Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Synopsis: 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 first heard of this book quite a long time ago. I never really knew what it was about; I only knew that some people loved it and others hated it. I didn’t give it another thought until April when the trailer for the movie was released. The trailer made the movie and, in turn, the book seem really funny and interesting. I added the book to my TBR and waited for a time when I was in the mood for a funny and quick read. That brings us to present time. Since I had just read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (which was a really heavy and emotional book), I decided I needed something to make me laugh before continuing on with another fantasy novel. So I went to my library, checked out Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and started it later that night.
The book actually started out okay. I laughed at a few things and I liked the informal tone the author used. As it went on, however, I got more and more tired of it. I especially didn’t care for all the profanity. Normally, I don’t mind if there is a swear word here and there. In this book though, it seemed like every other word was something inappropriate. I know that some people probably would think the profanity adds to the humor, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
As for the characters, I didn’t like them either. Apart from Greg and Earl, no one else seemed to have any sort of personality. I didn’t connect with any of the characters. They were either annoying to me or I felt nothing towards them. I also found myself not caring what happened next – I was just trying to finish the book.
Overall, I think this book is really hit or miss; either you love it or you hate it. Unfortunately, I was part of the latter group. As for the movie, I might still watch it. I don’t see myself going to the movie theater on opening night or anything, but if becomes available on Netflix, I might give it a try.