I was lucky enough to win a copy of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews from WE SO NERDY on Twitter. Thanks so much, guys! I loved it.
Highschool sucks, and Greg Gaines knows it. Up until this year, he’s treaded just on the outside of social circles, not really making friends and not really pissing anyone off, either. He had one kind of friend, Earl, a foul-mouthed black kid from a bad suburb down the way, and his own kooky parents to irritate him.
Everything changes when his mom, again, it seems just to irritate him, forces him to talk to a girl he knew from Hebrew school because she has cancer. Specifically, Leukemia. As he rebuilds a tentative friendship with her (though he wouldn’t call them ‘friends’) he learns just how horrible of a person he might be. She’s dying of cancer, and he and her aren’t falling in love, aren’t particularly connecting, and he really only comes to visit because otherwise he feels guilty.
So when Earl comes around and offers to show her he and Greg’s super secret homemade movies, he’s more than a little pissed. But the movies delight her and she becomes their only fan.
Can Greg become a better person as he watches a tentative friend die? Will he and Earl realize their dream of making films? Or will everything just blow up in their face?
Review: I loved this book. Hands down, this is the best book about cancer you will ever read. Greg is outright hysterical in his worldview and his own sheepish assessment of himself and how he lacks as a human being. It’s like SUPERBAD meets THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, as I told my husband. I won’t give away what happens, but I will say that Greg is an unflinching, honest creature that we all can relate to. No one ever feels good enough, and I imagine if a friend has cancer, you never feel like you are doing or saying the right thing.
Now, I’m not normally a fan of contemporary, and especially of schmalzy “sick” fiction, but goodness. This book was amazing, funny, poignant without trying too hard…it’s amazing.
You should read it. Please, go read it now. You will thank me.