Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Book Review


Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Pages: 295
Format: Purchased Paperback

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews is a story about a senior in high school who’s just trying to live his day to day life on friendly-but-not-friendship level turns with every major group in his school. He has one friend, Earl, whom he hangs out with and makes films with. One day his mom forces him to hang out with this girl named Rachel, and soon finds out that she has leukemia. Greg (the main character) and Earl decide to make a film for Rachel, but what will it be about?

Okay, well, this book confused me quite a bit. To understand why, let me take you through a few things first.

I can understand where the humor would upset a lot of people. I wasn’t laughing at anything, really, and was offended and unnerved by some of the things that were said in the book, but at the same time I can understand cultural and regional references as to how people talk or act and stuff like that.

I felt that the plot, or at least the majority of it, had nothing to do with Rachel or her disease or making a film about/for her. It was all over the place, talking about different people, different things, and some of it felt like it really didn’t need to be there.

I thought the first third of it was good and coherent, but when the parts with Rachel surfaced, we barely even got to know her. It was kind of frustrating because it is called “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” Not “Me,” or “Me and Earl Make Films,” or whatever.

Okay, so I thought the main character, Greg, or the “writer” of this book (since this book’s POV is from that of someone writing a book) was very selfish. He was also kind of clueless in a lot of places. I thought his heart was in the right place on a few occasions, but it was otherwise just him rambling about his days and what he did and how much his films sucked. I found him to be extremely frustrating and annoying.

Earl was a more complex character, but wow was he a potty-mouth. I understand teens swear, and the environment in which they grow up in can affect that, but wow. Was not expecting that. It was kind of annoying at times, but I did enjoy trying to read his parts in his voice with an accent I can only imagine. I liked him in a “he’s cool” way. Well… yeah. I honestly don’t know what to say. I did like, though, that he really understood the situation and that he tried to get Greg to understand and see it, too.

Rachel was a sweet, quiet girl suffering through a life-sucking disease. We barely got to see her or get to know her at all throughout the book, which I thought was frustrating because, again, it should have included her more, in my opinion.

The plot of the book is a tough one to explain. It’s from the perspective of a teen who has just lived through these events, but sometimes it read like a novel, other times like a screenplay. It was confusing a lot of the time, and other times it felt like it didn’t serve a point. I thought that some of the chapters or paragraphs were filler while others made a bigger impact. It really focused in on how much “Greg sucks” and how down on himself he is a lot, and I think that was probably the most frustrating.

Unfortunately I don’t really know what to think about this book. I think that it was definitely different from the kind of books I’m used to reading, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I might see the film and do a film review of it later on, but I’m still deciding as I was very confused by this book.

I rate this book 3/5 stars.

August 2014 Book Haul

It’s been a while since I did a post, but I wanted to update with a book haul!

So my birthday was on the 18th and I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Of course I had to go buy some books (I don’t have a book buying problem, what’re you talking about?). I got nine books in this haul, so let me talk a little bit about them:

  1. Legend” by Marie Lu – This books sounds like it’s a dystopian type of novel mixed with romance, action, and adventure. I’ve heard many good things about it, and can’t wait to read it.
  2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black – This book also sounds like a type of dystopian and it’s about a girl, Tana, who lives in a world with monsters and humans fighting for survival. She wakes up one day to find many dead people and has to help her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious boy survive Coldtown. Sounds pretty cool, right?
  3. Dream Boy” by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg – This book has an interesting premise of a girl who’s dreams become reality and how her “dream guy” suddenly walks into class one day, but she soon discovers that some dreams turn into nightmares (dun dun dunnnn!). Sounds really interesting and exciting.
  4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight” by Jennifer E. Smith – I’ve heard many great things about this book and I needed a light read, too. It’s about a girl who gets stuck at the airport on her way to her father’s second wedding in London when she meets this boy who’s also stuck at the airport. It’s a romance novel for sure and it sounds really cute.
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs – This books sounds all kinds of creepy and interesting and would definitely be a good Halloween book to read. I’ve seen it around for years and finally picked it up. It’s about a boy who visits a remote island of the coast of Wales and he’s heard about the Home and how the children there were peculiar; he actually finds that they might have been dangerous and secluded for that reason. Sounds creepy. I like it.
  6. Six Months Later” by Natalie D. Richards – The cover is what drew me to this book and I’m really curious to see how it turns out. It’s about a girl who falls asleep in study hall during May and wakes up during December when there’s snow on the ground and she can’t remember the past six months at all. There are many things going on that don’t make sense in her life and she’s trying to find out the truth – which might be dangerous if she does.
  7. The Beginning of Everything” by Robyn Schneider – This book sounds like a fun, mostly lighthearted read of a guy who just doesn’t have much luck and of the girl he meets and falls in love with. Another good romance novel? I hope so.
  8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews – I love the cover of this book, for sure. It’s about two friends who share the common interest of film making together, and about a girl with cancer whom they meet their senior year of high school. Sounds interesting and I can’t wait to read it.
  9. Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi – First off, the cover is gorgeous (not the one on Goodreads). Second, the premise of the book sounds cool with how the main character’s touch can potentially kill people. She’s being watched by something called The Reestablishment, but she has plans of her own.

So, nine more books to add to my TBR pile, yay! But they all seem interesting and cool and I can’t wait to read them.

Accompanying video: August 2014 Book Haul

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books and what you thought about them!