Monday, November 9, 2015

Mini book review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

In today’s mini reviews feature, I share my brief thoughts on Me and Earl and The Dying Girl

Source: Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase a copy of the book via Raru.co.za 

Summery: Goodreads
Publication date (film tie-in version): 2015 (first published in 2012)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

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.


What I thought of the book:

Hilarious. Flat-out hilarious.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the perfect antidote to those sad cancer books you so often see in the ya genre.

There's nothing wrong with those books per say, but it is refreshing to see an author approach this kind of book from a completely different angle, opting for the perspective of a male teen who would like nothing more than to be socially invisible.

Take two hilariously awkward misfits (one of them with a penchant for extreme profanity - and I mean the EXTREME, make-you-snort-out-loud because it's just so hysterically inappropriate kind), add one overbearing mom who forces them to become friends with a girl with months left to live, mix in some really bad film-making and awkward navigational routes through the social spectrum and you have yourself a recipe for one laugh-out-loud book that should by all accounts be one of the saddest books you'll read.

The only reason this book gets a 3 star and not a 5 star rating? Is that the ending fell rather flat for me. For me it felt like it built up to something epic, only to go out with a bit of a fizz. 

However, don’t let that put you off.

Please. If anything, read it for Greg – the main character – alone.

His voice is wonderfully and hilariously self-deprecating; any person who has struggled with social awkwardness will be able to relate to him as he tries to manoeuvre his way through the various social hierarchies without standing out or making any enemies. 

(Ha, I love how he thinks this is possible.)

And Earl. Oh my aching soul. Earl.

You know what? You should experience Earl for yourself. 

Just read this book. You’ll be howling with laughter and cackling away like a mad old hag – that’s certainly what I was doing while I was reading this book.

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