Saturday, May 1, 2010

A good read

Hello, sleepy blog and whomever is still lurking aroud here.

This afternoon, I finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. This was one of those books I kept setting down and walking away from because, as much as I wanted to race through it, I also just didn't want it to be over. Both Green and Levithan can do no wrong, and deciding to write a book together was genius. As I always do with books by both authors, I laughed out loud a million times. I also cried my eyes out at the ending, not just because it was really moving, but because I kinda wish real life would actually be that way (I don't want to spoil anything--but the ending is pretty implausible). Here are some of my favorite bits:

"It's hard to believe in coincidence, but it's even harder to believe in anything else." (114)

"when things break, it's not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together. 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." (174)

"it is so hard to accept that life is falling. falling and landing and falling and landing. i agree it's not ideal. i agree ... but there is the word that phil wrayson taught me once: weltzschmerz. it's the depression you feel when the world as it is does not line up with the world as you think it should be. i live in a big goddamned weltzschmerz ocean, you know? and so do you. and so does everyone. because everyone thinks it should be possible just to keep falling and falling forever, to feel the rush of air on your face as you fall, that air pulling your face into a brilliant goddamned smile. and that should be possible. you should be able to fall forever." (302)

Has anyone else read this? What else is everyone reading these days?

1 comment:

Cassandra Mortmain said...

Ag!! I could have sworn I submitted a comment on this post sometime last week, but alas, I didn't, because I am the worst.

I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson after picking it up back in January, and it's been on my mind lately as I just listened to this podcast with John Green discussing the book, and now I want to go back and read it again, along with Paper Towns.

I loved LOVED John's half of the text. The dugout scene had me in tears, and I think his choice to write a platonic love story was really a great one. While female friendship is sort of eternally enshrined in books like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or even Sex and the City, I don't think there are as many narratives out there for guys.

David Levithan's half was more difficult for me-- partly because it was meant to be, but also partly because I feel it wasn't as well-balanced. At the beginning, his Will Grayson is such a realistic picture of depression that it's hard to read. In the middle, when he's coming out of that fog and figuring himself out and bonding with his mother I was so moved. But his end point was a little too aggressively cheery to be altogether realistic. To have the only other gay kid in his school be good looking and interested in him and cool is just... too big a leap from the depressed boy whose only friend was the equally depressed and effed up goth girl. But that's a pretty minor quibble, and one that might not matter as much on a second time through the book.