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09 March 2012

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is a look at how cancer affects everyone else.

From Amazon:
Up until senior year, Greg has maintained total social invisibility. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time—when not playing video games and avoiding Earl’s terrifying brothers— making movies, their own versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. Greg would be the first one to tell you his movies are f*@$ing terrible, but he and Earl don’t make them for other people. Until Rachel.
Rachel has leukemia, and Greg’s mom gets the genius idea that Greg should befriend her. Against his better judgment and despite his extreme awkwardness, he does. When Rachel decides to stop treatment, Greg and Earl make her a movie, and Greg must abandon invisibility and make a stand. It’s a hilarious, outrageous, and truthful look at death and high school by a prodigiously talented debut author.
I picked up this book from NetGalley (in exchange for a fair and honest review) for two reasons:  1) its a debut author book and, 2) I had heard good buzz on twitter.

I'm having a hard time writing this review as I really can't say if I liked the book or not.  I liked parts of it.  But I don't think I liked it as a whole. 

I found parts of it funny.  I liked how it took an increasingly occuring situtation (friend with cancer) and told it from the perspective of someone on the outside---watching what was happening and the emotions that went with it. 

On the flip side, I found it hard to follow---moving from past to present, real life to screen play---was kind of confusing.  As for the characters, I feel like Greg ment well, but at times, he came across as uncaring and selfish.  I'm glad he had his big character transformation / realization at the end, but it was almost a little too late. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, while I didn't like it, I'm sure there are others out there who do / would.  I would never discourage anyone from reading it, but I'm not going to read it again.

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