Falling, Failing, Flying

Rachel Liu, age 13

“Will Grayson, meet Will Grayson.”

The authors David Levithan and John Green (infamously nerdy YA authors of the century) piece together the confusion of meeting someone else with your name and a hilariously realistic comedy featuring a big gay guy, his best friend, another gay guy, and the most fabulous play to ever grace the high school stage.

Will 1 is stuck. He’s stuck in school, life, and also with Tiny Cooper, who is his (only if you must) best friend. He copes by following two simple but catastrophic rules: 1 —Don’t care too much. 2 —Shut up. His views on Tiny are also simple: “Tiny Cooper is not the world’s gayest person, and he is not the world’s largest person, but I believe he may be the world’s largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world’s gayest person who is really, really large.”

Then there’s Will 2: alive, but somehow not; seeing, but somehow not. He’s “constantly torn between killing myself” and “killing everyone around me,” but surviving, solely depending on his friend Isaac for comfort.

It’s their job to turn each other’s lives around by meeting in an abandoned corner tucked away in Chicago.

There’s something magical about the book: making friends and living inside the moment and taking a risk and the feeling of being a part of something. At the same time, it’s not all rainbows and neon colored unicorns galloping across the pages. The two authors illustrate that with love comes pain, and maybe more love, and more pain. It’s a dance the characters do around happiness: it doesn’t last forever, just like Schrödinger’s Cat (another feature in the book). You either have happiness, or you don’t. But to find out, the two Will Graysons along with their friends take a leap of faith across the pages: through fights, discoveries, and the ups and downs of life.

Love is an omnipresent thing in the book. Tiny loves love. He falls in love too easily, and it’s both his strength and weakness. Will 2 doesn’t believe in love. Will 1 falls in love. Tiny sings about love in his play. But throughout the book, none of them know what it’s really about. And that’s O.K., because as Tiny said, “Just fall for once. Let yourself fall!”

Because if there’s one thing I have learned in this book, it’s that falling doesn’t mean failing. As Will Grayson 2 said, “the world is more like try-error-try-error-try-error-try-error-try-error-try…at least fifteen more rounds…then try-error-try-and finally —it.”

And it will come and hit you one day, brighter than anything you will ever see, because you will get a happy ending out of falling, and you won’t break: you’ll fly.