Thoughts on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, is well worth the read.

It is a young adult fiction book that is enjoyable for any age. It is such a laid back read that with all the stresses of the world people can find time to appreciate its humor and honesty.

Even though there may seem to be many popular works of fiction depicting tragic teen love stories, this one incorporates a third dimension, cancer. It also kind of eliminates the love too actually.

Despite the incredibly raw moments of watching a teenage girl realize the severity of her illness, I mostly found myself literally laughing out loud at some of the things Greg Gaines, protagonist of the story, says in his narrations. Thankfully I wasn’t in public. One can really appreciate his tumor in the midst of all the dark times.

Simply put, it’s about this very socially awkward high school senior, Gregory Gaines, who avoids any relationships except for one friend, Earl. Greg and Earl are like day and night. Earl lives in a home that’s falling apart, literally and metaphorically, while Greg has a super protective mother. The only thing that brings them together is their love of watching movies that no one else really enjoys, and film making.

This is where the cancer comes in, leukemia to be more exact, and also another friendship. Greg’s overprotective mother makes him reconnect with a childhood friend, Rachel, after finding out that Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia. The resolution of the battle between friendship and getting out of one’s shell is one you’ll have to find out on your own.

The most outstanding detail there is to describe about this book is the amount of second hand embarrassment it gives the reader. This may not sound appealing to just about anyone but this book is a bestseller and now a major motion picture so you tell me. In all honesty, it’s just real. Sometimes people say stupid things. Sometimes people turn themselves into hermits. And sometimes people think they are stronger than they really are.

To me, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was nothing like I had ever read before. I usually go for the more Romeo and Juliet- esque types of romances, like the The Fault in our Stars, but reading this one felt almost so “no strings attached” that it was just like catching up with a friend.



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