(Review) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Published: 2012
Pages: 295
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: Three Stars

I went into this book with high expectations. I usually read a few Goodreads' reviews and take personal recommendations for books, so I was fully prepared to enjoy this one a lot. 

I mean, I didn't hate it? 

The story is that Greg Gaines is an all around nobody. He makes it a point to not make friends, to blend in to many different crowds, and basically not get attached to anyone. Greg has one friend who he never even calls his "friend". That's Earl and Earl is crazy. Greg and Earl make movies together, but they never let anyone see them. It's their way of staying nobodies. 

Greg's mom tells him that his friend (term used loosely) Rachel has leukemia and thinks that it would be really nice for Greg to spend some time with her since she's, you know, probably dying.

So, here's the thing about this book: I don't really know if anything happened. Greg takes his mother's advice because she doesn't leave him alone and becomes Rachel's friend. In the meantime people are starting to notice Greg and he doesn't really like that. 

Honestly, Greg's kind of an idiot. He's so worried about wanting people to not think about him that he doesn't think about anyone except himself. I couldn't ever really tell if he cared about Rachel or was just following his mom's orders. Most of the scenes of them together are Greg talking nonsense

Greg basically goes through the entire book talking about what a loser he is and how the book is really terrible. (There's also a line about how "if you think this is going to be a great story about growing up/touching story about cancer, you're wrong" that kind of burns me, but for different reasons.) It isn't until Earl basically kicks the crap out of him does Greg seem to give a crap about Rachel, his dying friend.

I couldn't really connect with Greg, but I did like Earl. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy and was just trying to make it the best he could. I liked that he was able to be honest with Rachel and with Greg, but still be his weird self.

Rachel was a cool character, but the book was in Greg's head, so we only got his perception of her, which wasn't horrible. I could tell at the end that he truly cared about her, but he hadn't changed much by then, not on purpose anyway. I guess that was the point that I might have missed. Greg changed even though he didn't want to. I liked the glimpse into the future at the end; it gave Greg a little bit of redemption to me.

I wished we could have gotten to know Rachel a little more and see how their friendship grew, but I understand the difficulty of that coming from Greg's point of view. The book did have some funny parts, and a lot of boy humor, which I can take or leave.

All in all, a decent book. It just left me wanting a little more.