is so much material that will hook you in and make you want to finish the book in one night, and I don’t want to spoil that for anyone intrigued by it.

January’s Banned Book is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably because a large group of seniors read one of his other books, A Thousand Splendid Suns, over the summer for English.

If you love reading and are interested in participating in Battle of the Books, check out Library Club.  The next meeting is Wednesday, January 9th. We’ll be discussing books that we read over break, but feel free to stop by and listen in.