Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 295 pages
Source: Purchased from Half Price Books
Goodreads | Amazon 

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 Review

Wow. Now this is one hell of a book!

If you want to read a realistic book about cancer that doesn't romanticize the disease, look no further than Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Unlike other young adult novels that make it seem like living with cancer is a just a normal thing (which it's totally not), this book shows that cancer really does suck but can truly bring people together and realize what dying really means.

I'm pretty sure that in my Goodreads review, I swore a lot because of how much I adored this book. The swearing won't happen here, but I do want you to know just how much I loved this wonderful debut novel. Everything about Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is perfect. The characters are so real that you feel like they could walk down your street at any moment.
The book is told from Greg's point of view, and at the beginning of the book, he tells you that he is writing a book that will suck. That definitely caught my attention because it works as Greg writing his own novel. Many times throughout the book, he makes fun of the readers for still reading it. It is completely adorable. He doesn't expect anyone to keep reading, but you become so completely involved in the story that you do keep reading. Eventually, in the epilogue, Greg reveals who he is writing the book for, and a lot of it makes so much sense. It's a really funny moment. Also, you need to know that Greg prides himself for getting along with every clique in the school. That becomes important later in the book.

Earl is another central character in the book. Now Earl is Greg's friend. But from what Greg tells you, you realize that the two aren't really friends; they just hang out a lot out of habit. Earl is pretty much the coolest YA character you'll ever meet because he is one hundred percent honest and real. I love how he talks because it is in the right vernacular and everything. He reminds me of a lot of the people who work at my uncle's pizza shop. He is a piece of work, and I love Mr. Andrews for bringing Earl into the literary world.

And then you have "the dying girl." Her name is Rachel, and she goes to school with Greg and Earl, but neither of them hang out with her. Greg went to Hebrew classes with her when they were younger, and he kind of dated her, but in that way that middle schoolers "go out" and then usually break up a week later. Of course they broke up. Then they kind of stopped talking to her. As a favor to his mom, Greg spends time with her to make her feel better while she is sick.

I don't know if I've said it enough, but I really, really just freaking love this book. I'm really hoping that with the upcoming film adaptation, it becomes one of the most popular YA books of all time because it really deserves it. All three main characters are positively perfect because they aren't perfect and you can tell that Andrews never set out to make them perfect. The book is hilariously written, and it pokes fun at all sorts of other YA books about cancer and cliche YA books, which I think is really funny because it is completely fresh.

Now... to the cool connection that I have to the book. It's set in my hometown. so obviously, I knew I had to read it. I love all things about my city, so seeing it in literature yet again was just amazing. It is great to see another young adult author write about many of the great things to see and do in Pittsburgh.


  1. Great
    review. I just added this one to my TBR list.

  2. Grace @ Rebel Mommy BookBlogApril 17, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    I am really excited to read this- it has been on my radar for a while - Great review!

  3. I've taken a step back from cancer/death/dying books for my own sanity, but this one sounds really charming. I'm glad it was a winner for you. And it's so fun being able to read books set where you live so yay for that connection!

  4. Honestly, I don't read a lot of them because there are just way too many, but this one was different in a good way. It wasn't a tearjerker. It was just normal.

  5. Thanks, Grace! I hope you enjoy it when you read it. :)

  6. Great review Erin! This one sounds like a great book. I saw there was a movie based on the book. :)

  7. Thank you, Jess! Yes, there is a movie. I've been excited about that one for a long time. I almost went downtown to be an extra in it, but I decided against it.

  8. Great review! I read this a while ago and enjoyed it, I'm excited to see the movie. Hopefully they'll keep it close to the book :)

  9. Thanks, Christy! I read it right before I started blogging, and I thought that I had already posted the review. When I realized that I didn't, I waited until the trailer came out. But I loved it! I cannot wait until the movie comes out!

  10. Now I need to take a trip to the library to find this book! It sounds amazing, and I really liked the movie trailer. It sounds like a more realistic version of The Fault in Our Stars, which would definitely be amazing.

  11. OMG. YES YOU DO! It does have a bit of crude humor to it, so if you don't like that, I'd steer clear, but I loved it! I don't even compare it to TFIOS even though the two are about the same content, but TFIOS is a romance, and this one is more of a coming-of-age. But it's definitely an amazing book!

  12. Awesome review, Erin! I've seen this book flying around the blogsphere and to be honest, I'm not quite interested in it. After reading TFIOS, I just don't think I'll be able to pick this one up or watch the movie. Nonetheless, I'm so happy to know that you enjoyed this book! :)

  13. Thank you, Talina! :)

    This one is quite different from TFIOS, but I understand where you're coming from. (There are just so many cancer YA books!) The thing about this one is it's actually realistic, so I think that's why I enjoyed it so much.

  14. I was supposed to be in the film, but I decided not to go. Oops. I have a problem with that. (I was supposed to be in Perks too.)

    I'm definitely seeing this movie. I'm hoping that they do some kind of local event here because it's set in my hometown, but who knows.


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