When people compare Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews, to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, I’m not quite sure I agree or see why they are compared. Both are memorable stories that involve cancer, but that is where the similarities stop. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is so funny that if people saw you reading this book in public and laughing, they’d think something is wrong with you after seeing the title. But the truth is, there are jokes in it that are hysterical, and you can’t stop yourself from laughing out loud.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is about a high school senior named Greg whose mom is always getting involved in his (inactive) social life. Greg tries to belong to every clique in his school, but none of them at the same time. He really doesn’t have any friends except for Earl, with whom he pretty much just makes really bad, amateur movies. He also, believe it or not, likes his life like this. He thinks it’s organized. Greg’s mom finds out that Rachel, Greg’s technically ex-girlfriend, has leukemia, so she forces Greg to hang out with her to make her feel better. This is exceptionally awkward for the two, because they haven’t been around each other in years, unless you count classes at school, which no one does. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl will surprise many readers who choose to pick it up, and it will make them realize that some people really can make a difference in people’s lives without even realizing it.
I thought the characters, (Greg and Earl) were actually somewhat immature, but honestly, it was realistic because that’s what high school is like. I found their personalities lacking better judgement, but altogether, they were vital to the story’s hilarity. Sometimes I literally rolled my eyes at some of the stupid things the two would say, but still found myself laughing at it. It’s such a realistic story, and it could honestly happen to anyone. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a pretty quick read; it’s 295 pages, but they go by fast. The only thing I hated about this book was the ending; it was unpredictable in a bad way, and somewhat uneventful. I thought the author could have done better with the way he wrote the rest of the book.
I think this book is definitely at a high school reading level: Some things in it are a little mature for 8th grade and younger. I think it deserves a 4/5, but it really was a hysterical book.
Editor's note: And of course, there's the movie, which was recently released.... Would anyone like to review that?