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

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review

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




HOW TO READ A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL BUT STILL HANG OUT WITH ADULTS:

ChildrenSOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU by Peter Cameron
by Peter Cameron
ChildrenFORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick
by Matthew Quick
ChildrenPLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King
by A.S. King

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for DON'T LET GO
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for THE WAR I FINALLY WON
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for THE PURLOINING OF PRINCE OLEOMARGARINE
VERDICT:
BUY IT

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSIX FEET OVER IT by Jennifer Longo
by Jennifer Longo
ChildrenRULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES by Kate McGovern
by Kate McGovern
ChildrenPROTECTED by Claire Zorn
by Claire Zorn