Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews: 3/5 Stars
I know the movie’s coming out soon, so I really wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. I just kind of saw it sitting there in my (very small) contemporary section. The bright spine was calling to me, so I picked it up and read it in one sitting with the exception of a few trips for drinks and snacks. Overall, I’m actually a bit disappointed.
I’ve heard the comparisons between The Fault in Our Stars and this book and the one thing I can say for sure is that they are two completely separate entities. There’s no heartwarming love story, there’s no existential crisis happening to you when you finish the book. In fact, I was very underwhelmed by the ending. I was expecting some sort of conclusion but I found myself pretty disappointed. If I could sum it up in an emoticon, it would be
My main problem with the story is that the narrator talked too damn much. I know that’s their job as a narrator, but he just had too much dialogue. Granted, at times it was really funny. He made some pretty hilarious jokes and conversations, but about halfway through I just got really sick of him. I wanted more of Earl. Earl was my favorite character. He was always very aware of what was happening and had to kind of pull Greg back in to reality. I wish the book had been told from Earl’s point of view.
I really like to try and challenge myself to read outside of my favorite genera’s (paranormal and fantasy), but this was one of those books that I was sort of justified in saying I rarely like contemporaries. I wasn’t wishing a dragon would fly overhead and start a battle, but I was a little bored at points. I read through it rather quickly and maybe that was a disservice to the book. But I just really WANTED to like this book, but I just couldn’t as much as I wanted it to. The reason it’s higher than a two is because I enjoyed Earl so much. He was what saved the book for me.
Another thing I did like about it was the realism in it. This book deals with a girl who has cancer. The way the character dealt with everything was very realistic and not at all dramatized like it is in a lot of books. I really liked that. The writing was clear, descriptive and humorous. I found myself liking the “scripted” bits of it and the parts described in bullet points. I would be open to reading another book by Jesse Andrews, but I won’t be awaiting it’s release.
Let me know what you thought! Comment below.