Friday 17 April 2015

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story, David Levithan

Pages: 200
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 17th March 2015
Edition: UK paperback, purchased

Other Titles by this Author: Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Are We There Yet?, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), Wide Awake, Naomi & Eli’s No-Kiss List (with Rachel Cohn), Love is the Higher Law, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), The Lover’s Dictionary, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (with Rachel Cohn), Invisibility (with Andrea Cremer), Every Day, How They Met and Other Stories, Two Boys Kissing

Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives.

Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches, Tiny Cooper has something to say – and he’s going to say it in song.

Filled with honesty, humour and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper is finally taking centre stage…and the world will never be the same again.

I loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson so I was incredibly excited to hear that Tiny Cooper would get to be in the spotlight and Hold Me Closer did him justice.

I will saying that I have never, ever come across a script for a musical as a spin-off YA novel before, but if anyone can do it, it’s David Levithan. ‘Hold Me Closer’ is a one-man musical, but with a cast, if you see what I mean. It’s all about Tiny but there are a lots of other people that play into his story, particularly his best friend, parents and 18 ex-boyfriends. His story is chronological, beginning from him coming singing into the world and taking us up to the current day. He explores realising he’s gay, coming out, falling in love with musical theatre and falling in an out of love. A lot. There’s a wonderful mix of brilliant songs, insightful stage directions and soliloquies that give the lovable Tiny Cooper some more room to shine. I had doubted this form but I loved it and I’d be first in line for tickets to see ‘Hold Me Closer’.

As Tiny searches for love and loses it again he hammers home the message that everybody deserves love, you just have to be brave enough to go after. He openly told stories about the ones who didn’t deserve him, the ones that wanted what he wasn’t willing to give and the ones who wanted less than Tiny had to offer and it just felt so realistic. Love is a hit and miss game and the heart doesn’t always want to right things and the heart and the mind don’t always agree. Quite frankly, I think Tiny Cooper will be an excellent motivational speaker if he ever gets bored of the stage (yeah, like that’ll ever happen!).

Hold Me Closer is a wonderful novel on its own, but I’d definitely recommend reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson first – I wish I had re-read it before I dove in!


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