First of all, I want to point out that this book is absolutely nothing like John Green’s Fault in Our Stars. Both are masterpieces in their own way. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is a book that will have you bawling from laughter the whole time. By the title, you would think that this book is not supposed to be funny but sad and heartwarming. However, the author says so himself that it is anything but. This is probably the funniest book I have ever read. It goes against any stereotypes that are usually expected in a book about cancer.
Greg Gaines is the main character who is an unusual kid who can bring up food, barf, and sex with pillows in the same conversation. He is a filmmaker along with his best friend Earl Jackson. Greg has a pretty normal life for a teenage guy. He plays video games, hates school, can’t get girls for the life of him, and still manages to be friends with everyone. Earl Jackson is a short guy who now only smokes cigarettes because of his past drug addiction and lives in a very dysfunctional home. When Greg is informed by his mother that Rachel Kushner is dying of leukemia, his senior year turns around. He is forced to hang out with her probably because She is going to die soon. I should probably have mentioned that Greg Gaines is kind of an asshole even though he doesn’t usually try to be.
Greg is now forced to hang out with a “dying girl” because he will feed bad if he doesn’t. Trying not to get attached to the girl, Greg does everything possible to form some kind of friendship. This happens by making her laugh so hard you kind of get scared she will die right in front of you. Their friendship included a lot of laughing (mostly by Rachel and only once by Greg) and watching movies made by Greg and Earl. Their friendship isn’t the usual kind because unlike most friendships, there is no talking. But, somehow, Andrews makes it work.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is not the movie to watch if you’re in the mood for a sad story. However, it is a book about life, love, and friendship and does unintentionally make you cry. Despite me wanting Greg and Rachel to fall in love and have Rachel die in Greg’s arms, this book went against every possible cliche. I mean Greg barely sympathized with Rachel or showed any signs of grief, but I know there’s a life lesson somewhere in there. So no matter how old you are, I encourage you all to read this hilarious and heartwarming book.
You can purchase the book here.