Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
By Jesse Andrews
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Source: Library
Summary: 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.

Review: I was so excited to read this book. The cover is so cool and I have read some reviews that gush to no end about how amazing it is. Yeah, it's about a girl who gets cancer, but apparently it was super funny and impossible to put down. I've got to say, though, after reading this book I failed to find anything funny or charming about this book. At all. 

Earl is a pretty weird guy. He's got high school down where he's kind of friends with everyone, but doesn't have a core group to belong to. He hasn't had much luck with the ladies, and sort of just gets by in life. Earl is the only one he'd consider a good friend. They make films together, but never, ever let anyone see them. When Greg's mom tells him that Rachel, a girl he dated by accident in 6th grade, has Leukemia, she wants Greg to become friends with her again. Greg can't say no, so he and Earl start to hang out with Rachel and decide to make a film just for her. But making a movie for a dying girl is a lot harder than they could have imagined… 

I do not get how people thought this book was funny. Greg said the weirdest things that everyone was constantly laughing at, when to me it just sounded stupid. Alien barf? What the heck? I could not even imagine someone saying the things he says in real life, and people actually finding him hilarious. So for the entire book, I was annoyed with Greg and really didn't like his character. Kind of hard to enjoy a book when the main character bugs you so much. 

Going on to the part with "the dying girl," I had no emotion whatsoever when it came to Rachel. The way Greg describes their relationship, there's no real connection or emotion. Greg really doesn't enjoy being around her and is constantly saying how uncomfortable he is. How am I supposed to have any emotions for the girl when the main character is acting that way and doesn't even seem to care? Other reviews I've read have said how they cried and there was so much emotion, but the story gave me nothing. I just couldn't wait to finish the book so that I could find something better to read. 

I do think this book was written in a very unique way, narrated as if Greg were actually writing in, switching between a normal narrative, a film script, and different scenarios in his head. However, Greg was way too weird, annoying, and unbelievable. I felt no connection with the characters and I just didn't care for the story. Maybe I'm completely missing what the people who loved this book saw, but I would skip this book if I were you. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you. I wasn't a fan of the book either, for a high school senior, Greg just seemed... kind of... immature I guess. I know that high schoolers don't have the highest maturity level, but Greg would have fit in better with the 12 year olds.


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