Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Series: N/A
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: 3/1/2012
Length: 304 pages
Format: Paperback ARC
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult
Challenges: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Purchase: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★☆

Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.

Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.

Okay, so I’ll go ahead and admit that if I had read this entire book in one setting it might have recieved five stars. I’m not totally sure about that, but I think it’s one of those books that is more enjoyable if you keep in the right mind for it. Unfortunately, I work a lot and it took me about three nights to read it. It was still hilarious. Speaking of, it would be a good idea to avoid reading this book in public. You will definitely be laughing out loud.

You might be asking yourself, “but isn’t this book about some girl with cancer?” The answer is “no, it’s not.” It’s about a boy who knew a girl with cancer and how his acquaintance changed his life (for better or worse, though he’ll tell you it was for worse). Greg’s story if full of his quirky humor, creating a pretty light-hearted book about cancer (well, not about cancer, but you know what I mean). It’s the first time I’ve laughed that much during a book with such depressing undertones. I will say I disgree with Greg’s statement that the book contains no real life lessons or moments of clarity. Greg most definitely learns a few things from his experience. There’s even a moment or two of harsh reality slapping him in the face and forcing him to wake up and see things the way they truly are. I just wanted to throw that out there for anyone who feels like they might not get anything from the book. It’s there, he just tries to hide it really well under his humor.

Earl and Rachel are both enjoyable characters. Though I never got to know Rachel all that well, I couldn’t help but like her. Earl, however, is awesome. I loved him throughout the entire book. There’s also a few minor characters that are fun: Mr McCarthy and Greg’s helicopter mom. The story is really focused on Greg though, and he’s pretty fun even when he’s being a colassal jerk.

There are some sections written in script and some sections written in bullet points. I also got to enjoy Greg’s commentary on how awful the book is throughout. Greg likes to give commmentary. He’s the king of that. All in all, it was an enjoyable book and a great debut from Jesse Andrews. I’ll look forward to any other books he might publish.

Just a heads up: there’s a lot of profanity and vulgarity. I wouldn’t hand it to a thirteen-year-old or anything.

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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