"Because here's the thing: The typical high school life sucks." ~ pg. 17
Greg is a senior in high school just trying to blend in with all the cliques. During his spare time he makes films with his only friend, Earl. But nobody watches the films per their agreement. Greg's routine is flipped upside down when his mom forces him to spend time with an ex-girlfriend who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Greg and Earl decide to make a film for Rachel when she stops treatment. Due to parental interference, the film goes public; Greg and Earl and the dying girl are in the high school spotlight.
"I realize you have no idea who Earl is still, even though we're deep into this unbearably stupid book." ~ pg. 42
This book barely passed my 50-page test. The ONLY reason it didn't get thrown in my DNF pile is because of the writing style and the narrator. Have you ever met an annoying person that makes fun of himself? Or the chunky dude who constantly makes fat jokes about himself? So it makes it easier for you to hang out with him? Yeah. That is the best way I can explain Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Greg kept repeating how stupid the book was and asking the reader why he/she was still reading. Plus I looked forward to reading the content in chapters with titles like, "Let's Just Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way," "A Moron's Guide to Leukemia", "Hopefully the End of What Has Been a Ridiculous Amount of Earl Backstory" and "I Put the 'Ass' in 'Casanova'." A risky move for an author but it worked. I may think the book is just okay but I completely read it if that was the author's goal.
"I can't believe you're still reading this. You should smack yourself in the face a couple of times right now, just to complete the outstandingly stupid experience that is this book." ~ pg. 62
Having finished reading Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, I see why there are many bad reviews/ratings. But I also see why people found the book hilarious. It was nice to read teenagers use age-appropriate dialogue and jokes. The main character is important in a story and Greg made fun of himself so much that I couldn't help but agree and keep reading along. Perhaps that is why Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was in the Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2013. Nevertheless, I will see the movie when it releases (OnDemand)—who knows...maybe it won't be unbearably stupid like the book. Or maybe Me and Earl and The Dying Girl will translate better on the big screen. Maybe. You may watch the official movie trailer below.
Title: Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Published: March 2012
Challenge: Popsugar Bad Reviews; New Authors