Monday, May 30, 2016

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Released March 1, 2012
Rating: 4.5/5


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 (Summary from Goodreads).


After seeing the film at a friend's house last year, I just knew I had to read the book. I loved everything about the film: the humor, the characters, and the honesty. I've had the book in my possession for quite a few months, and now I've finally read it - this must be contemporary books month for me or something.

Right from the first page, I had already started laughing. Greg has an interesting mind. He's a bit of a socially awkward character that survives high school by briefly mingling with every group, but not being affiliated with any particular group. He simply wants no friends or enemies. He is such a relatable character for me - especially when he says something stupid or insensitive and internally beats himself up for it (something I do a lot). 

However, he does have one "friend" - Earl. Earl is also a hilarious character, and has an interesting friendship with Greg. Greg calls Earl his coworker because they make terrible indie films together. 

Although this book is hilarious and seems somewhat pointless at the end, it does have some themes to take away from it. Like I mentioned above, I found Greg to be a very relatable character that represents all of us that have felt awkward in school and in social situations in general. Rachel's cancer affects Greg and Earl at the turning point of their lives. Greg, who had been avoiding thinking about college, was convinced by Rachel to apply to film schools. Earl decided he wanted to work and get himself out of his rough neighborhood, accepting that his family members can only help themselves.

While I preferred the ending of the film to the ending of the book, I still thoroughly enjoyed getting into Greg Gaines' mind.

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