Published by Harry N. Abrams on March 1st 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
This was Jesse Andrews trying to pull a John Green, and failing miserably.
The first sentence in this book is:
I have no idea how to write this stupid book.
And I have never heard anything as accurate as the opening to this sorry excuse of work of literature. My sincerest apologies to the author and to anyone who loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but he has no idea AND it’s a stupid book.
I’m usually generous with debuts, I really am, but this was dumb af. It wasn’t adorkable as Andrews seemed to have intended for it to be. It wasn’t even dorky. It was just plain dumb. The main character, Greg, annoyed the crap out of me, to say the least. His inner monologues are repetitive and boring, and his conversations with his buddy Earl consist mainly of utterly gross cussing and nonsensical babbling. In accordance, there was barely a plot to speak of, which made this book a complete and utter snoozefest. I wasn’t invested, I wasn’t hooked, just annoyed and bored.
Despite my hatred for the book as a whole, there were a few aspects that amused me. For example, when Greg divides his high school into groups and explains his method of staying on good terms with all of them to not get caught in high school wars, or when he does/says something stupid – which happens a lot – and immediately comes up with a dozen alternative ways things could’ve gone better. Furthermore, I liked that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is more about friendship and the efforts of being a good friend than romance and all the cheesy crap authors usually pull in YA cancer books.
Also, Greg calls someone a dick in the acknowledgements (yes, this book is written entirely from his perspective). Thought I’d just put it out there.
A lot of my GR friends adored this book (so there must be some secret genius behind all that crap which I was just too blind and ignorant to see), but unfortunately, I can’t join the club. It just wasn’t for me. In my opinion, this was poor storytelling, and therefore I cannot recommend this book.