Sunday, July 24, 2016

Book Reviews: 'The Lover's Dictionary' by David Levithan and 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' by John Green & David Levithan

1. The Lover's Dictionary, by David Levithan
I really enjoyed this one. It is the story of a couple told entirely through dictionary entries, with different words expressing different experiences, both good and bad. It's also my first official David Levithan book, as I've only read short stories and other little tidbits of things that he's written. I blew through it rather quickly, as some pages only have one or two sentences on it. It's always a risky move when authors choose to tell a story in a different way, like dictionary entries, but The Lover's Dictionary was definitely done right. I would even consider reading it again because there were some lovely passages that warrant being read more than once. 5/5 stars.

2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green & David Levithan:
There's only one way for me to describe this book: it has some really great parts, but they really aren't working together. Also, am I the only one who went into Will Grayson, Will Grayson expecting a romance between two guys named Will Grayson? Or is that just me? Because, let me tell you, I spent the first 150 pages waiting for it to happen. I kept coming up with ideas in my head of how the two main characters, both coincidentally named Will Grayson, would end up together. But nope, it never happens, so don't go into this book thinking that's what it's about because, trust me, it's not. The chapters alternate between authors and the Will Graysons' perspectives, with John Green writing the first Will Grayson, and David Levithan writing the second. I kept thinking Green's Will Grayson would suddenly realize he's bisexual or something and it wouldn't be a big deal or some painful coming out story, but nope, he's what I like to call tragically straight (i.e. it's a shame he's straight, because I'd like him to be gay). Green's Will Grayson also seems to want some sort of medal for putting up with having a flamboyantly gay best friend, Tiny Cooper, who is well-loved among readers according to the Internet. Well, I wasn't a big fan. He's not a bad character, but the story starts to revolve around him more than anything after a certain point, and I didn't like him enough to enjoy those parts. Like I said, Will Grayson, Will Grayson has some great parts, but they're just not working together to make one good story as a whole. I think I would have enjoyed it much more if it was just written entirely by David Levithan, because I didn't pick this book up thinking, "Oh, let me read another cliché romance about a straight guy and a straight girl," because that's what John Green's parts ended up becoming. Boring. I didn't hate it, but I didn't exactly love it either. It could have been much better and based on the authors' separate works, it definitely could have been, which makes it all the more disappointing that it's not. 3.5/5 stars.

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