“I just murdered the word “weird”. Now it’s just a bunch of letters. It’s like there’s all these dead bodies all over the page now.” – Jesse Andrews.
Originally, I was going to review John Dies at the End by David Wong today, but I woke up this morning, still having not finished the book due to having spent yesterday at my uncle’s house. As a result of this, I decided to pick this book up to read as it is so much shorter and therefore allows me to keep up with my plan of posting book reviews every Monday. However, I am intending to finish John Dies at the End in the next couple of days so hopefully I will be able to post that review on Thursday.
I have been looking forward to reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl for a little while now so I was excited to finally start it this afternoon (which is why this post is very late in the day). Furthermore, this book has been made into a film, which is rather funny if you have read the epilogue, but in the UK it isn’t going to be released until September 11th.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is written from Greg’s perspective. In their spare time, Greg and Earl make their own movies, but when Rachel, A.K. A. the dying girl, is diagnosed with leukaemia, Greg is forced to spend time with her. Greg introduces Earl to Rachel and as the end of her life draws closer, Greg and Earl use their film-making “skills” to make her a movie, forcing Greg into the spotlight.
I loved this book. The writing was really good and you really get into the mind of Greg. The book is humourous at times, but it is also really serious. It switches from a narration to, during dialogues, a script. Also, as someone who greatly enjoys writing lists I appreciated the use of bullet points throughout the book. These bullet points cut out useless parts of conversation which you often encounter in other books and therefore effectively summarise whole conversations.
While Greg tries to cut points down with his narrating, he isn’t as skilled when he is talking. During conversations his character tends to ramble on a lot, but I don’t mean this to be a bad thing. It gives him personality and therefore brings his character to life. Andrews has done a very good job in creating memorable characters, especially ones that are loved. At the beginning I wasn’t entirely sure on Earl, for instance, but I slowly grew to like him as a character and he is an essential part of the story.
“A person’s life is like a big weird ecosystem, and if there’s one thing science teachers enjoy blathering about, it’s that changes in one part of an ecosystem affect the entire thing.”
I like this analogy because it demonstrates how one change in your life has a knock-on effect. Furthermore, not only does it impact your life, but the lives of those around you.
Greg’s friendships with Earl and Rachel are not those you would exactly look up to, but in the end Greg appears to realise the importance of friends after having gone through life off to the side, trying to stay clear from people so that no one can dislike him. Of course, the ending is sad, but what else would you expect from a) a young adult book, and b) dying girl being apart of the title? Nevertheless, this book reinforces the importance of being yourself and the value of friends.
I really enjoyed this book; I couldn’t put it down all day and I rate this book a 5/5. I can see this book being compared a lot to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but one thing I will say is that if you enjoyed that book, you are likely to enjoy this one too. However, the humour used in this book may not be appreciated by everyone, but have an open mind and it makes the book easier to get into and it helps you to understand the characters a lot more.