Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Greg Gaines does not believe in best friends. As a high school senior, he has finally found a way to fit in with every friend group. That is, until his old friend Rachel Kushner comes back into the picture and gets cancer. Greg’s senior year begins to
look a bit less fun.
What I Thought of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
This book was a pretty big disappointment to me. I was immediately intrigued by the summary, as I typically love humorous books about serious topics, Drum, Girls, and Dangerous Pie being a fantastic example. However, I think the author totally flopped on that concept. I think that this book was meant to be funny in the way that the main character Greg was supposed to be laughably bad in certain social situations, but to me he seemed more like an insensitive jerk than an awkward but nice boy. To be fair, it was made very clear that Me and Earl and The Dying Girl wasn’t going to be a powerful friendship or romance book, but some of the things written are still ridiculously rude. It’s hard to understand how Greg felt the need to describe in detail how disgusting he found Rachel’s post-chemo baldness to be and how awfully obnoxious her laugh was. For some reason, a character harshly judging a dying girl isn’t all that amusing to me. Additionally, the other characters weren’t all that great either. I did like Earl in some ways, but his excessive swearing got annoying after a while. Rachel seemed a bit boring, but at the same time Greg clearly didn’t care about her so he probably didn’t give her personality a very good description. Lastly, Greg was simply awful. He was so caught up worrying about what other people thought of his films that he forgot that they were about a terminally ill friend of his. Although I can relate to the embarrassment he felt when Earl and his work was shared, I could not sympathize with such a selfish character. Overall, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was definitely not funny, fairly boring, and had a main character that I hated with passion. However, I have a very specific sense of humor, so I can’t say that nobody will enjoy this book. Therefore, I grant it a 2.5 star rating.
The most memorable part of this book is when Earl stands up to Greg and shows him how badly he is treating Rachel. I gained a lot of respect for the foul-mouthed Earl for this, making it my favorite moment.