“There was just something about her dying that I had understood but not really understood, if you know what I mean. I mean, you can know someone is dying on an intellectual level, but emotionally it hasn’t really hit you, and then when it does, that’s when you feel like shit.”
It’s been some time already since I’ve finished this book and I’m still not sure what to think of it. I’ve heard mixed things about this read and I can understand why… Me And Earl And The Dying Girl is highly original when it comes to both plot, prose and characters. It’s about as far away from the typical The Fault In Our Stars cancer-themed stories as you can get; something I could really appreciate. Still, I’m not sure if I actually liked it or not. It’s supposed to be a funny story, but I’m not sure if the humor didn’t go too far at points… Or if I actually liked the main characters. That said, I can’t deny Jesse Andrews wrote an original and quirky story that is filled with awkward moments and dry humor. If you are sick of cheesy cancer-themed stories where the boy falls in love with the sick girl (or the other way around) and want to read something where cancer isn’t the only important theme, you might want to try Me And Earl And The Dying Girl. It sure is refreshing.
Greg can talk to everyone and be friend with nobody at his high school at the same time… He is what he calls the master of high school espionage and has only one real friend. Together with Earl they spend their time making and remaking movies. Greg’s quiet life ends when his mother forces him to become friendly again with Rachel, a girl he hasn’t talked to for years. The reason? Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia and they are not sure she will survive. Someone has to cheer her up and Greg’s mother thinks he has to do the job. What starts as something painfully awkward slowly turns into something more natural… Although Greg is never sure how to behave around Rachel. When Rachel stops her treatment, Greg and Earl decide to make a movie for her… But is that really the right thing to do? And will it be worth it for Greg to abandon his invisibility at school?
I know this review probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I honestly don’t know what to think of Me And Earl And The Dying Girl. Like I said above, I appreciated the originality of this story and it was quite a fast read. But I’m not sure I actually LIKE the characters or the story for that matter. Some parts were funny enough, but I’m still not sure some of the jokes went too far. If you are sensitive about the whole cancer theme, I definitely wouldn’t suggest reading this book. But if you like dry humor and are tired of the typical contemporary romance cancer stories, this might be the perfect read for you.