Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl



Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Author: Jesse Andrews
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: March 1st 2012
Paperback: 295 pages
Rating: 1.5 stars.

This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about death.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.
        This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life.
        Fiercely funny, honest, heart-breaking—this is an unforgettable novel from a bright talent, now also a film that critics are calling “a touchstone for its generation” and “an instant classic.”



First thing is first. If this is one of your favorite books…I am sorry!

I honestly don’t know where to start. I wasn’t planning on reading this or even buying the book but since the movie came out people were reading and hyping it up. I decided to give it a go. I bought the book and read the book just to be completely disappointed and just annoyed.

Some people’s reviews of this book are: “SO FUNNY” “I laughed out loud while reading this book” “It was brilliant, I loved it” and I’m just here reading these comments going… REALLY?

This book had been compared to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Im just here shaking my head going NO.  The book tried to be anti-Fault in Our Stars right from the start, and it was obvious and heavy-handed in the process. Somehow I knew that I would not enjoy this novel. The Fault in Our Stars from the very beginning the book goes about how this isn’t an anti-cancer novel and I’m not just saying this because it’s one of my favorite books but it succeeded that, at least for me to me the book was honest and it had heart. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, on the other hand, set out to be the antithesis of all that. It indeed succeeded on being unlike other cancer books and not falling for the clichés and hollow messages of light in darkness and uplifting happiness amidst the sadness, but that ended up robbing the novel of any sort of soul.

This book does not make any profound statement. Literally it’s not doing anything at all. If the novel had actually stood by its words of not trying to mean anything and hadn’t tried so freaking hard to be touching in its mock-apathetic way MAYBE I would’ve enjoyed it more. I understand that this book had a different purpose but it was handled in such an unsubtle manner, with such an appalling lack of nuance, that it was just terrible. The writing was awful and repetitive, and like everything else in this book, it tried too freaking hard, and not once did I find it funny. I never laughed, giggled, guffawed, snorted or even smiled. Instead I kept rolling my eyes and sighing out of frustration and annoyance. I also skimmed read the last 50-80 pages or so.

This book frustrated me to no end. It put so much effort on conveying how much it wasn’t like all those other cancer books, and yet it slacked off on writing, plotting, dialogue and characterization. I can respect that all of this is meant to reflect the kind of person Greg is, because it did and it conveyed him as a character pretty powerfully, but I did not like this person, I did not care for his words or his thoughts. This book was simply not for me.

What I do give the book credit is the script dialogue. I enjoyed that hence my .5 rating.

Side note: I do not know if Im going to watch the movie for this. I don’t even know when it comes out in México so…


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