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Me, Earl & The Dying Gril

Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl by: Jesse Andrews ARC Rating: PG-13 Coffee Beans: 3 Spoiler Alert: No Pub Date: 3/1/2012

I finished this ARC the other day (okay, about a few weeks if not more) and decided to sit down and write about it. Here’s the publisher’s synopsis:

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.

My synopsis:

A boy is in his senior year of high school and has skated through his academic/social life by “befriending” everyone and not standing out. Skating under the radar. As a result, he is extremely socially awkward, especially around girls. He doesn’t have any real friends, besides Earl. This all changes when he hits his senior year of high school when he finds out a girl he knows has Leukemia. His mom makes him befriend her, and thus, a story is born.

First, what I liked about it:

· It was stinkin’ hilarious (I was literally laughing out loud during several spots). The voice was witty, snarky, sarcastic, and so boy

· The formatting was fun: screenplay, outlines, narrative, flashbacks, &

· It was a fast read

· Very realistic character, situation, and outcome

What I didn’t like about it:

· At times, the language was a bit offensive

· There were some vulgar topics/conversations

The first half or so of the book is nothing but back story. And it was wildly entertaining. At the halfway point was where the story with the dying girl comes in. I kind of wish the entire book was like the first half, maybe tuning it into a “how to survive high school” manual. I was a little let down at the ending. I kept waiting for something meaningful or profound to come out of the tragedy of what was going on, but it didn’t. I know that that doesn’t happen all the time in real life, but I feel, that in a book, it should. Even if the “profound” event isn’t that big for the reader, but monumental for the character, I was waiting for something. (Like in The Sky is Everywhere). I felt let down. I finished the book, and looked back, asking myself, what was the plot arc? What was the point of the story? And I couldn’t come up with anything.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book, well-written, believable characters, funny, and worth the read, but as far as substance, I felt there could be more going on there. Just my opinion. But pick it up for yourself and decide.


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