Book Review: Me, and Earl, and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Title: Me, and Earl, and The Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Release Date: March 1st, 2012
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Format: Trade Paperback

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.

I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t like this book. I tried to like it… So many times. But can you just imagine the span I’ve been reading this – from October to November last year, then I stopped midway. I’ve seen so many 4 to 5-star ratings and I’ve got so freaking excited. I tried rereading it this year, but… I’m just so sorry, this book is not for me. I ended up putting it on my DNF shelf. Yes, I’ve abandoned it. And it’s not really like me, but it gave me no other choice. 
I also have to admit that I bought this book for two reasons: First, I saw it on eBay, and it’s really cheap (roughly $5) so I grabbed it. Second, the beautiful cover. Alright. Covers can really turn me into an impulsive-buying-freak instantly. Just look at that bright cartoon-ish cover, I would love to have that on my shelf… yeah.

So let me explain why I didn’t like this book. Well, actually, I don’t even know how to start writing this review. lol

So this book is supposed to be a comedy of some sort. It should make me laugh. It’s about Greg who was reunited with an old friend, Rachel, who turned out to be diagnosed with cancer now. Greg is best friends with Earl and they dream to be a filmmaker and they both decided to stay with Rachel and make her laugh so the depression of being sick won’t get to her or something. Greg is supposed to be the writer of this book. Because, well, he always talks about “I don’t even know why I’m writing this blah blah blah”. 

At first, I liked the delivery of Greg’s narration. He said he didn’t like the typical books about cancer that are way too melodramatic and will only make you shed tears. He likes this book to be funny. And I seriously liked that idea. So I got more excited.

But the more I made progress, the more I found myself reading half-asleep. I was so bored. 

I don’t know if I was just being ridiculously slow on getting the punchlines, if I’m not too smart to pick things up, or if they just totally fall flat to me. Or maybe it’s because I didn’t like the characters. You know, when you have this annoying friend who tells you joke, and instead of finding it funny, you’ll only get incredibly pissed? Okay, not that I got pissed to Greg and Earl and their jokes. There are times I smirked, but often times, I’d no reaction.

I’ve tried, I’ve tried so hard to get into this book. I like the idea, I like the creativity on how it was written, I like that it’s so realistic. But I didn’t learn to love the characters, it didn’t get into my soul, and I didn’t like the tremendous cussing which I presume was also part of the punchlines to make them seem much funnier.

There are two things about this book. It’s either you’ll love it and you’ll laugh out loud while reading it, or you’ll never like it and you’ll only feel like meh. And unfortunately for me, I fell on the latter.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Me, and Earl, and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews”

  1. It's okay, Erika! You totally have nothing to be guilty about for not liking this 😉 I know I hated a lot of books that earned 4-5 stars from the majority, all because the emotional connection wasn't there. Without that bond between characters and reader, it would take anyone a long time to even finish it. TBH if it makes you feel better, I never had an urge to read this book. Haha.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  2. THAT actually made me feel better. Haha! Thank you! 😀
    And yeah, we really should not hold back what we think if we really want to give an honest opinion. *grins*

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