What: Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
Who: Text Publishing
When: March 18th 2015
How: A copy of this novel was provided by Text Publishing for review.
Larger-than-life character Tiny Cooper, from John Green and David Levithan’s bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, finally tells his own story the only way he knows how—as a stupendous musical.
In this novel-in-musical-form, readers will experience all of Hold Me Closer, the autobiographical musical written by and staring Tiny Cooper. Filled with humour, pain, and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, readers will finally learn Tiny’s full story, from his birth and childhood to his quest for love and his infamous eighteen ex-boyfriends.
I’m just going to be upfront about this: I was disappointed in Hold Me Closer. And this makes me really sad. I mean it’s TINY COOPER in musical form. But I just wasn’t feeling it. And I’m pretty sure it was because of this: there was no emotional connection for me.
Don’ get me wrong, I feel an emotional connection to Tiny, but only through Will Grayson, Will Grayson. If I hadn’t read WG, WG before Hold Me Closer I would not have felt any kind of connection to Tiny at all. And even so, knowing Tiny from WG, WG – Hold Me Closer just fell flat for me. There were parts where I was keen, and there were feels, but mostly I was kind of bored. Maybe it’s because I already knew so much about Tiny, and we’d gotten parts of the musical in WG, WG?
You have no idea how much this upsets me. I mean this is my darling David Levithan we are talking about here, and I was really unimpressed. CUE ALL THE SOBBING AND TEARS, OKAY? ALL THE SOBBING AND TEARS.
My favourite aspect of Hold Me Closer was the “stage directions” given by Tiny, which is where the Tiny as a character really came out. There was more emotion and depth in these parts, compared with the rest of the novel. I wish there had been more of these stage directions because they gave me the ~feels, and they also had me laughing out loud a few times (which is a great feat, I tell you. Great).
To be honest, I would love to see Hold Me Closer as an actual musical. I think it would be all kinds of fun and pain – which is exactly how a musical should be. I think the musical Tiny would make you fall head over heels in love with him, and everything he has to go through would just make you appreciate his character 100%. But as a book, I feel like this emotion just didn’t come across.
I also missed David’s writing. I am always going on about how much I am in love with it, and it was missing.
I don’t know – I’m really sad that I didn’t fall in love with Hold Me Closer because I really thought I would.
© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.