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.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a hard book to review because the book is as offensive as it is good, and damn is it good. From the first page, the reader can tell that Me and Earl will be a very different book as the first pages warn you that this isn’t a good book and the main character breaks the 4th wall.
Honestly, Me and Earl is a book that I should have hated. The plot was shit and it was one of those books that will find a way to make you drop it out of shock every chapter. It’s a vulgar, offensive book that should have had me screaming.
Except, I didn’t scream. I didn’t hate it. I really truly liked it. The characters stole my heart, even while they were insufferable assholes. I loved the writing style and how character driven it was. I loved the book.
Andrews wants to shock you with his book and his characters and he definitely does a good job. For the most part, he does a great job in making the characters both absolutely terrible yet really endearing and lovable. Andrews’ characters are very lifelike and well thought out.
Me and Earl is an entirely character driven novel with very little plot but the characters ran the book so completely that it worked perfectly. The characters were well written and worked beautifully with the rest of the book, even with all their flaws.
It should be noted that the driving forces behind this book are all the flaws. If the book had ‘normal’ characters, it would be boring as hell because the plot is a very bland one and there are only so many bland cancer books you can read without wanting to throw yourself off a cliff.
Greg Gaines is the most important character in this book. It’s not the dying girl or even Earl. It’s 100% Greg. Greg is a very strong individual who has a very distinct personality. He’s not a person you can forget easily, though he likes to pretend to be one. He’s a big cutie even if he wouldn’t like me saying it. Greg even with all his numerous fault is one of my all time favourite characters.
The 2 most important secondary characters are obviously Earl and the Dying Girl, Rachel. Earl and Rachel are nicely fleshed out, though nothing like Greg. Earl had a more defined personality than Rachel but I liked them both equally.
I can’t very well explain this book as it’s a very personal experience that can’t well be told on paper. It’s not a book that will teach you a lesson about life and love like say TFIOS but it’s still a very personal experience that will be taken differently by each person.
Everything about this book was perfect, even when it wasn’t. I suppose it was perfect in its realness, its honesty. I don’t recommend it to everyone because it’s truly a case by case book. Some people will hate Greg and his idiocy. Others will love him for it.
Me and Earl is a truly unique book that should have much more attention than it gets.