Title- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Author- Jesse Andrews.
Publish date- 2012.
Publisher- Allen and Unwin.
(A Brief) Synopsis:
I don’t know if I can actually describe this. Just go with the title.
What I thought:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a little bit of a whim read. I remember it’s publication, though not how it was received, and it passed me, leaving no mark, except a brief appreciation for (you guessed it) the cover.
And then a couple of weeks ago I saw the film trailer. And it looked pretty darn good. So I instantly ordered the book from the library. And read it in two days.
And the surprising thing? I have… relatively little to say about it. The whole experience. It was, fairly well, what it promises to be via the introduction by the protagonist, Greg. I mean, I didn’t think it was rubbish. But it didn’t really prove anything to me, tell me anything I didn’t know, nor was it filled with gorgeously life affirming quotes.
I read it and that’s… it.
The story is basically that of Greg, who once was accidental friends with Rachel, who gets cancer a few years after that; his mother makes him go and see her, to try and lift her spirits, and from there the story goes on. Greg wasn’t all that likable a character, he was selfish and couldn’t see how others were injured by his attitude, and I feel really angry that he kept on going to see Rachel when all he did before, after and during was go on and on about how he didn’t like her- it made him feel so fake. Rachel obviously liked his visits, but it was so disgenuine and the whole of his character felt really lifeless. He didn’t care a great deal about things. His high school goal was to be unattached so no one would dislike him, and I just… didn’t get him, I suppose. I don’t think I really got him, his understanding of himself, at all, while at the same time I felt like I understood how he felt when he discounted it. Like it didn’t even hit him how much he did care, and he kept saying he didn’t, and it felt, eventually, like such a cover.
It was kind of a weird read for me. I think I could describe Greg as being selfish but unaware of himself. Earl was… far too violent and graphic for me, but in the end, though I disliked both, he was the character who at least knew what was going on, what things meant.
And an especially interesting thing was that, in this story, it felt like Rachel was a really small part, which I didn’t expect. It was Greg, school, films, Earl, Rachel; her role and her consequent title of “dying girl” felt so… odd. I mean, is the whole thing that we basically discount her, because she’s unimportant, not as important, or we don’t understand her importance?
Rating: This is the worst possible time for an explosion.
Really, I am a jumble of odd thoughts when it comes to this novel. I didn’t like it, really at all, but I felt like I understood bits of it more than Greg did, and he’s supposed to have lived and written the whole thing.
I’m hoping the movie’ll live up to my anticipation though, still.