Saturday, 7 March 2015

Short 'n Sweet Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
By Jesse Andrews | 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.

If you're looking for a poignant and powerful coming of age story, you're in the wrong place. This is definitely not your typical sick-lit novel. It's not the boy meets girl, girl has cancer, boy and girl fall in love type of story. And thank goodness for that. Cancer is a touchy subject for me, I lost my best friend and grandmother to cancer, so you can imagine why I'm not too fond of the romanticising of a terminal illness. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl had no nonsense when it came to the cancer, in fact, in the broad scope of things there was little mention of said cancer. It was a book that featured cancer, but wasn't entirely about it. There's more to the plot than that. It turned out to be a refreshing and quirky read, with characters that are beautifully genuine. The main character, Greg, had a very reasonable and believable view on cancer and death. As a character himself he's not an overdone high school jock. He's average, a little chubby and awfully socially awkward. There's no insta-love, and he doesn't become popular. And that's okay. These are true adolescent characters, and hilarious ones at that. I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions purely based on the witty banter and ridiculous inner monologue of Greg. I really appreciated the different form of the novel, not just in normal prose but with a few scripts, some bullet points and other fun things. My main issue with the book though was the plot, I felt it lacked a really well defined plot, and especially towards the middle I found myself questioning where it was heading. I felt like overall it was pretty anticlimactic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was not in any way meaningful, or deep, and I guess it wasn't supposed to be since Greg had said so many times. It was just supposed to be a funny read, something I'd never associated with cancer, but in some weird way.. it worked.

3.5/5 keys to my heart!


  1. I've been planning on reading this one when I'm in the mood for something that will make me cry. I'm guessing it's the other way around, right? I think I should read this sooner then. :)

    Ella @ The Filipina Booknote

  2. It's most definitely not the type of book that'll make you cry, unless it's of laughter. Possibly.


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