Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Published: March 1st, 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
Book rating: 4 stars
Cover rating: 3 stars
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.
To say this book took me by complete surprise and wasn't what I expected is the understatement of the year. I heard about this from several friends on Goodreads and added it to my TBR months ago, I finally picked it up on a library trip and got to reading. I expected it to be a sad, sob worthy story about cancer because that's how most cancer books are. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is not technically a sob worthy cancer book but it was a beautiful story about so much more. I learned a lot while reading this book and didn't fully appreciate how awesome it was until after I had pondered it for a few weeks.
Greg Gaines isn't special. He's a normal, frumpy, weird, not so popular kid. His best friend Earl is a freaking nut job, hilarious, but a nut job. As for Rachel, she's not all that special either, save for the fact that she has cancer which surprisingly wasn't as big of a part in the story as I expected it to be. Together they taught me some valuable things and I think everyone should read this book because of it. Like I said before this book isn't a sob story, it didn't tug on my heart strings like I expected it to (it still did, just not as much or in the way I thought) but it did affect me in a very powerful way. It taught me that it's okay to not be extremely impacted by a strange girl you don't really know having cancer or maybe to be extremely affected by it. It taught me that it's okay to just focus on you and figure out what's going on with your life and future even if other people are having harder times around you and possibly don't have a future. We get to see Greg find himself and give a bit of direction to his life. We see Greg feel things that are dubbed as wrong and inappropriate when it comes to situations like knowing someone who has cancer. We get a different kind of sense of humor that is rarely in books I've read. We get all of this wrapped up into one awesome, unique, and refreshing story about cancer and so much more.
With all of that being said, if you're looking for something refreshing and new to the 'cancer book world' I suggest you read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. You'll be sure to enjoy the humor, the different side of emotions, and the journey we follow Greg and the other characters on.
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