Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Published: 2012 

Genres: Contemporary
Format: Paperback

What is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl about?
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.


When I first started Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, It was love at first sight. I was laughing out loud and thinking “YESSS.  THIS HUMOR IS ME.”  I was worried I wouldn’t like the humor, but I thought it was PERFECT.  I was laughing out loud on every page and everything was glorious.  However, as I got farther and farther into the book, the less funny it became and the more annoying it became.  Maybe it wasn’t even the humor, but just Greg’s narration itself. 
I did really like Greg, but then things hit a snag.  I guess I just assumed that the farther I got into the book, we would see Greg change more.  But, no, in the middle he was still stubborn and set in his ways.  I just got tired of hearing about how he can never do anything right, he doesn’t want to make friends, he is a terrible person.  Well, you know what Greg?  Then do something about it!

I really liked the story and thought that Earl and Rachel were amazing.   I thought the idea of Greg being forced to befriend Rachel was funny and I LOVED her so much.  I really liked Greg and Earl’s friendship and their movies were HILARIOUS and SO CUTE.  But, the one thing that continually bugged me was how preoccupied Greg was with himself.  Earl barely knew Rachel at first, and he was already more thoughtful and kind to her than Greg was.  After a couple of days, Earl was calling to check on her and calling ahead for visitor hours.  Did Greg ever do any of that?  No.  None of this was expected of Earl.  Did he have to care about Rachel?  Check up on her or do things for her?  No.  He did it because despite his family, upbringing and situation, he is a nice person and HE WANTED TO.

Basically, the only thing that wasn’t fabulous in this book was Greg.  I liked the humor.  I liked that it wasn’t a love story.  I liked the movie making and the friendships.  I think perhaps Greg acted the way he did was because he was afraid of getting close to Rachel.  Because despite his actions or what he said, ultimately, he did care about her.  But he was too scared of getting close to anyone to let them know that they matter to him.  For me, things really came to a head with Greg when they were filming the videos of them saying something for Rachel.  I just got to that point in this book and I wanted to scream at Greg.    Thankfully, Earl took care of that for me.

The ending was sad and crushing, but honestly, I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t.  It was a privilege for Greg to get to know Rachel and be her friend.  And, eventually, Greg realized that too.  Rachel was a fun girl with a great sense of humor.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to know Rachel before this all happened to her, and throughout the book, she only got worse.  I feel like Rachel fit right into Greg and Earl’s crew and I think the three of them could have been great friends if they had given her a chance and gotten to know her earlier.  In the end, It was still a great experience for them, even if they missed out on a lot of fun times.  It gave them the chance to know her and for her to know them, when they otherwise probably wouldn’t have.


Final Thoughts:

Despite my rantings about Greg, I did really like this book.  It was cute and funny and frustrating and emotional.  It made me feel a lot of emotions and I like that.  The ending was sad, yet realistic. I enjoyed every minute of this book, even if I was angry at Greg at times.  What I say is: don’t be afraid to get close to people.  And don’t be afraid to tell the people you care about just how much you care.


Have you read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl?  What were your thoughts?  Have you seen the movie trailer?  Are you planning on seeing the movie?  I need your thoughts on Greg!


  1. I was just talking to a friend about this. I am really on the fence about this. I hope I like it!

  2. My husband and I saw a preview for the movie based on this book and kind of just looked at each other like... nah. I don't think this book would be for me! It sounds like Greg was a total jerk too, which I don't understand when dealing with a cancer patient. How much of an ass can you be?! I can't deal with endings that make me sad. I need happy endings! I'm glad you enjoyed this though!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  3. I hadn't heard of this one until I saw the preview at the movies one day. It did look interesting and it seemed even the trailer kind of introduced Greg as the uncaring and self absorbed one. The humor sounds awesome, although I am pretty sure Greg would bother me as well.

  4. Idk why in the world I haven't picked this book up sooner! I've always been interested in reading it, and to be honest, I never even realized that Earl was African-American, which is a HUGE plus for me! * Yes to diversity *. I love books where the characters are cute, engaging, and humorous, and even though I KNOW for a fact Greg is going to bother my soul, I'm sooo ready to pick this up. * adds to amazon wishlist * :)

  5. It definitely looks like a cute movie, not sure if I'll get around to reading the book though. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part!

  6. Great review! I haven't read this one yet, but it has been on my list since I've heard so much about it. I can definitely see how a non-growing character could get annoying. I'm glad everything else worked well, though.

  7. Great review! I haven't read it yet but the cover is so pretty! It caught my attention and your review made me put it on my TBR! Plus, there's a movie?! Hopefully I'll read before the movie comes out

  8. Great review, very well phrased. It sounds like a book I'd like.

  9. A wonderful review! I haven't heard of this book before now but it sounds like something I'd enjoy, especially the humour.

    Sharon - Obsession with Books

  10. I loved this book! Earl is one of my favorite characters like ever because he's just so out there but still completely real.

    But the soup scene! OMG. That still cracks me up!

  11. Great review. I enjoyed the book as well and liked the jokes. I agree that it became less funny and the jokes became lame as the story progressed but I think that was done intentionally. I think it was to show that Greg hides behind those jokes and use them as a crutch to avoid dealing with things in his life like Rachel dying.

    Earl was my favorite character. He worked perfectly as a foil to Greg's character. I'd love to read a story centered on him.