Me & Earl & the Dying Girl was writte by Jesse Andrews and published in 2012. It is a young adult release, dealing with teenage cancer, which has been turned in a movie (I haven’t seen) and often compared to The Fault In Our Stars, though I’m not sure why, because except for the part played by cancer, these two books have nothing in common, if you ask me.
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My rating: ★★★✩✩
I heard a lot about this book, and I heard lots of mixed opinions. Some people say it is amazing, some people say they couldn’t finish it. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, and now it’s time to give you my own.
Greg goes through high school following one very precise rule: be friendly with everyone, but be friend with no one. So when his mom tells him that his middle school crush Rachel has leukemia, and he must do everything he can to be with her, and cheer her up, he has no choice but to break his own rule, and he ends up bringing his only sort-of-friend/film-buddy Earl into this.
When I think about this book, two things come to my mind: the first is that this book was quite funny, I cannot deny it. And the other being that overall, I was quite disappointed with it, as much as I wanted to like it. Maybe I’m just not in a contemporary mood at the moment, as I observed the same thing when reading Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (review coming soon). Or maybe I’m getting too old to read YA, because I can’t really relate to American high schoolers. Or maybe it was just not the thing for me. But throughout the story, I felt that something was missing. I’m not sure what it is, but it left me waiting for more, expecting more.
The book is well-written, and at first, I really liked it. Greg is a funny and unique narrator, but little by little, I felt that he grew more annoying and frustrating. I felt that there could be more to the story. Maybe he was too much of a pessimist, maybe it was just not my thing. But I thought he could have done a better job at being a friend, instead of always seeing the dark side of things.
On the other hand, I really liked Earl and Rachel. They felt more relatable than Greg, more human. I wanted to know what would happen to them next, and made me enjoy this book more.
One other thing that I liked us the enfing. I won’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil you the story, but it was good to finally see Greg get things done, and at least, I’m glad I finished this book.
Overall, I’m not sure what to make of it. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, but it still had some good points, especially great humour (most of the time) and amazing side characters.
I would love to have your opinion on this book, so if you have read it, feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments so we can discuss!