Think about your group of friends. Consider how you met each one and what you have in common with them. Then, identify that one friend that doesn’t make sense in your circle. Why are you friends with them again? It’s not that you wouldn’t be friends with them, it’s just that it’s weird that you are friends with them.
This is a great way for this book to start. We find Will Grayson (one of two in the book) wondering how he was ever friends with Tiny Cooper. Tiny Cooper is a very large, very gay football player/high school student around whom the book revolves. It’s all told from the Will Grayson point of view, but really it’s all about Tiny and his affect on each of the WGs.
I fell in love with Tiny immediately. I loved his confidence, his outwardness, his ownership of his identity. I love that his family supports him. This was the perfect book to read not only immediately after I finished Roxane Gay’s book, but also after the events in Orlando. Seeing a community around Tiny that was strong, and for the most part supportive (or at least, accepting) of his existence was refreshing. If you’re looking for a book where young LGBT lives are celebrated, this is your Huckleberry.
That being said, this book is fluff. It’s fluffernutter. It’s a peanut butter and fluffernutter sandwich. It’s the lightly browned marshmallow that squishes as you press your two graham crackers down around the s’more. And there is nothing wrong with that. This is a good book for what it is. It doesn’t go very deep in its exploration of teen LGBT issues or challenges. I admire the authors for giving us a story of what it might be like if LGBT youth could just live their lives and find love. If there are any dark reality clouds over this story, they are minimal and blown away by the winds of the awesomeness and fabulousness of Tiny Cooper.
Do you support the LGBT community? Are you an ally? Are you feeling hopeless, sad, sorrowful as a result of recent events? This book is a great read right now. It’s hope in a sappy, fluffy, YA John-Green-writes-like-a-teenage-girl-in-a-diary way and you should read it if only to remember that this is what it could be like. We need to hope and dream and scream out that we appreciate Tiny Cooper, because the world is dark and full of terrors. Let’s light it up with sun and millions of rainbows.