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Praise for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
“One need only look at the chapter titles (“Let’s Just Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way”) to know that this is one funny book.”
Booklist, starred review
“A frequently hysterical confessional...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 (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It is sure to be popular with many boys, including reluctant readers, and will not require much selling on the part of the librarian.”
"Mr. Andrews' often hilarious teen dialogue is utterly convincing, and his characters are compelling. Greg's random sense of humor, terrible self-esteem and general lack of self-awareness all ring true. Like many YA authors, Mr. Andrews blends humor and pathos with true skill, but he steers clear of tricky resolutions and overt life lessons, favoring incremental understanding and growth."
Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
YALSA 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
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YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
High school, according to popular cliché and the sworn experience of many bona fide ex- and current teens, is a place Balkanized by cliques: the Sharks vs. the Jets; the greasers vs. the Socs; preps vs. punks. But whether it reflects some new, enlightened adolescent reality or wishful authorial imagining, the high schools in many recent young adult novels look less like a John Hughes movie and more like some fresh, modern mash- up of oddballs and eccentrics.
"On television, it's usually the rich kids who assert control at a high school," acknowledges Greg Gaines, the "me" in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Jesse Andrews's debut novel for young adults. "However, most of Squirrel Hill's genuinely rich kids go to the local private school, Shadyside Academy. The ones that remain are too few to impose any kind of order." As a result, there is a "vacuum" at the top of the social hierarchy in Greg's Pittsburgh public high school.
The titular trio of the novel form an especially unlikely group. Greg is the son of proud eccentrics: his father is a classics professor at Carnegie Mellon who wears a muumuu around the house, collects odd foods, and talks to his cat, Cat Stevens, as if he were a person. Greg's ex-hippie mother, meanwhile, runs a Jewish nonprofit but gave her children "sneaky Anglo- Saxon names" so they could be "surprise Jews."
Greg's best friend, Earl, "lives unsupervised with two brothers, three half brothers, and a dog" in a large house where they "play video games and eat Dominos pretty much all the time"; the adult men are long gone; Earl's mother is usually busy with something that "involves Bacardi Silver mojitos and chat rooms"; and his thirteen-year-old brother has a "TRU NIGGA" neck tattoo and has already managed to impregnate someone. Greg and Earl have been best friends since age ten, when they discovered Greg's father's stash of art films, and share a passion for Werner Herzog.
Rachel Kushner is a member in good standing of the "Upper-Middle-Class Senior Jewish Girl Sub-Clique 2a." She is also dying of leukemia. When Greg's mother hears about Rachel's illness, she insists that he resume their previous friendship. "[You] don't have a choice," she tells him, "It's a mitzvah." " 'Mitzvah,' " says Greg, "is Hebrew for 'colossal pain in the ass.' "
Unfortunately, Greg's friendship with Rachel had "no honest foundation and ended on screamingly awkward terms." Although Greg describes himself as "pale, overweight," and "sort of like a pudding" with "kind of a rat face," Rachel once had a crush on him. He was the only one who could make her laugh.
Humor, in fact, one of the two major things that Greg and Earl have in common. Their friendship consists of a series of routines they regularly perform for outsiders and each other, such as the following set piece in which Greg "narrates Earl's behavior" as if "he had an irritating personal assistant who actually wasn't useful in any way." This exchange begins when a teacher explains that Department of Education regulations forbid him from sharing his pho with Earl and tells Earl he has to get his own soup:
Earl: "I ain't got no eatin-out money."Etcetera. In addition to their partnership in such moments of school hallway improv, their shared love of filmmaking has resulted in dozens of home- directed films, some of which feature sock puppets, almost all of which are unintentionally hilarious in their badness. The two have had a solemn pact to restrict the viewing of their films to an audience of two; however, once Rachel asks to see the movies, they have a hard time saying no. What are they going to do? Deny happiness to the dying girl?
Greg: "Earl has no money allocated for that purpose."
Earl: "Tryna get some soup up in here."
Greg: "Earl was hoping to have some of your soup."
Reviewer: Amy Benfer
Posted March 30, 2012
Don't start this book with any expectations and you'll thoroughly enjoy it. The language is vulgar, but not too terribly distracting, since you're reading from first person perspective. I found myself laughing out loud when reading this book. I was reading quotes and passages to anyone who would listen. Although this book has a character that has Leukemia, this is not the main story line. It's more a story about a boy's journey in discovering himself during his senior year. I did tear up at the end, but I cry watching Hallmark commercials. I enjoyed Greg's character, and yes you wanted to smack him around a couple of times, but guess what...that's what helped build his character's story. Was it profound? No. Was is didactic? No. What is WAS...was wonderful! Could this book have been better? Sure...but I think I like the fact that it wasn't very heavy-handed. Take a chance and read this book. As a mom, I wouldn't let my young teen kids read this, but definitely I would let my older teens read it.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2012
I was really excited to start Me & Early & The Dying Girl, as I heard great reviews for it. The synopsis was very intriguing as well, and I honestly just love sad endings. As I started reading the book, it was apparent that the book was going to be a funny one. I liked Jesse's writing style, he made the characters sound so real. Greg, the main protagonist, was really funny at first. His points of view, and how he sees things was just very different than any other character I read about.
