Mini-Review: Hold Me Closer: the Tiny Cooper story

Written by: David Levithan
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Pages: 208, hardcover
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BookIt’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.


This was quite possibly the most fun hour of my life.

Basically, Hold Me Closer is the story of Tiny Cooper, the big gay musical-loving football player in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, as told in musical theater form. It’s a funny and ridiculous book with moments of heart and depth spread throughout–just how I like them. It helps that Will Grayson, Will Grayson was the only John Green book I anticipated and read as an active part of nerdfighteria and the only one I got to go a to a signing for, so I have a lot of nostalgic emotions associated with it. It also helps that I live, sleep, and breathe musical theater, and this book had references to basically every musical under the sun. (I actually wish David Levithan had written it later, just so he could have slipped a Hamilton reference or two in as well.)

If I’m being objective, I don’t know how well this book would work for someone who hasn’t read WGWG or someone who doesn’t love musical theater, but I also don’t know why anyone who doesn’t fit into one of those two categories would want to read it in the first place, so it’s kind of moot point.

But like, if you read Will Grayson, Will Grayson at any point ever and you need a book to make you laugh or get you out of a reading slump, I highly suggest this one. There are some really clever and hilarious lyrics (and stage directions) and it’s one of the best examples of “story within a story gets its own story” that I’ve ever seen. If this ever becomes an actually musical I will get front row seats.




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