Me And Earl and The Dying Girl
Greg Gaines doesn’t want to stick out in High School, he just wants to make movies. By senior year he has accomplished just that by being almost friends with everyone in High School, that is until his mom forces him to hang out with a girl named Rachel Kushner who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. When Greg starts to spend more and more time with Rachel, his grades start to plummet and College opportunities start to disappear. Can Greg fix his life while still trying to make Rachel’s better at the same time?
I really liked this book. I liked how funny it was. It’s told in first person in the perspective of Greg and Greg’s one funny guy. He’ll write some events in his life in script format or, if someone gave him a long lecture, he’ll write it in bullet form. Plus, he’s pretty honest about what he writes; he’ll call his writing garbage or himself lame or a situation super awkward.
My favourite character is Earl. He is Greg’s closest thing to a friend, but he’s mostly just a business partner and coworker. He’s the guy that Greg works with on his films. I liked Earl because the world dealt him the worst deck of cards in the game of life, but he still did his best. He had a dad worked in Texas (they’re living in Pittsburgh), has a step dad in jail, a mom that is an alcoholic and doesn’t leave her room, his multiple brothers and stepbrothers are in gangs and are drug dealers. Plus, he’s really short so no one will take him seriously. That kind of life doesn’t sound very fun at all.
Earl also has a very different sense of humour than Greg. Due to Earl’s upbringing, he is definitely not the brightest crayon in the box and does not have the linguistics of your average high schooler, but he always gets his point across. Whether he wants to be heartfelt, funny or disgusting, everyone always understands Earl.
What I wasn’t a big fan of, was the way the story flowed. The entire book kept building and building on how Greg’s life was changing because of Rachel. It always felt like the climax was coming, but it never came until the last few pages . I’m no story teller, but I took grade seven English, so I know the climax is supposed to be around the middle, not the end.
I also didn’t like how Rachel did end up dying. I know that the entire novel was leading up to her dying, but I still wanted her to live, or at least die more elaborately or in a more significant way.
Despite that, I really enjoyed this novel, I liked the humour, characters and writing style, but like life, it wasn’t perfect. It was still a good read though. I read it in less than a week because I couldn’t put it down!