Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

MAEATDG Edit
9781419701764_s3Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Series: Standalone

Published by Harry N. Abrams on March 1, 2012

Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Humour, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult

Pages: 295

Rating: ★

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS:

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.

**********************************************************************

RATINGS:

Critical Rating: ★

Entertainment Rating: ★.5

Overall Rating: ★

Plot: Medium paced | No Action | No Purpose

Characters: One Dimensional | Undeveloped | Rip Out My Hair Annoying | Trying too hard to be funny | Sterotyped

World Building: None (not a fantasy/dystopian) | Modern World

Writing: First Person | Easy To Read | Simple | Lots of Swearing & Offensive Language | Different Formats (Lists, Movie Scenes, etc) 

**********************************************************************

MY REVIEW: 

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was a book that I desperately wanted to love but couldn’t. Before starting this, I had heard a lot of hype in the book community, so you can safely say that my expectations were higher than normal. Unfortunately, they were not even close to being met.

From the start, our main character Greg explains to the readers that MAEATDG will NOT be a cancer book that makes you feel things or learn about life. This I was more than happy with as I was still not over the nearly identical books to The Fault In Our Stars that were infinitely being released. However, what I was expecting was a sassy, likeable character dealing with realistic and relatable problems. Instead, Greg makes the most sexist, offensive jokes I have ever read about. As a woman I felt verbally assaulted and the truth is, none of what he was saying was actually funny! He was also way too self degrading. I am not the most confident person in the world myself but the way he bashed on himself and his films every couple of pages started to get old extremely fast. He was not likeable to say the least and for me, you can almost guarantee that if I don’t at least appreciate the protagonist, I will not enjoy the novel.

Earl, on the other hand was a much better person overall. He was genuine, firm and morally right or as right as a high school teenager can be. But, the worst thing about Earl was the fact that he was such a stereotyped character. When I first found out that he was African American I was absolutely delighted because DIVERSITY!!! (Here comes another “BUT”) But… The way Jesse Andrews portrayed him was ridiculous and racist. Earl’s family was composed of his emotionally wrecked mother, out of the blue gone step father and scary violent brothers that dealt with drugs. This was originally fine because it could technically be a real situation however, the way that the author made Earl and his siblings talk, walk and act seemed a little too stereotyped. I am not an African American myself, but I would be a little hesitant pushing this book to a person with that nationality. That being said, I am 99.9% sure that his was not Jesse Andrews intention. As a debut author, he was probably just trying to diversify his characters though I didn’t neccessarily perceive it the way he wanted readers to.

The Dying Girl otherwise known as Rachel was such a flat, one dimensional character that we didn’t get nearly enough information as we needed. The only characteristic that she had was that she was diagnosed with leukemia and that she liked having posters of half naked celebrities on her bedroom wall… She was more than once defined by her cancer and I was definitely NOT OKAY with that. Just because someone has an illness doesn’t make them the illness! I wanted more of her backstory, her interactions with her family and friends and what she was thinking about. I know that MAEATDG wasn’t suppose to be a touching book but the least I wanted was the characters to have more depth.

Another thing that bothered me was the writing and plot of this book. The dialogue between characters were immature and quite vulgar, filling half the pages with strong swear words and frankly disgusting language. I am a student so I hear my fair share of cussing every day but I felt that there was no point to the swearing except for the fact that Jesse Andrews wanted to seem “cool” and “like a teenager”. It just didn’t work for me and along with that aspect, there was no point to the story than just Greg’s ordinary life. It wasn’t interesting and there wasn’t anything happening that grasped my attention.

The one positive thing I can safely say is that the format in which the book is written is quite unique. There is a mesh of typical chapters alongside movie scripts and bullet point notes. It helped the story move along faster and that was partially the only reason why I didn’t DNF it. It was a quick read (only 295 pages) and way too short for me to call it quits.

Overall, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was just not my cup of tea. While I am fully aware of the fact that there has been lots of praise for this book, I unfortunately just wasn’t one of them. If you don’t mind a realistic high school story with strong language and hit or miss humour this may be for you. Otherwise, I would gladly skip on this one.

**********************************************************************

Have you read Me and Earl and The Dying Girl or are you planning to? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading lovelies xoxo,

-Jenna <3-

Find me here!

INSTAGRAMGOODREADS | BLOGLOVIN

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

  1. Nova @ Out of Time says:

    i have actually only seen the movie and it was good to watch but served no purpose imo. honestly, all of the characters just seemed so selfish. the entire thing was a melodrama. i didn’t like tfios that much either but compared to the two, i think maeatdg was better? i’m not surprised the mc made sexist jokes; he didn’t seem all that bright in the film. ugh, characters like that who don’t learn grate on my nerves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aria says:

    FINALLY. Someone who doesn’t like, and shares the same thoughts about the MAEATDG as me! I thought that I was the only one who didn’t like this book when everyone else seemed to be raving about it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Aria says:

        Agreed, I especially hated how Rachel’s sickness was used as an “excuse” ヽ(●゚´Д`゚●)ノ゚
        Every I know in real life said it was better than TFIOS (which I didn’t like much because of certain aspects) so I thought, ‘Hey, maybe it IS better. The movie trailer’s interesting after all.’ I was completely misled by that trailer (´つヮ⊂)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aria says:

        Agreed! I found it weird how Hazel was such a philosophical person. Like yeah, I can understand why you’d be that kind of person but then I thought, ‘What kind of teenage girl spouts that kind of stuff 24/7?’. It went downhill from there, I skipped the lengthy rants, thought it was ironic how she went to Augustus’ place after knowing him for a handful of hours and so on, so forth. It didn’t help that the “twist” ending was kind of predictable :/

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s