Ever since I found out that Tiny Cooper was getting his own musical I COULD NOT STOP freaking out for sheer delight. Tiny Cooper is the very large, very gay young man who is (let’s be honest) the real hero of John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson (which I adored). Tiny has the effervescence you wish every best friend could bring to your life, and I could not soak him up enough. I was wondering how the musical itself would translate to its own book, but I needn’t have worried.
Hold Me Closer, is the name of the musical which Tiny writes, directs and produces for the high school in the novel. You actually get to read all the songs and stage directions. Even better, Tiny begins with his life as a baby up to high school, where his relationships and breakups are on full display. Of course, the songs to the musical are provided, with full lyrics and stage directions, and boy, are they DELIGHTFUL and hilarious. I found myself making up tunes to the lyrics and singing them inside my head. [Seriously, can we get this made? Like yesterday?] What really ties the book together are Tiny’s stage directions and asides in the script. You get a sense of who he is as a character, and it’s even more endearing and sweet. He’s not perfect–in fact, the play helps him work out anxieties of his own and that just makes him all the more likeable.
I was glad to see David Levithan pursue Tiny Cooper, and I really hope we get to see more of him in the future.