Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an award winning book, perfect for anyone this holiday season
By Kelly Haddow, ’19
With an award winning film behind it, now is the perfect time to read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Ranking third on the Young Adult New York Times Best Selling list, you can’t stop smiling while reading this hilarious novel written by Jesse Andrews.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was published in 2012, but recently made a breakthrough. The story takes place from the narration of Greg Gaines, a senior in highschool who is proud to considered himself without a group- friendless but on good terms with everybody. That is until his mother forces him to befriend a girl named Rachel who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Along with Earl (Greg’s longtime co-worker) the three become friends and eventually the boys undertake a project to create a movie for Rachel.
With an unique storyline and characters, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a must read. It’s a perfect novel for high schoolers, the aimed audience of the story. The setting is in the suburbs of Pennsylvania and their high school resembles thousands across America. Greg has mastered the cliques of high school and feeling as he belongs to none, he opts to remain alone but friendly with everyone, completely avoiding entanglements. Rachel is another character that shows truth of life, although many people are not fighting cancer, they can relate to with her battle to remain positive and losing that fight. Her optimism slowing fades as her disease wears her and negativity floods her life in a way she had been striving to avoid. Luckily, she has friends to support her which influences the message of friendship throughout the book.
Although a major element of the plot is the cancer, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is hilarious. With the first person narrative you see directly into Greg’s thoughts. The 295 pages are filled with funny metaphors and ridiculous comments. There are chapters that are created to tell stories him at a young age or his relationships with girls in the past. Overall, one of the top parts of the book is it’s ability to make you laugh out loud.
An appealing aspect of this novel is the writing itself. Since written from the perspective of Greg, who seems to be sitting down to write his story that has previously occurred, it is simple and to the point. However, it is also able to veer off on different points to tell history or ideas. Such as when Earl was introduced, a chapter was created in order to inform you about the summary of Earl’s life. Throughout the book the text will change to a type of screen play, particularly during conversations. This makes the page inviting to read because the text is spaced out. This writing style is original in Young Adult books but is having positive feedback.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a can’t miss novel, filled with emotion and the meaning of friendship, it’s a story that everyone should read at sometime.