Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Publication date: March 1st 2012
Published by: Harry N. Abrams
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Cancer
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
I went to see Paper Towns with my friends last Monday and saw the trailer for this an instantly knew I needed to read the book then watch the film. I honestly don't take much interest in books about cancer because as much as I understand that cancer is an awful diseases that effects many people. It is a bit over done in YA fiction. I personally thought this was a breath of fresh air in the realm of cancer based books.
Greg at the start of the book doesn't know anything about cancer and hasn't spoken to Rachel in years but his mum forces him to become friends with him. I think this is so truthful, the idea of people suddenly becoming best friends with someone because tragedy hits.
I loved how even thought Andrews was dealing with a very heavy topic, she managed to make me laugh more at this book then I have at a book for many years. Greg's persistent awkwardness and random rants really make the book for me. There were points when I had to put the book down I was laughing so much.
Another quirky aspect to this book is that it was written as if Greg was writing it. And it was an unedited dairy like book. This added to the humour as close to the end he goes on a massive tangent about how the book is a shame to the English language and how no one would ever get o the end.
One thing that was intriguing about the way Andrews only talks about Earl's past there is barely any mention of Rachel's or Greg's past but there is a good two or three chapters on Earl. Though out the book Earl was constantly surprising me. He would get really passionate about random things then dismissive quite important things.
I thought Andrews dealt really well with Rachel's cancer. We didn't know a lot of the logistic of what was happening to her at what time to do with treatment. Rather then focusing on the disease like most authors do, Andrews focused on the emotions that Rachel was going through and how that effected everyone around her.
The ending of the book was so inspirational I thought it perfectly summed up what knowing Rachel had given him.
In conclusion, I really loved this book. It was surprisingly light hearted and focused mainly on friendship and how cancer emotionally effects people and their outlook on life. I'm giving this book 5/5 stars.