Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews Review

earlGenre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Judging the Cover: I adore this colorful cover. It hints at the fact that the story is fun (which it is) but the girl on the bottom, along with the title, are contrasting to the cheeriness of the fun colorful cover.

Plot according to Goodreads: 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.

My Thoughts: I wanted to read this book because the movie trailer was just released and it looks like a lot of fun. I went into it with very little expectations, not knowing if I would like it or not. I found it to be a very entertaining book that addressed a very serious situation in a realistic way. It showed that a book about cancer doesn’t always have to be a sobfest.

The Good: There were moments when I literally laughed out loud. The characters of Greg and Earl were so delightful to know. The story is told in first person by Greg (in a very unique and fun way) and there were times when his words would say one thing and his actions would say another. The author did a great job of showing instead of telling. I also loved that the story is set in the awesome city of Pittsburgh. It was exciting and fun to read about familiar places.

The author mentions the typical YA cliches found in a lot of books and jokes that you won’t find them in his story. The fact that this book really doesn’t have the typical cliches made it very enjoyable. I appreciated that it wasn’t a “cancer love story” book. There was love, but not in the conventional “in your face” way that is typical of most young adult stories.

What I didn’t Like: I wish we could have gotten to know Rachel a little better. She was a big part of the story but because we only got to see her through Greg’s eyes, we didn’t get to know her as well as I would have liked. There were some parts that dragged a bit. I also personally hate to see the name of Jesus to be used as a curse word. I realize that this doesn’t bother a lot of people but to me, it is very hurtful and offensive and takes away from my enjoyment of a book.

My rating: 3/5 stars. I can’t wait to see the movie!

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