Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 295 Pages
Published March 2012
Revised Edition Published April 2015
Publisher: Amulet Books
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Summary: 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.This is possibly the only book I will read in my entire lifetime that will receive a five-star rating even though it has a severe lack of plot. I contemplated giving this book four stars for awhile, but the amount of gut-destroying laughter that I dealt with very quickly pushed this book up to five stars again. Within the first twenty pages of this book I already knew that I was giving it five stars.
And every page after that continued to prove my decision to be the right one. My biggest problem with this book was the lack of plot (and skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read the book yet). Greg is forced to cheer Rachel up, but they never become friends or get close or have anything interesting happens. He mildly amuses her and then she just...dies. However, we do get warning of this within the first chapter - the fact that nothing interesting happens.
So, yeah, I didn't like the plot that much. But like I said, the humor in this book was absolutely freaking hysterical. I mean, think about it. Even if you haven't read the book, you should definitely get at least some idea about how funny it was - because how the heck would I give it a perfect rating on five stars (which, if you're a frequent reader here, you'll know I'm very picky with) after I basically just said the plot bored me and wasn't good at all? You might be asking yourself, What kind of crazy book gets five stars with a sucky plot? The answer, dear reader, is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews.
Seriously. I don't even have much more to say about this book other than that it was so freaking hysterical that everyone needs to pick it up and give themselves a good laugh. Andrews created a perfectly hilarious character within Greg Gaines - he's relatable, funny, awkward, and totally embodies everything that a high school narrator should. From Greg's point of view not only do you get to meet himself, but also his best friend Earl and the "Dying Girl," Rachel, one of Greg's younger high school crushes gone wrong.
I bought a copy of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl from The Strand after BookCon last week, because I was on the hunt for the book at BookCon and couldn't find it anywhere (although I saw a lot of BEA hauls with the revised edition included). So I booked it (haha, get it? "Booked it"? Nobody? Okay, I tried.) to The Strand and picked up a copy for myself, and I started it as soon as possible. I'm so, so glad I did.
This book made me laugh so hard, right from the very first line. I seriously kept having to stop reading because I was a) taking a Snapchat of a certain line and sending it to Amber, b) laughing so hard I had to catch my breath, or c) Getting strange looks from my neighbors as I was reading outside and laughing to myself so I had to migrate to somewhere where I could laugh manically in peace.
All in all, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was an absolutely hilarious novel that kept me laughing from Page 1 to Page 295. I finished this book in a little over 24 hours because I just couldn't put it down! I recommend this book to anybody looking for an upbeat read (yes, this is super upbeat and makes you laugh a lot despite being dubbed a "cancer book") and a great laugh. Andrews has absolutely killer narration skills and if the rest of his novels turn out like this one, I will be a very, very happy (and sore in the stomach from laughing) reader.