ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews
Kirkus Star

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A frequently hysterical confessional from a teen narrator who won't be able to convince readers he's as unlikable as he wants them to believe.

"I have no idea how to write this stupid book," narrator Greg begins. Without answering the obvious question—just why is he writing "this stupid book"?—Greg lets readers in on plenty else. His filmmaking ambitions. His unlikely friendship with the unfortunately short, chain-smoking, foulmouthed, African-American Earl of the title. And his unlikelier friendship with Rachel, the titular "dying girl." Punctuating his aggressively self-hating account with film scripts and digressions, he chronicles his senior year, in which his mother guilt-trips him into hanging out with Rachel, who has acute myelogenous leukemia. Almost professionally socially awkward, Greg navigates his unwanted relationship with Rachel by showing her the films he's made with Earl, an oeuvre begun in fifth grade with their remake of Aguirre, Wrath of God. Greg's uber-snarky narration is self-conscious in the extreme, resulting in lines like, "This entire paragraph is a moron." Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being.

Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (2012), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0176-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012




7 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU SEE THE MOVIE:

ChildrenME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews
by Jesse Andrews
FictionHEROIC MEASURES by Jill Ciment
by Jill Ciment
FictionA SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND by Mitch Cullin
by Mitch Cullin
FictionDARK PLACES by Gillian Flynn
by Gillian Flynn
ChildrenPAPER TOWNS by John Green
by John Green
NonfictionBLACK MASS by Dick Lehr
by Dick Lehr

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

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Cover art for THE MELODY LINGERS ON
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Cover art for MODERN ROMANCE
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Cover art for PIRATE HUNTERS
VERDICT:
BORROW IT

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