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Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Author: Jesse Andrews
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Pages: 295
Source: Bought
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Summary:  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.

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 Favorite Lines:

“If after reading this book you come to my home and brutally murder me, I do not blame you.”

Why I Loved It:  More than anything, this book made me laugh.  I mean constantly.  I was in a quiet library and kept disrupting everyone because this book wouldn't stop making me laugh.  I was like this:

Sheldon Cooper FTW!  Anyways, the book has very little plot or storyline.  Really the whole story is carried on the voice of the modern Holden Caulfield that is the MC, Greg, of the book.  I am pretty sure that this book will not appeal to everyone.  My humor verges on sarcastic and dry and *perhaps sadly* I have an appreciation for lowbrow humor if used right.  *Which totally goes against using Sheldon Cooper in my post*

Anyways, let me give the rundown on the book.  Greg has spent his life trying to blend into every group.  Really he has made invisibility into an art form.  His one friend, Earl, *which he never sees in school* and himself spend their time playing video games unless they are creating their latest movie.  They are generally awful, but neither care because they just make them for the fun of it and to watch themselves.  Then Greg's mom pretty much forces Greg to start spending time with a girl he used to know that is now dying from cancer.  He does not go willingly, and the whole journey with Greg, Earl, and the dying girl can not really be called inspirational.  However, it can be called hysterical.  

Jesse Andrews did something with a "cancer book" that I have never seen before.  Greg is so a teenager, lacking confidence and understanding of the world around him.  What is different about him though is that he calls things out as he sees them.  If he is being a moron, he points it out.  That also applies to the other idiotic things he sees around him.  Teenagers are the point of this book.  They are not glamorized or made amazing.  In fact, Greg and Earl stink at making movies, none of them look good, and Rachel *the girl with cancer* is not in anyway beautiful.  Mr. Andrews captured the world of teens so incredibly well.  The writing was fantastic for it's purpose.  

Cancer is not the main focus of the book in anyway.  It's just a small role.  Greg is what made the book, with the surprisingly level head of Earl's keeping Greg in check.  There are moments when I had tears rolling down my cheeks just from laughing.  Not quite the same thing as the normal cancer book.  In it's own strange way, the book is beautiful and I can not wait to see what else Jesse Andrews writes.   

Who Should Read It:  If you have an appreciation for sarcasm, lowbrow humor, or can appreciate humor of all kinds, please read this.  I can not emphasize enough how funny the book is.

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