Reviewed by Maggie: April 17, 2012
Published March 1, 2012 by Amulet Books
Goodreads • Buy at Amazon • Kindle • Book Depository
If I had to describe Me and Earl and the Dying Girl in 22 words, they would be: Adaptation meets the teen version of Larry and Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm with a dash of Troy and Abed from Community. Basically, I loved the hell out of this book. Jo, the girl with the old coat and saucy new dress, promised me a snort-laugh. I snort-laughed. In fact, I went through the book in one snort-filled sitting, which I haven't done in a while.
The premise... actually, forget about the premise. Just read the book!
Did that actually work with anyone?
If so --> I AM THE CIRCLE AND THE CIRCLE IS ME.
If not --> Please continue reading.
I'm hesitant to include a summary of the book because it includes the c-word. The other c-word, potty mouths. Cancer. I saw this book on NetGalley for weeks and passed on it in favor of a book I haven't even read yet. The reason I passed, despite the jaunty cover, was cancer. Fuck that shit. Cancer, especially in a book, makes me think of something even worse: Nicholas Sparks. I am not a fan of cheap emotional ploys.
"Something about it always seems a little off. Eventually, you realize: These same exact sentences are also said by child predators."To clarify, Greg doesn't have any problems with the church kids or their religious affiliation -- he's just making an observation on their methodology. Greg doesn't have a problem with any group because he works hard at being just friendly enough with all but close to none. The only person Greg is close to is his windmill-kicking partner in filmmaking crime, Earl. Greg's had a few brushes with girls, like the time a girl in Hebrew school thought they were dating because he was flirting madly with her in an attempt to catch the eye of her hotter friend. This girl, Rachel, aka Dying Girl, gets leukemia. Greg's mother berates him into going over to her house. Cancer and hijinks, but mainly hijinks, ensue. A cat named Cat Stevens, star of such films at Cat-ablana and The Manchurian Cat-idate, plays a prominent role.
If you're the easily offended type, get some pho then read this book. It's bawdy and profane. But it's also great. Parents and family are present, more so than I've come to expect in YA books. I loved Greg, even as he tried to modestly resist. I would compare him to Adrian Mole, expect I read Adrian Mole ages ago and can't remember if the comparison is apt. (Do you like how I'm throwing it out there anyway?)
Jesse Andrews punches you in the face with his hilarious, assured debut. Highly recommended. HARF!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars.