Saturday, December 31, 2016

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Title: Me and Earth and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Greg Gaines, senior, had everything down. He knew just how to slip into the world of high school with no enemies, no friends, and no commitment. Of course the only way for his set up to be ruined would be the result of intervention from his mother. When childhood friend Rachel was diagnosed with cancer, Greg's mother forced him to rekindle their friendship in an attempt to give the girl something happy in the last moments of her life. And also, there's an Earl involved.

This is not a sad book. I don't think it was ever meant to be a sad book either. From the beginning it's made clear that this is not supposed to be your typical YA contemporary. So if you're expecting a tearjerker, Fault in our Stars lookalike, look again. This isn't it. In fact, this book is anything but sad- it's funny. Part of that may be due to the title putting everything out there in the open. You're aware Rachel is a dying girl from the get go. But truthfully, this was a really funny, lighthearted book.

I feel the need to introduce Greg's friend Earl, as he does have a spot in the title. Earl is hilarious. His raw humor and grim outlook on life always left me laughing, and his default mood is grumpy, which makes for a snarky and sarcastic character. So he's a huge part of the comedy in this novel. 

I actually listened to this book via audiobook, and I highly recommend you do to. I don't think I'd have liked it as much if I had read it instead of listened to it, because the narrator is so talented. He gets each voice so perfect, and it really contributed to the overall quality of the book. I don't think I would have read Earl's dialect in his accent if I'd been reading it physically, so hearing the narrator mimic his accent pulled his humor and dialogue together completely, allowing me to truly appreciate his comedic taste. 

I found Greg to be a somewhat relatable main character in the sense that I do strive to have no quarrels with people in school. However, that's where my ability to relate to him stops. I would much rather have friends and a couple people I didn't get along with than have no friends and no enemies. Greg's strategy to having no enemies is to have no close friends, and I don't think I could go through life like that. And Greg and Earl are not much of overachievers when it comes to school. In Greg's defense, he was a bit of an achiever before he began devoting all his spare time to visiting Rachel, but we don't really get to see pre-Rachel-Greg. I just find it difficult to relate to people who just don't care. Whether that be about school or just things in general. 

But I did find this book extremely funny, touching, and fun, and I'd recommend it to everyone, because it's truly an exciting book to read. 

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