Review: Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story – A Musical Novel by David Levithan

Hold Me CloserThe Blurb

Larger-than-life character Tiny Cooper, from the bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, finally tells his own story the only way he knows how – as a stupendous musical.

This is the full script of Hold Me Closer, the musical written by and starring Tiny Cooper, from the New York Times bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by David Levithan and John Green.

Filled with humour, pain, and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, readers will finally learn the full story of Tiny Cooper from his birth and childhood to his quest for love and his infamous eighteen ex-boyfriends. David Levithan is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels for young readers including Every DayWill Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), Invisibility (with Andrea Cremer) and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), which was turned into a feature film.

He’s the editorial director of Scholastic Press, and has edited hundreds of books including the mega-hits The Hunger Games and Shiver. David lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Review

I was drawn to Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story – A Musical Novel (from no own it will be referred to as Hold Me Closer) because I adore David Levithan’s writing style – my favourite book of his being Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. What I have always liked about Levithan’s writing is that he isn’t scared to be different. Whether this comes in the form of multi-narrative perspective or dictionary definitions, Levithan is – for want of a better way to describe it – a brave writer.

Hold Me Closer is told entirely in script form. In fact, it is written like it is a musical script. Now, I broke my rule with this book and read Hold Me Closer first. Hold Me Closer is the companion novel for Will Grayson, Will Grayson and in my silliness I read them the wrong way round. It will be interesting for me to see the narrative format.

Tiny Cooper’s story is a sweet love story and what is interesting is that I have found with David Levithan is that he tends to write his LGBT characters in a way that is not stereotypical or clichéd way possible. Therefore, it is interesting to see that Levithan used the musical platform – one that tends to be associated with camp gay men – to tell a story of someone who doesn’t necessarily conform to that stereotype. Well done, David Levithan!

Overall, the story of Tiny Cooper is unashamedly lovely. It tells you to get your heart broken and enjoy it, grown from it and learn from it for the next time. Hold Me Closer is a story that will leave you with a big smile on your face.

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story – A Musical Novel by David Levithan is available now.

Follow David Levithan (@loversdiction) on Twitter.

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