Friday 4 September 2015

Review: Me, Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

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.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

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.

Review: wow this book was so much funnier than I was expecting. I mean, I'd heard that it was funny but I didn't think it would have me laughing out loud in public places! I really enjoyed this read, even though it was different from what I expected it to be. For a book that deals about 'a dying girl' and teenagers who have little money or unstable home lives, this book does so in a very sensitive way. I loved that fact that this book was written partly in the second person and partly in script form, and sometimes in bullet points. That made this book move along really quickly and turned into a fast paced joy of a novel.

The character of Greg was an interesting one, not necessarily likeable but very honest and that was a very likeable trait for the duration of this novel. I really enjoyed reading about his relationship with Earl, Rachel and indeed the other character that he interacted with throughout his high-school experience. I liked the introduction of Rachel in this novel. Even though she is sick and that is partly the subject of the novel, she is a real tonic to Greg and Earl's working relationship, she appreciates the humour in their relationship and she also motivates Greg to be his best self-a cliche I know, but that's how I see it. I like Earl as a person, he is brutally honest and very much old before his time. I would love to find out what happens to him in the future and see how he develops as he gets older. 

Yes there are some chapters where death is dealt with. Yes there are some chapters where being a teenager is not  a nice thing to be, but overall this novel is honest and refreshing and really really funny. It shows high school for what it is, it shows knowing what to do both your life for what it is and in a market slightly saturated by books about dying teenagers, it sticks out as something different and something begging to be read now. 

I can't wait to se the movie! 

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