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 just have to say that this book is already one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. The narrator, Greg Gaines, is my favorite narrator by far. He’s so brutally honest that he actually comes off as a dick sometimes, which is, like, the best kind of humor.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the story of how Greg was forced by his mom to spend time with Rachel- aka “Dying Girl”- because she had cancer. He spends time with her and eventually, his friend Earl comes along. Earl and Greg are more like business partners, rather than friends. They like making shitty movies together, but they never, ever show anyone. These guys end up making the “Worst Film Ever Made” for Rachel, and this book is the story of how all of that unfolded.
This book isn’t one of those fucking cliche stuff where they fall in love and one of them dies and leaves the survivor with some sort of life lesson. (TFIOS, I’m looking at you). No- this book is not a romance in any way shape or form. No- this book isn’t a philosophical thing where Greg learns all about life and how precious it is.
That’s why I love it, it’s so different, so un-cliche, so out of the box. Like, this book isn’t even written like a book. It switches between script form, numbers, and bullet points. Oh! And the introduction to the book is amazing. All other hooks that start off books lose, Jesse Andrews wins. It’s done. It’s over, everyone, go home. My favorite lines from the intro:
“I do actually want to say one other thing before we get started with this horrifyingly inane book. You may have already figured out that it’s about a girl who had cancer. So there’s a chance you’re thinking “Awesome! This is going to be a wise and insightful story about love and death and growing up. It’s probably going to make me cry literally the entire time. I am so fired up right now.” If that is an accurate representation of your thoughts, you should probably try to smush this book into a garbage disposal and then run away. Because here’s the thing: I learned absolutely nothing from Rachel’s leukemia. In fact, I probably became stupider about life because of the whole thing.”
How can you turn away from an introduction like that? That was a rhetorical question. Don’t answer.
This book is hilarious with Greg’s humor and Earl’s witty and sometimes very disgusting banter. And when you reach the book’s epilogue and you finally find out why Greg wrote the book about Rachel’s cancer and the Worst Film Ever made, it made sense, and was actually kind of heartwarming in a Greg Gaines way.
I don’t know what else to say about this book since there isn’t much to describe, it’s very straightforward. But really, this book was hilarious and unique. If you have a TBR list, push everything down and put this at the top, and if you don’t have a TBR list just go read this; you’ll be laughing the entire time. Weird, isn’t it- laughing at a book that has to do with a girl dying of cancer. Books like this are usually the other way around, huh?
Last book review I did was of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Next book: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. I’m exactly halfway and I love it so so much already. It’s so sad and so hopeful at the same time!
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Until next time!!! 🙂