Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, High School, Friendship, Cancer, Humor
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
It’s rare for me not to know what to say about a book. And I guess I do know what to say about this one, but my thoughts are very different from other people, so just keep in mind that we all perceive things, characters, scenes, etc. differently.
Greg is a liar.
A big, fat liar, he would correct me.
From the beginning, he is lying to us. He says that his meeting Rachel who suffers from leukemia didn’t change anything inside him. He says he didn’t learn anything from this experience he lived and that in no way has it changed his way of looking at things – cancer, death, friendship, life, etc.
He even says it: I learned absolutely nothing from Rachel’s leukemia.
But those are lies. He’s so in denial it made me furious.
He’s not in touch with his emotions. He’s the type of person who wants to steer clear of altercations at all cost. To make his life simpler, he even decides to befriend everyone at school, without really befriending them, so he could steer clear of any drama befalling him, too.
Now I liked him. I really did. I thought he was adorably goofy and awkward. He doesn’t share my type of humour, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t find this book entertaining.
It is. I was always a huge fan of ‘‘special novels’’ I like to call them. The ones that defy the idea of what a novel should consist of. The ones that aren’t always written in paragraphs and very often use book-related props: letters, bullet points, various fonts, etc.
I liked its original narration and Greg himself. Though I couldn’t agree with him all the time and I still don’t, he’s a kid a small part of me could connect with.
The part that doesn’t know where it belongs in this life. What to study? What school to choose? Where to go and what to do? He and I are very different people and we probably would never be friends, but I can say that he’s a good kid.
Most of the dialogs make sense – thank god – and the humour in form of figures of speech is not hard to decrypt and even the writing is somewhat enjoyable.
BUT THE PLOT, or rather the lack of it, may get on your nerves. The book is fairly fast-paced and interestingly put together (with all of them book-related props) to not lose interest in it, but it does leave the reader thinking, ‘‘Is that it, motherfucker?’’
Yup, that’s it.
I wish you all the best, Greg.
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I feel your frustration, I couldn’t even finish this one
Love how you closed this review… moddafaka!
I didn’t finish this book, and I’m not planning to anytime soon
Oh it’s too bad about the plot because the idea sounded well done
Great review Lola. I loved the humour of this book but that’s just cause I love people that fight the system. I agree with you about the lack of plot however, I laughed so much I forgave the book for that.
I really don’t think I’m going to like this book, which is why I’ve already decided I’m not going to read it, and hearing it may get on my nerves in any fashion makes me feel secure in that decision.
Oh, it makes me sad to hear this. I just finished reading his other book, The Haters, and I loved it so much, and I also loved the movie of this book, so I was so excited to read this one. Now I’m going to have to really tone down my expectations.
doesn’t sound like my kind of book, although I have seen the movie. That to was a little weird and didn’t have the ending it promised…
I actually really liked this book! It was one I finished in just one sitting because of the humor. Unfortunately since I read it so quickly I don’t remember thinking “Is that it?”
I watched the movie, but didn’t read the book. I had already guessed the ending so I wasn’t shocked, but I agree that it kinda leaves you like ??? where is the rest?? I was never interested in reading the book, I’m somewhat happy to hear that my disinterest wasn’t misplaced!
I’m sorry, but this book just seems like it would be super DUPER hard to navigate through, even that book cover strange to look at. It’s a bit odd.. idk, but yeah, I don’t feel like the protagonist guy and I would get along very much.. The fact that he’s running from things like that makes me think he’s running from himself and other insecurities…
Ah! I’ve been wanting to read this for a really long time. Great review, Lola 😉
I’m currently reading this book and i completely agree with you
I’ve always wondered whether or not I would like this book, reading through your review and others, I don’t think I would. While I’m not super keen to pick it up anytime I might end up checking it out at the library at some point in the future to give it a try.