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I’m staring hard at my copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson waiting on some from of genius to strike. Every once in a while you’ll read a book and it will be exactly what your heart and soul needed. It will speak to a part of yourself that you have bottled up, a part that you force into silence. Not every book can have this effect on you; if it did you would be the tattered remains of yourself instad of the whole that you are. Every once in a while there will be a book that will ever so gently force you into seeing the world a little bit differently. Will Grayson, Will Grayson was that book for me.

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This book is the story of two teenage boys, both named Will Grayson, and how they cross paths one cold night in Chicago. The two Will Grayson’s lives are then linked, as they end up sharing in the story of one very large, very gay teenager named Tiny Cooper. This book, this story of lives and how they become intertwined, is the story of what it means to grow up. It is the story of loving yourself and loving others, for exactly who they are.

My book club of three read Will Grayson, Will Grayson kind of on a whim, and it is now in my top three books that we have read. I just messaged my friends in book club and asked them to share one truth that they learned from Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and this is our list:

1. “When things break, it’s not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It’s because a little piece gets lost- the two remaining ends couldn’t fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed.”
2. Sometimes, the only way to heal is to accept how you’re feeling, and accept that it’s okay. You can’t wish away your problems.
3. Your best friend may be completely opposite of you.
4. Being open-minded is important, otherwise you might miss the opportunity of a great friendship.
5. Sometimes, you have to work hard to get what you want, but you should NEVER change who you are to get it.

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I could keep going. I could flip through the pages of Will Grayson, Will Grayson and find nuggets of truth hidden between lines of perfectly wrought teen angst. Instead, I’m going to talk to you about characters. They were so real. When I finished the book, I hugged it to my chest because there was this feeling, like a “the show must go on” feeling that told me those characters and their lives would continue, even though I closed the book.

Will Grayson 1: “Caring doesn’t sometimes lead to misery. It always does.”

Will Grayson 2: “i am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me.”

Jane: “Some people have lives; some people have music.”

Tiny Cooper: “Nothing’s wrong. Every thing’s right. Things couldn’t be righter. Things could be less tired. They could be less busy. They could be less caffeinated. But they couldn’t be righter.”

I’m sitting here, still staring at my copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, still trying to do this book justice, and I just don’t know if it is possible. Here is what I can say about Will Grayson (one and two), about Tiny Cooper and Jane and Gideon, about loving yourself and not being afraid to love others:

This book is one of those books that I would call life-changing. It’s the type of book that causes you to see the world a little bit differently. It’s the kind of book you walk away from changed. Now, go buy it from your local bookstore, or a Barnes and Noble, or even on amazon. Just go buy it.

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