Book Review: Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan (ARC)

Hold Me Closer by David LevithanAuthor:
 David Levithan

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Musical

Publisher: Dutton

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

Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares was my first read for Bout of Books 12, read to fit the cold weather and take me on an adventure. It did and didn’t satisfy my hopes.

Dash and Lily's Book of DaresAuthor:  Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Ember

Publication Date: October 2010

288 pages, paperback

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

This is probably going to be a pretty short review, as Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is a pretty short book. Plus, I’ve not got much to say about this one, I’m afraid.

I loved the bookish nature to this one – beginning and ending in The Strand, a giant, amazing book store in NYC that I have a deep desire to visit. It begins with a scavenger-ish hunt in which Dash, the boy, finds a red notebook belonging to Lily, the girl, on a shelf in The Strand. He must decipher the clues left there to possibly meet her, but when he does, leaves clues for her to figure out. On and on it goes. You get the idea. It’s definitely a cute idea, and the romance was kind of adorable. I liked Dash and Lily together and I somewhat enjoyed their journey to finding one another. Basically: the book is fluffy.

Dash has a friend nicknamed Boomer who is strange. I don’t know how else to describe it. I couldn’t relate to him at all. Honestly, he felt forced and fake, unreal. I didn’t believe him, if that makes sense.

I was kind of surprised how long this book felt for something so short. This was my main problem. While I did enjoy the romance and such, I got a little bored every now and then and the book felt long; I started to not care if they got together. I think this is in part due to the fact that we are constantly reminded of how smart the characters (i.e. Dash) are. Dash felt a little pretentious to me, constantly quoting long dead authors. Also, Dash is “a Decemberist, a Bolshevik, a career criminal, a philatelist trapped by unknowable anguish.” Here, let me just throw out some big words and try to sound clever. However, I must say that I actually really liked Lily’s character and thought she was adorable and realistic, a regular girl.

The bottom line: If you are looking for a short (in length) book with a cute romance to curl up with one cold night, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is your book. However, don’t expect a really interesting plot. I doubt it will leave a lasting impression or change your life, but Dash and Lily’s adventures are pretty fun. Fair warning that Boomer is annoying, and Dash is a pretentious git.

Rating: 5.5 – Between Take it or leave it and Good, but not great

Waiting on Wednesday – Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan

Hold Me Closer, The Tiny Cooper StoryWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Author: David Levithan

Release date: March 17, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

Why I’m excited: Tiny Cooper. Tiny. Cooper. He was hands-down my favorite character in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I’m pretty sure he was everyone’s favorite character in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I didn’t know until a few days ago that there’s going to be a book about him, but I need it. He’s honest and funny and wonderful. Such a great character. Plus, it’s told through the script of the musical from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I mean, this sounds amazing. Also, “Hold Me Closer, Tiny Cooper.” Hahaha.

Review: Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan (My True Love Gave to Me)

Alright, today is David Levithan’s story for my “Twelve Days of Christmas” – reviewing one story per day from My True Love Gave to Me. So far, I’ve reviewed Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights”“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link, and Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow”Jenny Han’s “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me” and Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown”.

David Levithan’s story is called “Your Temporary Santa”.

My True Love Gave to Me     IMG_20141219_074846

The story is about an unnamed narrator who dresses up as Santa Claus as a favor for his boyfriend Connor. The narrator does it out of love for his boyfriend and so that Connor’s little sister Riley will continue to believe in Santa and magic after what we can imagine has been a rough year.

It’s a really short story – 15 pages – but it’s pretty succinct. It feels like a complete story with character development and a, sort of, conflict between the unnamed narrator and…well, really himself. He feels as if he is unwanted, like he doesn’t belong.

I enjoyed this story even though it is somewhat sad. Not all relationships are easy and swoony. Sometimes they are simple, and I don’t mean simple as in easy, but more like unpretentious, not needing to be extravagant and in your face. Sometimes you can just SPOILER get in bed and cuddle and let that be enough.

This story kind of made me feel melancholy even though it’s about Santa and Christmas. Glad it had an uplifting and hopeful ending. Not the best story so far, but not the worst.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve only read one book by but NEED to read more

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More


Michael Grant; I’ve read Gone, which I raced through in a day. I own Hunger and have the first two BZRK books checked out from the library so I will read more soon.

Mark Haddon; I’ve read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This book is amazing, and I have no words. I really want to read A Spot of Bother soon.

Hugh Howey; I’ve read Wool. Holy freaking crap. If you like dystopian, read this. I already own the next two books in the trilogy, so I need to get one those soon.

Graeme Simsion; I’ve read The Rosie Project. I’ve mentioned this book on the blog like a hundred times. You all know I adore it. I cannot wait for The Rosie Effect!!

Nina LaCour; I’ve read Everything Leads to You, which I reviewed over on WatchPlayRead. This book is completely charming and adorable and I really liked it. I want to check out some of LaCour’s other books, particularly The Disenchantments.

Lori Rader-Day; I’ve read The Black Hour. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING, and so is the author. One of my favorites this year.

Rainbow Rowell; I’ve read Attachments, which was a really great intro to Rowell’s books. I want to try some of her YA next.

David Levithan; I’ve read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which isn’t even completely one of his books. I’ve heard so many great things about his books. Definitely going to pick one up before the year ends.

Okay, I couldn’t get to ten. Oh, well. What about you? Any authors you’ve only read one book by but NEED to read more? Link me up to your TTT!