Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
Published Dutton 2015
Genre: Young Adult Play
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.
I’m not really sure what to think of this play. On the one hand, it was a nice foray into Tiny’s life, a very interesting character from Will Grayson x2. But I found myself not really understanding the purpose of this play.
I’m all about trying to figure out the reason why the book was written while reading, mostly because it helps my review and general understanding of the story. The problem I had with this play was that I couldn’t figure it out. We already get parts of the play, and Tiny’s backstory, in Will Grayson. This was a fun idea for a companion novel and I liked some of the meaning behind the scenes. It is a play about acceptance and love.
Another problem I had with this was all the songs. I had trouble imagining them being sung in my head, so I either read them or skipped over them. Maybe that’s just a personal problem? I ended up liking the stage directions the most because Tiny puts his emotion into them. They aren’t just simple ‘exit stage left’ directions. I liked having this play being written out for the reader.
This was a very quick read for me, and I’m not sure if I would have read it otherwise. It’s only about a hundred pages and the pages aren’t filled with writing. I read this in a couple hour sitting and finished the whole thing. It was a fun look into Tiny’s life, but not much else. It mostly reenforced the ending of Will Grayson.
Overall, I thought this was an okay play. I liked getting more from Tiny and having the extra play as a fun and different companion, but I found it hard to follow the songs and stay engaged with the purpose behind having this as a book.