Genre: YA, Contemporary, Musical
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
200 pages, hardcover
Remember that flamboyant, larger-than-life, hilarious character named Tiny Cooper from John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson aka everyone’s favorite character? In Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Tiny Cooper writes a musical based on his life, from his birth, through his parade of 18 ex-boyfriends, and to finally accepting who he is and what he wants. Hold Me Closer IS that musical! How freaking cool is that?
Tiny is just as wonderful, funny, and thoughtful as he was in the novel where we first met him. His lyrics are emphatic and deep and silly. I wasn’t sure if I should expect Tiny’s musical was going to be a bit of a joke, more of a circus (I mean, there is a parade of ex-boyfriends) than an actual, real musical. But though it does have those silly parts, it was more serious than I was expecting, and I really appreciated that. It was emotional, upbeat, slow, and all of the things a real musical should be. Don’t get me wrong: Hold Me Closer does have its ridiculous moments, it’s unrealistic, larger-than-life moments, but that’s who Tiny is, and that’s why I love him.
Since the book doesn’t actually come with music, Tiny’s songs are more like poetry, and Levithan knows what he’s doing here. These songs could be touching and hilarious on the same page. Like Tiny says in his introduction, that’s how life is: “…it’s important to realize that the truth is sometimes quiet…and other times, it’s loud and spectacular. You don’t always get to choose which form it takes (ARC 1).”
The bottom line: I honestly want to see this one on the stage.
Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic