Book review: Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
Series: Will Grayson, Will Grayson #2
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Source: Borrowed

It’s Tiny Cooper’s turn in the spotlight in this companion novel to New York Times bestseller Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Jazz hands at the ready! Tiny Cooper (“the world’s largest person who is also really, really gay”) stole readers’ hearts when he was introduced to the world in the New York Times bestselling book Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-authored by John Green and David Levithan. Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

It’s once again time for me to say, “I really wasn’t meaning to read this any time soon even though it’s been on my TBR forever, but I saw it at the library and couldn’t resist.” HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I SAID THIS. So many times.

According to Goodreads, I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson back in 2012. That sounds about right, because I remember reading it in my favorite apartment ever right before I left Wisconsin for New Jersey. I am generally not a big fan of standalones randomly getting sequels (or, sorry, “companion novels”) years later, but I loved Tiny Cooper and therefore added this to my TBR almost four years ago. And there it sat, on my TBR, being completely ignored, until I saw David Levithan just next to Mackenzi Lee in my library’s YA section.

The book was fun, I’ll give it that. I enjoyed reading it. I was entertained. But I didn’t feel much of a connection with Tiny, which is sad because even six years after reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I remember that I loved his character. Maybe that’s just what happens when you wait six years between books.

This exchange between a five-year-old Tiny and his babysitter is probably my favorite part of this book —

Lynda: Don’t get trapped into thinking people are halves instead of wholes.
Tiny: People are halves?
Lynda: They’re not trying to sell you on it yet, but believe me, they will. The idea that two is the ideal, and that one is only good as half of two. You are not a half, and you should never treat someone else like a half. Agreed?
Tiny: Agreed!

But I also really loved Djane’s advice toward the end of the book:

Ninety-seven percent of the time, it all comes down to this: Don’t do what you don’t want to do. Ask yourself that simple question: Do I want to do this? If the answer is yes, go for it. If it’s anything but yes, don’t.

This isn’t the best book that I’ve read this year, but it’s far from the worst. If you liked Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I’d recommend it. Otherwise, you can probably skip it.


Have you read Hold Me Closer? What about Will Grayson, Will Grayson?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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14 thoughts on “Book review: Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

  1. onwardandupwardreviews says:

    Oh wow! I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson a few years back, and never even knew a companion novel was made 😂 To be really honest, though, it’s too late for this book to catch my attention at all. I did love Will Grayson, Will Grayson back when I read it, though!

    Liked by 1 person

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