Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews 
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 01/04/2012
Pages: 295
Service: Bought
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository 
Author Twitter: @_jesse_andrews

'Greg Gaines is the master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any school environment. He only has 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 leukaemia - 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 turn into the Worst Film Ever Made and become a turning point in each of their lives. 

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.'

This was a book I really did have high expectations for before I had started reading it and I was really looking forward to. I finally found it tucked away in a cupboard downstairs a few months after I had bought it. Like most books it had some good points and some bad. However, for me the bad did outweigh the good.

I did like the fact though, that illness wasn't at all romanticised in this book. It didn't make it seem like something that was great and would be a story that you could tell your children. It didn't make an illness seem like something that it wasn't and that was really refreshing. Andrews just said it like it is when it came to Rachel and her leukaemia.

There were some points in the book where I felt as tough Jesse Andrews really got to grips with what high school is like for a teenager. That not everyone falls into a certain 'group' and that a lot of the time teachers will think something is a brilliant idea and everyone else won't. 

The main character, Greg, had a lot of faults. He wasn't your generic nerd, bad boy or high school jock/heart throb. He had a lot of differences to all of these generic characters and Andrews was more than happy to embrace that and show that side of Greg off. However. this was all one of the downfalls in the book for me. I felt like sometimes Andrews tried a little too hard to be different with Greg's personality. It wasn't that he didn't seem like a believable character but it was just that it felt like it was something that was constantly being thrown into my face and it just made reading the book slightly annoying for me.

There was a huge contrast then when it came to Greg's best friend, Earl. For me he just seemed to be so stereotypical due to who he was.  The way he spoke, the classes he was in and the way that his family was. It ended up being something that really made me dislike reading the book and it had to be the top thing that just hasn't made me like reading it. I just felt as though he was put in a negative light.It did end up angering me slightly in the way that Earl was portrayed when compared to Greg. 

I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary swearing used throughout the book. A lot of the time there wasn't a real need for it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind reading a book where profanity is used but it was just such an excessive use in the book. I'm not a fan of people swearing excessively when their speaking so I don't really like reading it either. 

For me, I felt as though there could have been a little something more to the book because I did find that it was dragged a little at some points. It wasn't one that I particularly enjoyed. 

Rating: ★1/2 

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