Published by Amulet Books on 1 March 2012
Source: Borrowed from the library
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.
Thoughts: I’ve wanted to read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl for over a year, and I’m so glad I finally made time for it. I had heard it was funny, but with heart, which is my favorite kind of story. Luckily, it lived up to its potential.
Greg, the narrator, is hilarious, although not always intentionally so. I loved the chapters where he explains his family and his not-great history with girls. However, underneath this awkward, funny exterior is a kid so terrified of being laughed at that he has completely isolated himself. All of the things that made me laugh also broke my heart a little. And that was before we meet Rachel, the dying girl from the title.
Then there is Earl, so different from Greg or Rachel. His story is rough, but I loved every scene he was in, which is why the end left me frustrated. On one hand, I got it, but on the other… I didn’t feel satisfied. It wasn’t the end I wanted for Earl (and certainly not for Rachel, although Greg is good). On some level, I understand that this is Greg’s story, but Earl’s story didn’t feel finished, and I needed that.
Favorite moments: Greg gets high by accident. Hilarity ensues.
WTF moment: The fight between Earl and Greg. It was too harsh for me to have gotten over.
Overall: Laugh out loud funny, it will still make you cry when it wants to.