TITLE: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
AUTHOR: Jesse Andrews
PUBLISHER: Allen & Unwin
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2015 (in the UK, orign. 2012)
NUMBER OF PAGES: 295
PERSONAL SOURCE: Borrowed from library
Greg kind of hates everything: including himself. Earl is a Super Pissed sort-of friend who sometimes makes crappy movies with him. The dying girl got cancer during Greg’s senior year and his mum kinda sorta made them be friends. Which coincidentally kinda sorta ruined Greg’s life.
I read this book in the space of around 24 hours. I don’t normally read that fast (think about it: Pride and Prejudice took me 3 months and 6 days). That probably tells you there’s something special about this book.
When I was describing it to my friends, I called it, “a funnier version of The Fault in Our Stars,” but now I’d also like to add, “without the whole love thing in it.” Which, it turns out, is actually pretty great.
This isn’t a cancer book, but it’s about cancer. It’s not entirely happy but not entirely depressing. I’m not sure what the plot was – it seemed like a lot of subplots shoved together, which didn’t altogether go horrifically wrong like you would normally expect – but it was good.
The writing style was great and I think Andrews captured the persona of Greg perfectly. It was disgustingly hilarious, fast-paced and there were unnecessary, non-plot-forwarding detours about stupid stuff which somehow just made the book better. Some of it is told in a script format, too, which I kinda liked because I was reading it so fast that the script format just helped me to read it faster.
The persona of Greg: well, he was a bit of a twat, but perfect for narrating this novel. I found it a bit annoying how he constantly said that this novel was a piece of crap, but other than that, he was pretty good. Although… there was basically no character development. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, yet, but it was something and I think in its own queer way, it added to the plot.
The other characters weren’t as fleshed out as Greg, but I don’t think that was a bad thing, as they didn’t need to be. There was enough of them in there to be realistic, and they were all so diverse (which is a good thing, by the way) as well.
This book isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s quite high up there and I really loved it. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you’re fairly open minded, not to bad with all the disgusting stuff and want a bit (okay, a lot) of a laugh, then I’d definitely recommend it.