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


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 originally written in October 2014:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a fantastic book that I read in about one sitting. I just did not want to put the book down and was so intrigued by how different it was. I’m really into YA Contemporary books and this was incredibly enjoyable! I never would have thought a book about a teen dying from cancer could actually manage to be funny but… it did. Pretty dark humour at times but it certainly made me laugh out loud which is a serious accomplishment, I love any book that can actually make me laugh.

The first half of this novel was really funny like proper funny I really was laughing out loud. I care for the characters and I don’t think I have read a book that’s made me laugh so much. And Greg. Unusual character but I loved him his personality was so unique and makes me wish he was my best friend. 

I wanted to know more about him! What I loved most was how he was just honest. He doesn’t sugar coat his thoughts. He just tells it like it is and I loved him for it. Greg is definitely not a popular kid and really only has his one friend, Earl, for company. He’s pretty much just trying to get through high school without drawing any attention to himself.

Rachel has cancer. Greg’s mom decides Rachel needs a friend so Greg is pushed into hanging out with her. He’s reluctant and not afraid to say it. He’s not really friends with Rachel but feels an obligation now since she’s so sick. I liked that Greg was honest about how he just didn’t want to do this (who would? it’s a sad situation to put yourself in!) but he still went in open minded and definitely learned a thing or two.

Greg’s just hilarious. He’s honest and raw and tells his tale (and Rachel’s) so well. Some parts were just so sad! Greg tried to stay detached from the situation but you could tell it was killing him too. He talks about how he just hates talking about this. Greg has a no-nonsense attitude towards life and makes some pretty funny observations. This isn’t your regular YA book about dying kids and I liked that. It focused far more on Rachel as a person than on her disease. Most YA books seem to have female protagonists so this was a refreshing novel told through the eyes of a witty guy just trying to make a girl happy. I highly recommend it.

4/5 Stars


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