Release Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
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. (Summary from Amazon.com)
Fictitious Delicious Rating: 3.5
I have a feeling that many, many people are going to be head-over-heels crazy about this book. As much as I wanted to fall in love with this book, I just didn't. I am, however, still in love with this colorful cover.
Let’s do a breakdown on a few of the main aspects of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, shall we?
We have a self-degrading male POV that makes for hilarity through crude humor and shocking statements (and quite a bit of cussing). This kind of setup is usually right up my alley! But here’s the thing: I didn’t like the main character, which is post-ironic because I think we’re supposed to like him even though he doesn’t really WANT us to like him. He’s quite self absorbed and I kept waiting for some character growth through the incredible situation he finds himself in. Alas, it did not happen. I thought the end was quite anti-climatic, in fact.
On the other hand, we have Earl. Earl is a character I really loved. Earl comes from an incredibly dysfunctional family yet is the voice of reason throughout the book. Another piece of irony! Earl knows who he is and owns it. This is complete contrast to Greg and was a welcome addition to the story.
Our dying girl is just….there. We don’t get to know much about her because Greg doesn’t take the time to get to know her like I really wish he would. This was one of my biggest frustrations with the story, honestly. I want to know more about her! This goes back to the fact that our main character is a little too self absorbed to care about this missing piece.
There is a nice switch up in writing formats in this book. A good majority of this story is told in first person POV, but every so often the dialogue is presented in movie script format. This ties in nicely with the movies Greg and Earl make, which was probably my favorite thing about this story. I may not be a fan of Greg, but I am a fan of the movies he makes with Earl. Well, all except one. Here’s the movie that started it all for them:
Yup, that’s Klaus Kinski. It’s a riot watching these Greg and Earl remake Aguirre: The Wrath of God.
After writing this review, I’ve come to realize that I like this book more than I originally thought I did. Huh, funny how that works. That just goes to show that just because I wasn’t head-over-heels crazy about it doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book. I hope you find it to be an enjoyable read!