Book #32: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews

Friday was a pretty great reading day for me. I woke up to read the last chapter of Murder on the Orient Express and then immediately dove into Jesse Andrews’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I’ve been anxious to see the film adaptation of Andrews’s novel since it won both the Grand Jury and Audience awards at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, so I was happy to find that the movie was based on a book. I bought it on a whim a couple of weeks ago, and since the movie is already in limited release, I figured I’d go ahead and read it.

I didn’t set out to finish the book in a few hours, but that’s exactly what happened. In my first sitting, I read 85 pages without really blinking, which quickly became 150 pages, and ended with the full book at just under 300 pages. Whoops.

The book cover features a quotation from a review that says it begs comparison to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which I’d say is pretty obvious from the title. However, they really aren’t very similar books, and I’d have to say I prefer Green’s to this one.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is told from the perspective of Greg Gaines, a new high school senior who does his best to live life without being noticed. Greg’s mother insists that he befriend Rachel, a girl he kind of knew when they were younger, who has just been diagnosed with leukemia.

It’s a charming and funny story, but I got a little sick of Greg’s insanely self deprecating tone (though part of that might be because I read the book so quickly). The characters are endearing and likeable, but, in my opinion, this book doesn’t pack near the emotional punch of John Green’s works. I’m a sucker for young adult lit, though, so reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was an afternoon well-spent in my preparation for seeing the movie.

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