After reading more, I got a bit annoyed. The amount of swear words in the book was uncountable. I really don't mind if it was once or twice, but it was up to five times in every single page. I mean, come on, use some decent words. His friend Earl was really annoying as well. His thoughts and the way he thought about things was just disgusting to me.
Rachel was probably the only normal character in the book. She wasn't naggy or annoying either. She got Leukemia, and was fine with it. I honestly didn't cry in this book, even though I do know some people actually did. I just felt like the whole story was too laid back and random to be taken seriously. I guess some people would actually enjoy this book, but it just wasn't all that for me.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2013
Posted April 27, 2012
Be very careful who you suggest this book to. It is filled with the F word and potty talk and gross comments about female body parts - you name it. Definitely geared for the junior high crowd, but so crass I sure wouldn't put it in their hands. Yes, it was laugh out loud funny - but only if you like toilet humor. The characters were so real I thought I was listening to conversations in the hall of my high school. But very very crude language. Makes me sad for young adult literature.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2014
For the most part this book was quite interesting and comical but as I neared the end of the story I quickly realized the book's lack of substance. The story started off with a slow start and carried on with a weak plot line where nothing really happens.I finnished what I thought was going to be an ok book feeling unchanged after reading it. Jesse Andrews created some interesting and unique characters but failed to do much with them. Rachel (the dying girl ) was practically the reason for the story yet she barley had a personality or impact on the other characters. Had the potential to be a great story but failed to incorporate character growth and good materialWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 24, 2014
A very quick read. I am usually not the type to read a book in one sitting but I finished this one in a matter of hours. After finishing it, I felt nothing. No affinity to the characters or the book itself. I appreciate the honesty of the main character but that's about it. There was no moral to the story, no emotions I felt, and not a strong plot.
I'm not saying they had to fall in love and have an epic romance but the ending seemed unfinished and nothing was resolved. Was not a huge fan. Slightly humorous at times.
Posted October 5, 2013
I've recommended this book to all my friends who love John Green (Which is alot!). An amazing book in the "cancer genre."
If you love TFIOS, then this is the book for you.
Posted August 24, 2013
It seemed like most books I read this summer had someone dying. This is the funniest one. No a lot to not like about Jesse Andrews' writing. He knows when to keep it light, and when to take it serious. Great read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2013
Posted April 13, 2013
Definetly read it! I would not recomend it for >13 because on 1 page the f word was said almost 20 times. I was reading this in class and laughing almost every page. Its a great book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2013
Posted January 23, 2013
Posted October 11, 2012
Posted June 20, 2012
I don't read a lot of comedy books. I mean, some of the novels that I've read have been funny, but comedy has not been their primary objective. I wasn't really quite sure of what to expect when I started. To my surprise Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was quite funny while still a bit sad at the same time.
Reasons to Read:
I have to say that some of the comedy in this book is a tad innappropriate. When I read jokes like that, I was worried that the whole book would only be funny because of those kind of jokes. I found, though, that there were other kinds of humour. The main character, Greg, was particularly funny. His dialogue added to the whole thing and made the situations seem crazier and the people just hilarious. I did find myself laughing outloud at some of the jokes that were made as I was reading it. I think that there's different kinds of humour for everyone.
The main characters in this book are really fleshed out. A couple pages are dedicated to most of the main characters when they first appear, and again, Greg's commentaries are really funny. Each characters has a reason for acting the way they do. We get to know their little quirks and flaws, and we know their past. You can definetly tell how the past affected each one to make them into the person they were. I was really impressed how a comedic book was able to make such fairly complex characters.
This book was actually a lot better than I was anticipating. The dialogue was funny, the situations were funny, the whole book was funny! While I will admit that some parts of the book just seemed kind of unnecessary, it was pretty good overall. I definitely reccomend this to anyone who really likes comedy books, or is just looking for something a bit different.
ARC received from Manda Group for review.
Posted May 8, 2012
OK, well being a kid everything is funny to me. I just started the book and read the authors note and he spoke about stupid one line description and with the following paragraph started with Barf! (meaning that he hated that crap) I recommend this book to everybody. Timeto read something different than Fifty Shades of Grey!!!!! LOLWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2012
I thought this book was going to be a heart-warming tear-jerker. I was wrong. Let me start by saying, if you don't want to read a book full of cursing and crude sexual references, then this isn't the book for you.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a hilarious book about an awkward teenage boy named Greg and the things he deals with in his life, including disease and death. He is the boy at school who is friends with everyone - he has the whole "school hierarchy system" worked out. First day back to school of his senior year, his mum tells him that his ex-girlfriend Rachel, from Hebrew school, has got a rare form of leukemia - and he has to be friends with her. This starts an awkward friendship between the two.
This book isn't really about death. It isn't overly about Greg dealing with death. It doesn't really have a plot line - which is a refreshing change. Although, Greg's wisecracks and self-deprecation did get slightly tiresome, the way it's written, with bullet points and film script conversations makes for a fantastic read!
Posted September 6, 2012
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Posted April 11, 2012
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Posted August 12, 2014
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