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.
I don’t really remember when I heard about Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews, I just know that I kept seeing it everywhere and I was eventually dying to read it. I kept seeing comparisons to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars(which I LOVED), and that made me want to read this book even more.
First of all, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl really didn’t remind me of The Fault in Our Stars AT ALL. I’ve begun to hate it when I see that comparison. The only thing I found similar was that both books have a girl with cancer in them. Maybe people think the snarky humor is the same? I didn’t. I feel like Me and Earl has an entirely unique sense of humor. I don’t know that everyone will relate to it, but I 100% did, and I loved that. The main character, Greg, says things out loud that I think every single day and wish I had the nerve to say. He is absolutely hilarious. I think I was literally laughing out loud within the first two pages. The humor lessened toward the end of the book, which was a little disappointing, but I still loved what was there.
This book has no filter. Not even an itty-bitty, ‘maybe I shouldn’t say that about that sensitive subject’ filter. It was so refreshing. I appreciate both people and books who will say anything to me, so much. Me and Earl hits some really touchy subjects with zero grace, the way real life hits those subjects. It says things that those of us who use our filter don’t want to say out loud. I loved that aspect of this book.
The ending was really lackluster for me. I don’t know what I was expecting. A sappy, fairy tale ending would have in no way fit the book. A heart-wrenching sob fest would have been equally unsuited for it. The more I think about it, maybe the somewhat boring, unremarkable ending was perfect for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Sometimes that’s how life is, sad and bland and not really what we want it to be. And sometimes that’s ok. Me and Earl offers up a glimmer of hope in the last pages, once again echoing how life is.
The more I think about this book, the more I feel that I’m really ok with it and I’m glad I read it. I loved how much it made me genuinely laugh. I loved how very real it was, echoing my thoughts in an eerie way at times. I appreciated the ending, even if it didn’t stir up any strong emotions like I wanted it to. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I would preface this recommendation with everything that I’ve said here. A book this honest deserves honesty. In summary, good job Jesse Andrews, I think I really like your book, and thank you for making me laugh so freaking hard.