Monday, 20 February 2012

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlTitle: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 
Author: Jesse Andrews
Series: Standalone
Pages: 304
Publisher: Amulet Books
Date of Publication: 1st March 2012
Source: netGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

My Thoughts:
The synopsis does not do this book justice. I have to admit, I requested this book from netGalley mostly because of the cover. Take a moment to just look at it. Isn't it awesome? I love it - it's so different from any other covers I've seen in YA right now, and it caught my eye and made me want to read it, even though I'd heard nothing about it from other bloggers and there's hardly any information on Goodreads about it.

After investigating Goodreads a bit more, I found some ratings from friends and they all looked pretty good, and one or two reviews saying it was hilarious. But even then I didn't want to go into it expecting too much and then end up disappointed, so I tried to keep an open mind. And it WAS funny - I laughed out loud a couple times, which never happens... And granted, I only laughed at the really immature stuff, but that's just what I find funny because I still have the mental age of a five-year-old... ;P

I think the title is a little bit misleading though. 'Dying Girl' suggests that this story will be one of Rachel's journey through leukemia, and how Greg deals with having a friend who's dying. But really, I don't think that that is the main focus of the story at all. I mean, it's not until about half-way through the book that Greg really realises that Rachel's actually going to die and that's when it starts to play a more-than-minor role in the story (I don't want to say major because it's not until the end that this is the case.) So yeah, don't go in thinking that this is going to be a tearjerker, because it wasn't. Or, I didn't think it was.

The story, for me, was more of a coming of age story, and it felt to me as if Greg was finally growing up, and realising that the world is not just a place full of fun and games. I think it's the first time he has to deal with something awful, and I really loved the way he tried to use film to cheer both himself and Rachel up. It was a great way to explain some of Greg and Earl's backstory and the films were so cool to read about, and imagining how bad the 1 star ones were was great fun.

One of my favourite things about the book was the way in which Jesse Andrews wrote it. It was just like a teenage boy writing a book! It was awesome - some of it was in script form (because Greg's a film maker) and then, there'd be other times when it would be written in bullet points, or in a different format because Greg supposedly got bored of writing the book. It starts off by saying something along the lines of, 'this book is rubbish, why are you even reading it?' and carries on throughout the book with more, 'why are you still reading this?' kind of sentences. I've never come across that in a book before, but I really liked it - however, I don't think it would work in many books... ;P

Overall, I really enjoyed Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I was very impressed - it was very different to what I thought it would be, but that definitely wasn't a bad thing. It was laugh out loud funny at times, but also at times it was touching and heart warming at the same time. I'd definitely recommend to fans of YA contemporary, or if you're looking for something a little bit different.

*Huge thanks to netGalley and Amulet Books for allowing me access to this egalley in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

4 comments:

  1. I found it to be more of a tearjerker than you did (at least towards the end.) Agree that it was really funny! Great review.

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  2. The cover reminds me of an Old Navy commercial, might have to give this one a chance!

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  3. Great review! I must admit, the cover drew me in as well. I'm still reading this (just started yesterday) and I'm not even halfway through yet and it's so awkward but it is humorous and I have laughed aloud once so far. I guess I'll find out what happens at the end when I get there!

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  4. Sounds really good! Nice review! Covers always grab my attention too!

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