Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Alright so it’s been a minute since anyone wrote on here so I figured I needed to get my sh&$ together and put up a review… so here it is!

I did not see the movie for this book (namely because I am the worst movie watcher in history– zero ability to keep focused), but this book…. this book makes me want to sit through a movie.  I was reading some other background and reviews and this book came out around the time of The Fault in Our Stars so I would categorize this as the anti-Fault in Our Stars.  Basic premise goes something like this:  Greg, our title character, is a senior in high school.  He’s run of the mill at best and seeking mediocrity and anonymity to basically just get out of high school unscathed.  He has a friend, Earl, who we see intermittently throughout the book.  Greg learns that a girl he was in a class years with some years ago was diagnosed with leukemia and his mom wants him to go spend time with her and cheer her up.  The end of the book grounds us in the reason of why Greg has written this but up until then, it is fiercely first person.  We are in Greg’s mind for the duration, for better or worse.

I kept thinking that maybe I was a 17 year old boy in my past life because I laughed HARD multiple times throughout this book which is fairly radical for a YA book about illness.  The thing is, the cancer story line is really background.  The book is truly about Greg being unapologetically himself and speaking the truth of the situation as he understood it.  I really appreciated the hardline stance on Greg being a typical teenage boy.  It was refreshing because let’s be honest, teenagers do not speak in poetic love language and have these epic stories.  That is fiction.  This book is fiction that aggressively mirrors real life and the ambivalence about life that comes with being young.

So consider this my comeback since I’ve been MIA for awhile and man, this book was a great one.  It’s nice and short as well, clocking in at 259 pages and can easily be read in an afternoon or over a period of a couple of days.

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