Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I typed in Google, "Funny YA novel", this novel was instantly the most popular one on every list. So I checked it out and read it.
...And I didn't find it funny... Maybe I'm weird? Maybe I'm abnormal? Maybe I have a brain fungus. But this just seemed a bit odd and over the top. The main character, Greg, tried to much I felt like. He was always stating the same things over and over again to make sure that the reader would remember statements that he made, which I found to be a little annoying after awhile.
I really did not like Earl. I think the book would have been better without him. The only time I liked Earl was when he gave his "speech" during the Plan E for the Rachel movie and told Rachel how he felt about her situation. That was the most real Earl was in this novel and I felt like that was the real Earl, not the one that he shows to everyone and always has to be the "tough" guy who talks about disgusting topics and curses every other word.
I am not a prude either. I know boys talk about gross things, but I don't have any brothers, I'm not dating, I don't have any close cousins who are guys. I've never really had to deal with guys on a regular basis and perhaps they do talk like this when they hangout with each other. But I've not been introduced to this side of society so I was a bit disgusted with their conversations rather than humored. And maybe that is my problem - I'm too serious for this book? Don't think like teenager boys?
I loved how Rachel was able to throw Greg for a loop. He even said, he always made other people talk about themselves, but when he was with Rachel he needed to fill the silence and found himself being the talker in their friendship. And Rachel tried to be completely honest with Greg about everything. For some reason she thought he was really funny (I would have shooed Greg away with a broomstick if I ever met him) and honestly wanted his company.
I think Greg really needed a friendship like the one he had with Rachel. His only other friend is Earl and that is just not healthy, not one bit. But with Rachel he really tried in the end and he was brought up with some great thoughts that he needed to think about and work his way through.
So this was an okay novel. Definitely not my favorite. I will never re-read it again. But it does make readers ponder about life and friendships and choices.
I chose this book for a book club discussion, so it will be very interesting to see what people think about it since I had such a negative/blah reaction to it.
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